Raves and Ravers

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The Techno-Subculture of the Modern World 
The Development of the Rave into Mainstream American Culture A paper submitted for the review of Dr. Murchinson regarding the rise of a cross-generational sub-culture that has shaped generations of young adults. Cassandra Stephens 12/17/2007

Stephens 1 Cassandra Stephens Dr. Murchinson English Composition I 12/17/2007 The Techno-Subculture of the Modern World Dance parties have always been a popular social event for generations of young adults. However, beginning in the 1960s they became defined as a “sub-culture”: a trendy social influence that would soon sweep the world around. These gatherings became known as “raves.” Although the term “rave” was not actually defined until the 1980s, they existed during the “Swingin' Sixties,” predominately through large underground gatherings of individuals whom were united by their love of dance, music, and drugs. As the years progressed, this seemingly quiet revolt against mainstream American culture blossomed into a revolution that would define generations of young adults. The use of drugs during the sixties was rather prevalent and almost second nature to most young adults. However, once these illicit practices began to become largely socially unacceptable, the scene moved underground. The first raves began as just being a place where you could relax, let loose and get high, but now raves are a culture all their own. Raves have moved from the neighbor’s basement to abandoned warehouses in which large groups of “allnighters” gather and consume their favorite “club drugs.” A recent study of “raving” conducted in Toronto revealed that a wide variety of drugs were available at raves. The most frequently used drug at “low-end” raves is marijuana as it is typically inexpensive and can be found most anywhere. The most popular drugs at these events however are hallucinogens and stimulants. Lest not forget the everlasting presence of alcohol at these events.

Stephens 2 A fashion statement presented by most all true “ravers” is the wearing of candy. Mainly worn by the “candy kids,” these colorful plastic beads are usually designed into necklaces and bracelets. The ever-allusive history behind the origin and meaning of the wearing of this candy is a secret that is tightly held by most “ravers,” however, it is believed that the people whom bestow this odd fashion statement are the “go-to” people: the individuals that have the “good” drugs. During the late 1970s and into the early 1980s the real raves, the all-night dance parties, effectively began the disco era, and embodied a blend of electronic dance that would forever change the face of music and the club scene. This type of music was once solely called electric music, but it has now branched into numerous sub-categories: house music, techno, happy hardcore, drum and bass, jungle, trance, “electronic,” etc… Predominately, a DJ who is accompanied by glow-sticks, laser light shows, projected images, artificial fog, and an ecstatic crowd of dancers, jumpers, and self-appointed performers presents this music live. These days, most large-scale raves have permits so they can be held in old warehouses or large outdoor locations like parking lots. Often, the smaller, underground (non-permitted) raves have locations that are only known to those whom are invited. These raves tend to be a bit sketchy and dangerous. They do of course tend to be cheaper, with cover charges ranging from five to ten dollars. Weaponry and drugs are usually brought into these raves without notice and could possibly instigate unwanted occurrences. Surprisingly enough, the bigger the rave, the safer it actually is. That does however deter some partygoers who seek danger at every turn. These large-scale raves will have cover charges in excess of sometimes sixty dollars in order to cover the necessary expenses to make your party-going both safe and fun. A few of these larger raves are Monster Massive, EDC (Electric Daisy...
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