Human Subcultures

Subcultures are a variety of cultures and sub-groups that become part of society. Learn more about sub-cultures like Geisha, the Amish, Freegans or the Mafia.


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Who Is Karen and Why Is She So Mad?

The name Karen has somehow become the universal term for the angry, white woman. But when and how did that happen?

What's the Difference Between a Samurai and a Ninja?

Movies often pit dark-robed, masked ninja assassins against elite samurai warriors. But just how accurate is our modern outlook on these two Japanese fighters?

The Bizarre, Brazen Life of Cultist Aleister Crowley

The late Aleister Crowley liked being known as the "wickedest man in the world." But today he's most remembered as a brash cultist who was the father of a strange religion.

How Punk Works

There's a fascinating story behind how punk, both the music and the cultural movement, spanned the globe, becoming way more than just a sound and a mohawk.

A Pirate Quiz for Ye Trivia-Lubbers!

Everyone loves a good pirate yarn, but some well-worn stories about them don't align with genuine history. Today, we be quizzin' ye about real pirates, buccaneer fiction, and the scurviest of all holidays. Yarr!

Gibtown: Where Circus Folk Went to Retire

Lobster Boy, Monkey Girl, Emmitt the Alligator-Skinned Man – they all called Gibtown home.

Jim Roberts and the Cult of the Garbage Eaters

Who is Jim Roberts and the people who fervently follow his doomsday prophecies?

On One Pacific Island, a U.S. Soldier and Prince Philip Are Gods

They're worshipped by 'cargo cults' on the Pacific Island of Tanna. What can their ideals tell us about our own political and social beliefs?

Alone in the Amazon: The Last of His Tribe

A solitary man with a mysterious, but certainly horrific, past goes about his business in the Amazonian jungle. He's the last of his kind.

Is Technology Driving a New Era of Cults?

Bentinho Massaro, aka the Tech Bro Guru, has more than 300,000 followers. But is he preaching the truth or are his believers just being duped?

What Is Black Twitter?

How has this Twitter subculture brought about social change?

How the Sovereign Citizen Movement Works

From claims of secret bank accounts created by the government to exemptions from federal law, sovereign citizen beliefs seem outlandish. But is there any truth to them?

State Laws Still Allow Child Marriage in America

Children as young as 10 are being married (or forced into marriage) in the United States. And it's perfectly legal.

Research Center Seeks to Separate Ninja Fact From Fiction

The myth of the ninja has intrigued the world for centuries. A new Japanese research center is out to solve it.

Heavy Metal Berserkers Install Beer Pipeline to Supply Music Festival

How do you keep 75,000 metalheads sufficiently beered? A pipeline, naturally.

There's More to Cannibalism Than Just People Eating People

Cannibalism? Anthropophagy, if you prefer? There's more nuance when it comes to consumption of human flesh than you might imagine.

How Feral Children Work

The life of a feral child isn't all swashbuckling Tarzan-and-Jane, but for some children, it's a better alternative than the lives they left behind.

Exploring the World of Mail-order Marriages

While the headlines usually focus on tales of abuse and scams, the reality is more humdrum — and heartbreaking.

Geekdom Is on the Rise

FanBolt founder Emma Loggins and Farrago Comics co-founder Martin Fleischmann talk about what it means to be a geek.

Still Riding the Rails: Life as a Modern Hobo

Maybe you thought hobos disappeared along with the Great Depression. But some folks are still living the life — albeit only part-time and without a bindle on a stick.

Is Negativity Fashionable in Fandom?

You’ve likely heard plenty of “Star Wars” fans say they hate the prequels, but those films were huge box office successes. It it simply vogue to hate the thing you love?

How Deprogramming Works

Did the controversial practice of cult deprogramming do more harm than good? Find out.

How Star Wars Works: Star Wars Celebration 2015

Star Wars Celebration is a fan convention unlike any other, because it's all Star Wars, all the time. Grab your lightsaber and come along for the ride as we look at the HowStuffWorks team's time in Anaheim, California for the 2015 show.

How Star Wars Works: Bringing Fans Together

A convention doesn't just magically happen - a dedicated team has to organize and arrange all of the vendors, panels and logistics. Matt, Rich and Brian from ReedPop talk about the work they put in to create the ultimate fan experience.

HowStuffWorks Interviews: Booth Babes with Angie & Chris Duplis

Booth babes are controversial, but have you ever met the people behind the costumes? Find out what it's really like to work at a trade show as a booth actor.