DIY culture (abbreviation of Do It Yourself) is a broad term that refers to a wide range of elements in non-mainstream society, such as grassroots political and social activism, independent music, art, and film.
A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it is natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Often, grassroots movements are at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the local party, which can lead to helping the national party. For instance, a grassroots movement can lead to significant voter registration for a political party, which in turn helps the state and national parties.
Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social change, political change, economic justice, or environmental wellbeing. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.
The word “activism” is often used synonymously with protest or dissent, but activism can stem from any number of political orientations and take a wide range of forms, from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism (such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing preferred businesses), rallies, street marches, strikes, both work stoppages and hunger strikes, or even guerrilla tactics.
In some cases, activism has nothing to do with protest or confrontation. For instance, some religious, feminist or vegetarian/vegan activists try to persuade people to change their behavior directly, rather than persuade governments to change laws. The cooperative movement seeks to build new institutions which conform to cooperative principles, and generally does not lobby or protest politically.
In popular music, independent music, often generally abbreviated as “indie”, is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels and an autonomous, Do-It-Yourself approach to recording and publishing.
Independent labels have been known to strive for minimal influence on the artist they represent, avoiding the artist-cultivating behavior of many major labels. Artists represented by Independent labels have been known to be focused more on producing music than becoming wealthy and/or well known.
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