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Encyclopedia
Mainstream is, generally, the common current thought
Thought
"Thought" generally refers to any mental or intellectual activity involving an individual's subjective consciousness. It can refer either to the act of thinking or the resulting ideas or arrangements of ideas. Similar concepts include cognition, sentience, consciousness, and imagination...

 of the majority
Majority
A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset larger than any other subset; i.e. a plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset may consist of less than half the group's population...

. However, the mainstream is far from cohesive; rather the concept is often considered a cultural construct.

As such, the mainstream includes all popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

, typically disseminated by mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

. The opposite of the mainstream are subculture
Subculture
In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

s, counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

s, cult following
Cult following
A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base...

s, and (in fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

) genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

. Additionally, mainstream is sometimes a codeword used for an actual ethnocentric or hegemonic
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 subculture
Subculture
In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

 point of view, especially when delivered in a culture war
Culture war
The culture war in American usage is a metaphor used to claim that political conflict is based on sets of conflicting cultural values. The term frequently implies a conflict between those values considered traditionalist or conservative and those considered progressive or liberal...

 speech. It is often used as a pejorative term by subcultures who view ostensibly mainstream culture as not only exclusive but artistically and aesthetically inferior. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, mainline churches are sometimes referred to synonymously as "mainstream."

In film


Mainstream films can best be defined as commercial films that are made by major entertainment studios or companies that are owned by international media conglomerate
Media conglomerate
A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet...

s. Because of better financing, these films can afford more expensive actors, wide release
Wide release
Wide release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing nationally . Specifically, a movie is considered to be in wide release when it is on 600 screens or more in the United States and Canada.In the US, films holding an NC-17 rating almost never have a...

s or limited release
Limited release
Limited release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing in a select few theaters across the country ....

s, and are sold at popular retail stores. Films made by major studios or companies that are not owned by a media conglomerate, such as lionsgate, are also considered to be mainstream and are often referred to as mainstream independent films. The alternative to mainstream films are low budget film
Low budget film
A low-budget film is a motion picture shot with little or no funding from a major film studio or private investor. Many Independent films are made on low budgets but films made on the mainstream circuit with unexperienced or unknown filmmakers can also have low budgets. Many young or first time...

s, art film
Art film
An art film is the result of filmmaking which is typically a serious, independent film aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience...

s, and experimental film
Experimental film
Experimental film or experimental cinema is a type of cinema. Experimental film is an artistic practice relieving both of visual arts and cinema. Its origins can be found in European avant-garde movements of the twenties. Experimental cinema has built its history through the texts of theoreticians...

s.

In the media


Mainstream media
Mainstream media
Mainstream media are those media disseminated via the largest distribution channels, which therefore represent what the majority of media consumers are likely to encounter...

, or mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

, is generally applied to print publications, such as newspapers and magazines that contain the highest readership among the public, along with radio format
Radio format
A radio format or programming format not to be confused with broadcast programming describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. Radio formats are frequently employed as a marketing tool, and constantly evolve...

s and television stations that contain the highest viewing and listener audience, respectively. This is in contrast to various independent publications, such as alternative weekly
Alternative weekly
An alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper, that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of stylized reporting, opinionated reviews and columns, investigations into edgy topics and magazine-style feature stories highlighting local people and culture. Their news coverage is more...

 newspapers, specialized magazines in various organizations and corporations, and various electronic sources such as podcasts and blogs (Though certain blogs are more mainstream than others given their association with a mainstream source).

In music


Mainstream music denotes music that is familiar and unthreatening to the masses, as for example popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

, pop music
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

, middle of the road music, pop rap or pop rock
Pop rock
Pop rock is a music genre which mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its guitar-based rock songs. There are varying definitions of the term, ranging from a slower and mellower form of rock music to a subgenre of pop music...

; Mainstream jazz is generally seen as an evolution of be-bop, which was originally regarded as radical.

Opposing mainstream music is the music of subculture
Subculture
In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

s. This exists in virtually all genres of music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 and is found commonly in punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, indie rock
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

, alternative
Alternative hip hop
Alternative hip hop is a sub-genre of hip hop music. Allmusic defines it as follows: -Origin:...

/underground hip hop
Underground hip hop
Underground hip hop is an umbrella term for hip hop music outside the general commercial canon. It is typically associated with independent artists, signed toindependent labels or no label at all....

, anti-folk
Anti-folk
Anti-folk is a music genre that takes the earnestness of politically charged 1960s folk music and subverts it. The defining characteristics of this anti-folk are difficult to identify, as they vary from one artist to the next...

 and heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

, among others. In the 1960s this music was exemplified by the music of the hippie counterculture.

Punk rock has distinguished itself from other non-mainstream genres by self-asserting an active anti-mainstream social movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

 that resists commercialism
Commercialism
Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of commerce or business. Today, however, it primarily refers to the tendency within open-market capitalism to turn everything into objects, images, and services sold for the purpose of generating profit...

 and corporate control
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

. The punk subculture
Punk subculture
The punk subculture includes a diverse array of ideologies, and forms of expression, including fashion, visual art, dance, literature, and film, which grew out of punk rock.-History:...

 generally frowns upon major label bands that play punk music that disavows the DIY punk ethic, and views them as synonymous with mainstream music. Several anti-corporate and not-for-profit forms of alternative protest
Protest
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations...

 have surfaced in the punk underground, such as self-made publications known as zines, where there is greater freedom to discuss controversial (usually far left
Far left
Far left, also known as the revolutionary left, radical left and extreme left are terms which refer to the highest degree of leftist positions among left-wing politics...

) political issues such as discrimination
Discrimination
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be...

, LGBT community issues, feminism
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

, antitheism
Antitheism
Antitheism is active opposition to theism. The etymological roots of the word are the Greek 'anti-' and 'theismos'...

, and veganism
Veganism
Veganism is the practice of eliminating the use of animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only...

. These principles have also been adopted to a certain extent also in heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 and alternative hip hop
Alternative hip hop
Alternative hip hop is a sub-genre of hip hop music. Allmusic defines it as follows: -Origin:...

 cultures, amongst others, but not to the same degree as punk.

In science



Mainstream science is scientific
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 inquiry
Inquiry
An inquiry is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of the ways that each type of inquiry achieves its aim.-Deduction:...

 in an established field of study that does not depart significantly from orthodox
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

 theories
Theory
The English word theory was derived from a technical term in Ancient Greek philosophy. The word theoria, , meant "a looking at, viewing, beholding", and referring to contemplation or speculation, as opposed to action...

. In the philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

, mainstream science is an area of scientific endeavor that has left the process of becoming established. New areas of scientific endeavor still in the process of becoming established are generally labelled protoscience
Protoscience
In the philosophy of science, a protoscience is an area of scientific endeavor that is in the process of becoming established. Protoscience is distinguished from pseudoscience by its standard practices of good science, such as a willingness to be disproven by new evidence, or to be replaced by a...

 or fringe science
Fringe science
Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study that departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline....

. A definition
Definition
A definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term , or a type of thing. The term to be defined is the definiendum. A term may have many different senses or meanings...

 of mainstream in terms of protoscience and fringe science can be understood from the following table:
























System
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

atized as scientific definition
Treated with scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

Tries to be science or just looks like science

Superstition
Superstition
Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events....

s

Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status...


Fringe science
Fringe science
Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study that departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline....


Protoscience

Mainstream
Mainstream
Mainstream is, generally, the common current thought of the majority. However, the mainstream is far from cohesive; rather the concept is often considered a cultural construct....

science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...



By its standard practices of applying good scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

s, mainstream is distinguished from pseudoscience as a demarcation problem
Demarcation problem
The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how and where to draw the lines around science. The boundaries are commonly drawn between science and non-science, between science and pseudoscience, between science and philosophy and between science and religion...

 and specific types of inquiry are debunked as junk science
Junk science
Junk science is a term used in U.S. political and legal disputes that brands an advocate's claims about scientific data, research, or analyses as spurious. The term may convey a pejorative connotation that the advocate is driven by political, ideological, financial, or other unscientific...

, cargo cult science
Cargo cult science
Cargo cult science refers to practices that have the semblance of being scientific, but are missing "a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty". The term was first used by the physicist Richard Feynman during his commencement...

 and scientific misconduct
Scientific misconduct
Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in professional scientific research. A Lancet review on Handling of Scientific Misconduct in Scandinavian countries provides the following sample definitions: *Danish definition: "Intention or...

 etc.

In sociology



Mainstream pressure, through actions such as peer pressure
Peer pressure
Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. Social groups affected include membership groups, when the individual is "formally" a member , or a social clique...

, can force individuals to conform
Conformity
Conformity is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by other people.Conformity may also refer to:*Conformity: A Tale, a novel by Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna...

 to the mores
Mores
Mores, in sociology, are any given society's particular norms, virtues, or values. The word mores is a plurale tantum term borrowed from Latin, which has been used in the English language since the 1890s....

 of the group (e.g., an obedience
Obedience (human behavior)
In human behavior, obedience is the quality of being obedient, which describes the act of carrying-out commands or being actuated. Obedience differs from compliance, which is behavior influenced by peers, and from conformity, which is behavior intended to match that of the majority. Obedience can...

 to the mandates of the peer group
Peer group
A peer group is a social group consisting of humans. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate Members of a particular peer group often have...

). Some, such as those of modern Hipster culture
Hipster (contemporary subculture)
Hipsters are a subculture of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with musical interests mainly in alternative rock that appeared in the 1990s...

, have stated that they see mainstream as the antithesis of individuality
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

.

Gender mainstreaming



The difference of male and female, in the sense that human beings are distinguished as non-conformant.

Education



Mainstreaming is the practice of bringing disabled students and into the “mainstream” of student life. Mainstreamed students attend some classes with typical students and other classes with students that have similar disabilities. Mainstreaming represents a midpoint between full inclusion (all students spend all day in the regular classroom) and dedicated, self-contained classrooms or special schools (disabled students are isolated with other disabled students).