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Nihilism, Marginalization, and Stereotypical Archetypes

A collaborative presentation by Rameerah Anderson and Matthew Ashton. April 21, 2010 Educ 121X - Prof. Alim

Matthew Ashton

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of Nihilism, Marginalization, and Stereotypical Archetypes

Stereotypes & Archetypes Violence Thug Mimicry "A becoming of, a turning into, black American Stereotypes" (Perry, p 109)
Artists, mainly in Hip Hop, "exploit the white fear" and flip it to empower themselves.
These artists take on the roles of brutes, pimps, drug kingpens, hustlers, killers, etc.
"Here, thugs themselves, rather than mainstream analysts, have the authority to explain their actions and they generally do not attribute to deficient culture or inhereted racial flaws, but to hunger and lousy schools and tragic formative experiences" Streetcred vs. Keepin it real Why does an artist insist on living a ghetto thug narrative once he or she has money or access? The Attempt to maintain street credibility or authenticity.
"The artist, in the effort to personify and testify, is in some sense trapped by that testimony." (Perry, 113) Question Thinking from the perspective of a hip hop artist today: what's more important:
street credibility or authenticity?
Could the same answer be said for a hip hop artist during this past decade? '93 til? Desensitization of Youth "The strength of the correlation between media violence and aggressive behavior
is greater than the correlation between calcium intake and bone mass or the
correlation between lead ingestion and IQ" (McFarland, 96)
McFarland asks the reader to consider the "contemporary violent society in which Chicano/a rappers are raised before censuring the subject matter in their lyrics.
Roughly 71% of songs studied by McFarland had violent themes.
"The violence we consume in our popular culture is a training ground for real-life violent socialization and behaviors"
Media forms such as music, movies, and video games have enabled a desensitization of US society, allowing for high violence.
What came first: the chicken or the egg? OR what's to blame: rap music leading to violence or violent behavior systematically finds its way into rap lyrics? Nihilism "Nihilism is debilitating in that feelings of
hopelessness can become self-fulfilling
prophecies that cause apathy and, worse, violence (McFarland105)" Sir Dyno raps, "violence is so common in his community that he has learned to love it and accept it. Yet, on the other hand, he wishes for a funeral so he can have peace and silence." "The younger the child is, the less he or she i able to
distinguish reality from media fantasy."
McFarland touches on how youth are constantly being exposed
to violent content "in the context of a broader culture of violence in the US." What's the cause? Hypermasculinity in gangsta rap, movies, and video games or US social norms and stereotypes? OR is there a middleground or cycle involved? Depiction "Two prominent types are violent criminals and funny-men or buffoons" [McFarland in reference two media portrayals of Chicanos and Latinos] In our highly segregated society, popular images of minority others "control" the minds of worldviews of White Americans and the life chances of members of subordinate ethnic groups who suffer under racist institutions" [McFarland, 99] What can we do as people to reverse, or better educate, the worldviews of our respective cultures? Do we censure the media portrayals? Do we accentuate other facets of our cultures parallel to the media portrayals?
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