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Definition of Microculture

(noun) A distinctive culture shared by a small group that is often based on location or within an organization.

Examples of Microculture

Microculture Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /maɪkroʊkəltʃər/
    • British English
      • /mʌɪkrəʊkʌltʃə/
  • Syllabification: (mi·cro·cul·ture)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: microcultures
  • Not to be confused with subculture, through the terms are similar and often used interchangeably. A microculture has a unique identity within and as part of the dominate culture, but a subculture is contrasted to the dominate culture and separated from it.
  • Microcultures often have a specialized language called an argot.
  • Variant spellings:
    • micro culture
    • micro-culture

Related Quotation

  • Members of a microculture will usually share much of what they know with everyone in the greater society but will possess a special cultural knowledge that is unique to the subgroup” (Spradley and McCurdy 2008:3).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. 13th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

Cite the Definition of Microculture

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “microculture.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 26, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/microculture/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

microculture. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/microculture/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “microculture.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 26, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/microculture/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“microculture.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 26 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/microculture/>.