Sociology Assignment 3
Media and Violence with Music
Hip-hop music stemmed from a resistance movement in the 1970s. Rap music, one form of hip-hop, became more mainstream in the late 1980s and early 1990‟s. historically; this form of hip hop was used to voice extreme opposition of dominant culture and represents the struggle of disadvantaged Black youth in urban ghettos of the South Bronx, and later South Central Los Angeles. Rap music lyrics have been proven to be extensions of a constant struggle between a dominant White society and the struggle of disadvantaged minorities (mostly Black), to obtain social capital (Martinez 1997). This resistance to mainstream society has created an oppositional culture. According to Martinez (1997), the Race Relations theory states that oppositional culture consists of subordinate groups, who use parts of their own culture such as values and resources, to oppose the majority or dominant society in order to survive. Black youth (specifically adolescent males) have formed an oppositional culture because of the disadvantages in their communities, labeled, “urban neglect” (Martinez 1997). This created a resistance that is shown through messages in rap music. Many messages that are portrayed in rap music are often violent in nature, because the artists are speaking about their own communities, where “the despair is pervasive enough to have spawned an oppositional culture, that of „the streets‟, whose norms are often consciously opposed to those of mainstream society” (Anderson 1994: 82). Violence is so much a part of these disadvantaged communities that a set of informal rules, which polices personal and group behaviors, has been established and many of the lyrics in rap music reflect a code of the street (Elijah Anderson 1994). According to Elijah Anderson (1994), author of the “Code of the Streets,” throughout all the problems that poor, disadvantaged black communities face, violence is the most harmful. For a black...
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