To understand counterculture in Utah more thoroughly, I asked Utahns for their opinions through an anonymous survey. When the survey was done, I had finished with 75 participants. The questions I asked were: Are you of the LDS faith? What percentage of the Utah population do you think is Mormon? Which of the following cultures have you personally seen/ experienced: (Wicca/Pagan culture, Queer culture, Punk culture, Greek Orthodox culture), Do you believe that counterculture is more apparent in Utah than in other states? And finally: What do you believe sparked counterculture in Utah (Genuine lifestyle preference, Mormon rebellion, A mix of both)?

The response to my LDS background question was not what I had hoped, as only 12 percent said that they identified as being mormon with 5.3 responding “it’s complicated” and a whooping 82.7 percent not being mormon. This was disappointing to me because I was hoping that my data would be from equal parts Mormon and Non-Mormon participants.

Next, I wanted to test my participants to see what their preconceived notions about the mormon population of Utah was. The LDS population in Utah is 62.7 percent, so I tested them to see what they believed the number was, and to my surprise, 36 percent got it correct! There were of course people that were way off, but for the most part, either they were correct or very close.

After seeing if they knew about the data of the non-Mormon population, I wanted to see what non-LDS subcultures they have experienced. I gave them the four subcultures that I’m focusing on and allowed for them to check as many as they want as well and an “other” option so that I could catch a glimpse at some things I could’ve missed.

88 percent had seen queer culture, which im guessing is from the gay pride parade. As I had previously mentioned, Utah has one of the biggest LGBTQ+ populations, making the Salt Lake Gay Pride Festival one of the biggest cultural showcase in Utah. People, whether gay or not, go to the festival to show their support and have fun.

The second biggest culture that people have experienced was Greek Orthodox culture, which 64 percent of participants had recorded seeing, which I believe also has to do with an annual Greek Festival, where Greeks and non-Greeks alike come to the festival to eat Greek food and watch traditional Greek dancing.

52 percent of my participants had seen punk culture, which surprised me. Punk culture isn’t as big in Utah, especially since punk isn’t as big as it was in past generations, so when I saw that over half of my participants had seen/ experienced it, I found it interesting. I believe that this might be due to the local store Raunch Records, which I have mentioned previously.

Finally, we have Pagan culture, which only 14.7 of participants have seen/ experienced. I believe that the small percentage is due to the secrecy of this culture. While the other subcultures have large festivals and are more vocal about their lifestyle, most pagans prefer to practice in private, therefore this data didn’t surprise me.

My next question I had for my participants was to see if they agreed that counterculture was stronger in Utah than in other states. 38.7 percent agreed, which was slightly the majority with the disagreement being at 37.3 percent, and the other 24 percent being “maybe”. I was expecting the agreeing side to be more prevalent.

Finally, I asked what they believed sparked counterculture. The majority voted that they believed it was a mix of both Mormon rebellion and genuine lifestyle choices.

In conclusion, the data was what I had expected, besides a few outliers. It was really interesting to see what other Utahns thought about counterculture. Although I wished that there would be more Mormons contributing in the survey, the results were still helpful.

CC BY-SA 4.0 What other Utahns think of our Counterculture by Zoe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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