Microcultures can be defined as a way a subgroup communicates with their own language, has their own expectations, and differentiates themselves from other groups. In consumer behavior we were told to explore the microcultures you would find at Millikin. We got into groups and searched the campus for symbols, words, phrases and many other things that mean something to Millikin students but would not make sense if you weren’t a part of the Millikin University subculture. We all had a week to go out and find different examples of Millikin microcultures. It came as a surprise to me how many things Millikin has that are so unique and are only known about by students and faculty. The most popular being The Bronze Man
. This bronze statue sits on a bench in front of schilling and is one of the biggest icons Millikin has on its campus. Some language that is used at Millikin that outsiders would not know is things like calling the cafeteria “RTUC”. This is an abbreviation for Richards Treat University Center and is probably known as RTUC by every student on campus. This project was a good experience because it got us out of the classroom and we got to see how unique our beautiful campus was. Other groups discussed how there is a microculture at Millikin where students gather in friend groups to study in Scovill and make it a social activity as well as a time to get homework done. There are so many things that are one of a kind. This experience also showed me things about Millikin that I never knew about. These things include the lucky “M” statue. This statue is about two feet tall in front of schilling and is known by a lot of the students as their good luck charm. Many student athletes rub it before big games and many students rub it before taking a big test. These would be smaller examples of microcultures. This project taught us that there are microcultures everywhere and we do not even realize it. There is slang that comes naturally and things that bond us together as a student body that wasn’t intended to do so.
Businesses use these all the time as marketing tactics. This is a common practice for small restaurants such as Head West. They have their own language for ordering food and they use this to keep reoccurring customers. Another restaurant that does this is Potbelly Sandwiches. They have an underground menu that only reoccurring customers are aware of. Customers that become aware of this become reoccurring customers and feel like they are a part of a subgroup and microculture.
In a study done by The College Of Direct Support, they discuss how race and religion play into how microcultures are formed. One example discussed in this article was about how companies only offer time off for Christian holidays. This is an example that we see very often in America and can create a microculture for a certain religion. This practice creates an atmosphere where there will often only be certain types of employees and possibly certain clients.