There are three different kinds of media which shape our identity and culture:
Print media:newspapers, magazines, comics, books
2. Audio visual media: comprises: TV, Radio, cinema, music
3. New media: these are new delivery technologies like the world wide web and interactive social media (facebook, twitter). New media has led to the convergence of media delivery and systems e.g. computers, phones and tablets can view TV, films, radio, music books, magazines, newspapers, and games.
Ownership of the media has become concentrated through mergers into multi-media empires. These empires extend across newspapers, books, magazines, the internet, film studios and radio stations. For example Time Warner merged with AOL in 2000, though they have recently split apart again. ITV bought and sold ‘Friends Reunited’, and Rupert Murdochs’ News Corporation accounts for almost a third of all newspaper sales in Britain. Murdoch owns BSkyB, Fox Studios, Sky radio, 35 Fox TV stations, Star TV, 20th Century Fox, Harper Collins Publishers and so on.
Functions of the media
The media serves many functions. It depends on your perspective whether these are positive or negative. For example its’ purpose may be to: educate, indoctrinate, entertain, Inform, socialise, make money, or transmit propaganda. Probably all of the above!
Subcultures through the Ages
Subcultures are associated with youth movements and change across time and place. Here’s a very brief British timeline, which is by no means exhaustive;
1940s Zoot-suiters and Hepcats;
1950s Rock 'n' rollers, Beatniks and Teddy boys;
1960s Surfers, Rudeboys, Mods, Hippies and Bikers;
1970s Skinheads, Soul boys, Rastas, Glam rockers, Funksters and Punks;
1980s, 90s Heavy metal, Hip-hop, casual, Goth, Rave and Clubber styles
The noughties – Skate punks, Nu-Metal, Rave, Goth, Emo, Indie, Boho, Hip Hop, Chavs, moshers, Scene kids.
Examples of Subcultures:
Hippies Flourished in the 1970s-1980s Values: freedom, uninhibited behavior, hedonism, pacifism, individualism.
Values rejected: uniformity, militarism, patriotism, family, money, power.
Lifestyle: A typical hippy looks just Jesus Christ in the flesh: long hair, cheap simple bright-colored clothes, and ethnic trinkets symbolising rejection of racial and cultural differences. A frequent attribute was a ribbon on the forehead to prevent one “going off one’s head”, a wristband with some bric-a-brac, usually a memento given by a fellow hippie. They hung out in the streets and squares, sang soulful tunes to the strains of a guitar, recited poetry and smoked pot. They often moved about by hitching rides.
Main works:photographs and paintings by Sergey Solmi, Umka’s music, the early Aquarium group.
Fashion: inthe late 1990s Hip Hop clothing was characterized by saggy, baggy gansta jeans. By the end of the decade American youths preferred a more retro look – baseball jackets, baseball caps or flat brim trucker caps, tracksuits, stunna shades, Nike Air Jordans, and wide leg jeans. During the early 2000s, many wealthy white jocks and preppies imitated the gangsta lifestyle, moving away from the semi-formal conservative look of the 1980s and 90s in favor of expensive designer clothes, gold bling, trainers, dark jeans, and jogging bottoms.
Flourished in the 2000s Values:sentimentalism, individualism, living in their own imagined world, mysticism.
Values rejected: authoritarianism, pragmatism.
Lifestyle: You can always tell a Goth by the white face with black eye and lip liner, and black clothes beneath a cloak or floor-length cape. The Goths usually have the cult of death and fetishes connected with the nether world. They hang out in deserted buildings, at graveyards and in other dark places. They read mystic books, stage various medieval rituals and listen to Gothic music.
Main works: songs by the groups Antisisters, The Guests and Otto Dicks.
Emos Flourished in the 2000s Values: Emo is short for emotional, which implies sensitivity, love, friendship and individualism.
Values rejected: practical common sense, authoritarianism, pragmatism.
Lifestyle: The mid-2000s emo kids, identifiable by their black or purple hooodies, T-shirts featuring rock bands like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, or Taking Back Sunday. They wore lowrise skinny jeans silver jewellery, and checkerboard pattern Vans. Hair was thin, flat and straight, with long, matte fringe fringe, usually dyed black or pink. It is often hard to determine an Emo’s sex: boys and girls look absolutely the same. “Don’t hurt Emos. They cry all the time anyway” read a notice at one youth forum. Indeed, Emos are usually in a depressed state, more often than not because of unrequited love. But it came as a surprise to many that Emos experience positive emotions too. The Emo’s mood can be told by the color of his/her clothes: if black predominates they are in a down mood, if it is pink, they are happy.
Main works: songs by the groups JaneAir, Origami, Maio and Ocean of my Hope.