*** Welcome to piglix ***


Mainstream is current thought that is widespread. It includes all popular culture and media culture, typically disseminated by mass media. It is to be distinguished from subcultures and countercultures, and at the opposite extreme are cult followings and fringe theories.

This word is sometimes used in a pejorative sense by subcultures who view ostensibly mainstream culture as not only exclusive but artistically and aesthetically inferior. In the United States, mainline churches are sometimes referred to synonymously as "mainstream."

The labels "Mainstream media", or "mass media", are generally applied to print publications, such as newspapers and magazines that contain the highest readership among the public, and to radio formats and television stations that contain the highest viewing and listener audience, respectively. This is in contrast to various independent media, such as alternative media 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.

Mainstream science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study that does not depart significantly from orthodox theories. In the philosophy of science, 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 or fringe science. A definition of mainstream in terms of protoscience and fringe science can be understood from the following table: