One of ways in which we can understand any given culture is by studying its music. Such is the strength of the relationship between culture and music. That relationship – between music and culture – is what we will be setting out to analyze in today’s article.
Music is a chronicler of culture. This is an indisputable fact. At this point, it is important to define culture: where, at its simplest, culture is defined as ‘a people’s way of life’. So one of the ways in which a people’s way of life is chronicled is through music. You realize that the people who compose music are influenced by the environment around them. They are influenced by both the major happenings, as well as the mundane stuff. A musically talented individual may, for instance, respond to the getmycreditcardoffer — and apply for one of the credit cards offered by Capital One. This would be after having received a capital one credit card offer in the mail. He may then experience difficulties in servicing the credit card debt – leading to a situation where he composes a song on the ‘brutality of capitalism’. Now another person, from another part of the world (or from another generation to come) would, upon hearing that song, get to understand the dynamics of the culture within which the composer operated. He would, in other words, get to understand the composer’s culture.
The people who compose music tend to sing about their deepest concerns. And while music lyrics are usually simple, they touch on very serious themes (which becomes clear if one listens to music with a discerning ear).
Music has potential to change a culture. Music has potential to change the way people act. And if it does that on a large enough scale (that is, if it gets a huge enough number of people to change how they act), it ends up altering the entire culture. Worth mentioning is the fact that music can change culture both in positive and in negative ways. Much depends on the character of the people who compose the lyrics, and influences they operate under, and the objectives they aim to achieve.
One of the main problems that residents of inner cities grapple with is that of criminal gangs. Living in these inner cities, one soon comes to realize that there is a deep-rooted (and thriving) gang culture in there. Most of the kids are inducted into the gang culture at very young ages. They then grow into teen and young adult gangsters. Many lose their lives at very young ages. Others end up in jail, and when they come out, they find that they have criminal records that make it impossible for them to get good jobs. And the cycle is repeated, from one generation to the next. This then leads to the question as to whether there is anything we can do to bring this sad cycle to an end. In other words, that is a question as to whether there is anything we can do to eliminate gang culture in the inner cities.
The answer is in the affirmative: for there are indeed several steps we can take, to eliminate gang culture in the inner cities. Among other things, if we want to eliminate gang culture in the inner cities, we need to:
- Give the residents of the inner cities better economic opportunities
- Improve the relationships between the residents of the inner cities and law enforcement officers
- Educate the residents of the inner cities on how they can raise their kids better
The first point, on giving the residents of inner cities better economic opportunities, deserves special attention. You realize that the gang culture seems to thrive where there is idleness. It would be very hard for people holding down good 9 to 5 jobs to even consider being part of the gang culture. Furthermore, someone with a good income is unlikely to be part of the risky gang culture. For instance, a fellow who works at CVS Health, and who gets a reasonably decent income thanks to the myhr cvs pay stubs would be highly unlikely to consider being part of the local gang culture. Therefore, the gang culture is mainly as a result of idleness and poverty: problems than can be easily solved if better economic opportunities are availed to the residents of the inner cities.
Education has a strong influence on culture. Of course, we have to start by taking note of the fact that every culture has its own educational system. In most cultures, the educational system is of an informal nature. But it is an educational system nonetheless. It is through the educational system that people are trained on how they are expected to behave, within that particular culture. It is also through the educational system that the culture perpetuates itself. That is because the educational system makes it possible for older generations to pass on their knowledge (about the culture they are operating in) to the younger generations. The younger generations are in turn able to pass on their knowledge, in a similar manner, to the next generations.
If a new education system is introduced within any given culture, then that particular culture is bound (in most cases) to change in fundamental ways. Take the native American culture, for instance. So you find that before the arrival of European settlers on American shores, the native Americans had their own ways of life (culture) complete with an educational system to help them cope with the environment they were operating in then. With the arrival of Europeans, and the educational system that the European settlers came with, the native American culture had to be altered in major ways. Today, a typical native American can’t get an opportunity to live as his ancestors did. He certainly can’t get a chance to hunt and gather. He is in fact more likely to be working somewhere in corporate America – say, at CVS Health, which means that he gets his paychecks after going through the Myhrcvs login page. And to be able to function in this new context, the native American needs another type of education, different from that which his culture provided in the old times.
Yet there are cultures that have bee able to withstand (at least to a certain degree) the effects of modern education. The Chinese, for instance, still have their culture intact, in spite of having been exposed to modern education. The Japanese and the Indians as well as the Arabs have been able to maintain their cultures, to various degrees, even after being exposed to modern education. So it is not always that modern education leads to the loss of ancient cultures.
You will have an easier time pursuing cultural studies at college level if you win a scholarship. A scholarship means that part of your fees (or indeed your entire fees) for the cultural studies degree are catered for by someone else. If you win a full scholarship, your fees will be paid in full, and you may even be given a stipend on top. If you win a partial scholarship, your cultural studies degree fees will only be partially catered for. That would still be a huge reprieve, because the money that would have been used to cater for such fees can subsequently be devoted to something else.
Scholarships for cultural studies (and any other course for that matter) are usually awarded on a needs-based criterion or on a merit-based criterion. To win a needs-based scholarship, you would have to prove that you are needy. That will usually involve an assessment of your personal and your family’s finances. On the other hand, to win a merit-based scholarship, you usually have to prove that you are an exceptionally talented scholar.
While searching for cultural studies scholarships, you need to follow certain steps:
- Identify the bodies/institutions that award the scholarships
- Request for scholarship application forms
- Complete the scholarship application forms in a truthful manner
- Submit the completed scholarship application forms
- Attend any interviews you may be required to attend
- Wait for the relevant boards to make a decision on whether to award you the scholarships or not.
It helps a great deal if you can network with the people who award these scholarships, before applying. They are, in most cases, more likely to award you the scholarships if you are personally known to them. Networking is not hard. For instance, having gotten their phone contacts, you can opt to be calling them from time to time, and generally trying to keep in touch with them. Don’t fear the cost of making the phone calls: it is likely to be very modest, almost negligible really. For instance, if you are using a Metro PCS phone to call them, you will only have to make a little extra metro pcs payment on account of the scholarship networking phone calls. In fact, the difference (in terms of what you have to pay at the metro pcs pay bill portal) may be so small that you can’t notice it. Yet if it potentially helps you to win a scholarship, that would translate into an opportunity for you to earn, say, a masters degree in cultural studies without spending too much of your own money.
You can greatly improve your credentials as an expert in the cultural studies field by authoring a textbook. It is true that authoring a textbook is a lot of work. You are likely to spend numerous hours, writing and rewriting passages, before you can end up with a good (or simply acceptable) textbook on cultural studies. Getting a publisher is not always easy. And even after getting the book published, it is not always easy to get other people to embrace yet. Yet in spite of the challenges, writing a textbook can also be a very rewarding venture.
You are likely to have an easier time in authoring a textbook on cultural studies if you are a member of faculty in some university where the discipline is taught. But it is also possible for you to author the textbook even if you are working somewhere else – as long as you have the relevant expertise in cultural studies. It may be a case where, after completing your graduate studies in cultural studies, you may have found work in the service industry – say, as a HR person at Darden restaurants. This means that you would be getting your earnings through the krowd portal. The biggest challenge here would be in getting enough time to write the textbook. But then, you may visit the krowd olive garden login page, sign in there, check your work schedule, and make the necessary adjustments so as to find enough time to write the textbook. Ultimately, as long as you have the will to write the book, you will find a way to do it.
If you commit to write just a single page per day, you would have a 365 page textbook on cultural studies by the end of the year. Then the next challenge would be that of finding a publisher, though there is also the option of self-publication. And once the textbook is published, the next challenge would be that of getting libraries and bookshops to stock it. You can even get cultural studies professors to endorse it as required reading for their students. But that will only happen if it is a truly good textbook.
If you are a member of faculty in a cultural studies department, you may find yourself being assigned to teach an introductory course for college freshmen. This is an exciting yet also at the same time challenging assignment. For if you run the introductory course well, the freshmen are likely to develop a real interest in cultural studies. Some may go ahead to major in it. Some may even go further, to pursue cultural studies at postgraduate and doctoral level. After that, some may end up joining the same faculty – and what a joy it would be to have them as colleagues, knowing that you are the one who actually introduced them to cultural studies.
In introducing college freshmen to cultural studies, you need to:
- Show them that cultural studies is not an abstract field: the goal here is to get them to understand that cultural studies have real-life application, and what they learn is likely to truly help them in their future lives.
- Build on the students’ already existing knowledge: the objective here is to ensure that the students don’t start perceiving cultural studies as ‘hard’. If they perceive it as hard, they are likely to lose interest. You therefore need to get them to view it as something they can understand with ease.
- Show them the economic potential in cultural studies: many of the students are likely to be having fears on what they can do with cultural studies degrees. So it is up to you to get them to see that through cultural studies, they can broaden their minds — which can then lead to improved earnings. Some may be worried about the prospect of ending up working as, say, porters at departments like the US Postal Service. So they could be dreading the idea of having to send their resumes to the liteblue human resources portal, and then waiting, fingers crossed, for replies. Then, even after getting such jobs, they are likely to be dreading the possibility of having visit the liteblue usps portal, to get work schedules (which are likely to be very tight). So you have to reassure them. First, you need to get them to understand that they could still end up in such circumstances, even with other types of degrees. And secondly, you need to get them to understand that if they apply themselves in cultural studies, and pursue it to the highest level (like, say, the graduate or doctoral levels), it is highly unlikely that they won’t miss meaningful opportunities in the field.
Cities are known to change people’s cultures in huge ways. In this particular discussion, ‘culture’ simply refers to “a people’s way of life”. So what we are saying is that cities are known to change people’s ways of life in big ways. In fact, it is highly unlikely that a person who has lived in a big city will escape without having his way of life altered in some way. The big city has a way of ensuring that everybody who lives in it for a considerable amount of time ends up changing his way of life. The specific ways in which cities change people’s cultures include:
- By simply exposing them to other cultures: big cities tend to be ‘melting pots’ of various cultures. People who go to big cities end up encountering other cultures – different from their own. This exposure then changes their worldviews. Subsequently, their outlooks in life, and their entire cultures, are changed.
- By showing them weaknesses in their cultures: cities are ruthless, when it comes to exposing weaknesses in people’s cultures. You may, for instance, be coming from a spendthrift culture, where people don’t care about small savings. Then you go to a big city, and get a job at a company like, say, PepsiCo. Then you notice the pains that your colleagues at work go to, in pursuit of Mypepsico discounts. You start admiring their financial prudence, and the lengths they are willing to go to, to save that extra coin. And soon, you find yourself signing in at the Mypepsico login page, in pursuit of the same discounts. Then you know that in this small way, your spendthrift culture has been changed in favor of something else.
- By showing them strengths in other cultures: just as a big city shows you weaknesses in your own culture, it also shows you strengths in other cultures. You therefore find yourself having to change your culture – in a bid to find those strengths you have seen in other cultures.
Of course, all these things mostly happen at the subconscious level, without your conscious awareness.
One of the biggest challenges you are likely to face in life is that of adjusting to a new culture. Like if, for instance, you have moved to another part of the world, and you are expected to be there for quite some time (say, several months or years), then you will have to adjust to that culture. You won’t necessarily be required to adopt the culture. But you will definitely find yourself having to adjust to it – because whether you like it or not, it is bound to affect you for the duration that you will be there. In fact, having been exposed to that (different) culture, your mindset is likely to change: meaning that the effects of that exposure to a different culture are likely to remain with you for long.
While trying to adjust to a new culture, you need to:
- Observe others closely: the goal here is to be able to figure out what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, by way of observing what your hosts are doing, and what they seem to be desisting from doing.
- Ask questions: some cultural aspects are so nuanced that you can’t understand them through observation alone. You have to ask questions. Don’t fear to ask questions. Actually this applies to all things – not just cultural issues. (Away from culture issues) you could, for instance, be trying to understand how you can report a lost gift card. Yet when you refer to the Mygiftcardsiteguide, you can’t get the relevant instructions. All the information on the guide seems to be about the check mygiftcardsite balancelogin and related issues. Yet what you are interested in is reporting a lost gift card. What to do? This is where it becomes ideal to ask a question. And the same thing applies when it comes to adjusting to a new culture: if you are unsure about something, there is absolutely no harm in asking your hosts about it. That is definitely better than making assumptions, and then you mess things up badly.
- Maintain an open mind: you will have an easier time adjusting to a new culture if you maintain an open mind. But if you approach the new culture with a prejudiced mind, you will have a very hard time adjusting to it. Your prejudices will keep you from adjusting, and you will end up being a maladjusted member of that society. Yet the society will expect you to have adjusted to its culture, after some time.
- Respect the culture: you may be tempted to disrespect/look down upon the culture, especially if, for some reason, you feel that it is ‘inferior’ to yours. This tends to be the case especially if you are moving from a part of the world that is perceived as being ‘developed’ to another one that is perceived as being less developed. But you need to resist this temptation to despise the culture. Remember, a culture is a people’s way of life. The people you are encountering have reasons as to why they have chosen to do things the way they do them. So you need to respect that way in which they have chosen to do things: knowing that it is probably the best way for them, given their unique circumstances.
We have been led to believe that the ghetto culture is wholly negative, and there is nothing positive about it. But this notion is not true. There are some positive aspects in ghetto culture. And whenever we think about the ghetto culture, it is important for us to focus on these positive aspects. We need to do this, while always reminding ourselves one thing: that many of the people who find themselves living in the ghettos are not there by choice. It is circumstances that force them to be there. The ghetto culture arises as those people try to adopt to the circumstances they find themselves in. The positive aspects of ghetto culture include:
- Resilience: the people who live in the ghettos tend to be highly resilient individuals. This resilience grows over time, as the people try to cope with the vagaries that are thrown their way. The resilience is then inherited, and improved with each subsequent generation.
- Ambition: contrary to the widely held opinion, the people who live in the ghetto don’t lack ambition. They are (typically) very ambitious individuals. Some go to great lengths, to improve their lives. It is just that the ‘system’ seems to be against them. That is why, for instance, if a company like Nordstrom is setting up a new store, you are likely to find a good number of people from the surrounding ghettos looking for work there. Such individuals tend to go to great lengths, in their Mynordstrom sign up attempts. That is to say that they go to great lengths, showing up for interviews and networking with the ‘senior people’. All this they do trying to get jobs at Nordstrom: which would then give them unfettered Mynordstrom access. You simply can’t accuse them of lacking ambition.
- Community life: whereas life in the ‘better’ suburbs tends to be individualistic, life in the ghettos on the other hand tends to be communal. People share the little they have. People are always there to cheer each other up. People tend to be more accepting in the ghettos and community life there is generally strong.
- Vibrancy: ghetto life tends to be more vibrant than life in the so-called ‘better’ suburbs. This is largely due to the close proximity with which people are forced to live in the ghetto – unlike the ‘better’ suburbs, where there are picket fences and gates to separate the people.
There are some 4 ways in which you can study a nation‘s culture. In this context, culture would be best defined as a people‘s way of life. Thus, there are some 4 ways in which you can get to know more about a nation‘s way of life. Without any further ado, those 4 ways include:
- By interacting (directly) with the nation‘s citizens: the best way to study a nation‘s culture would be by simply touring the nation, and getting to interact directly with the nation‘s people. By watching the people and listening to them as they chat with one another, you soon get deep insights into their way of life. This, by the way, would also be the best way to study an organization‘s culture. Like if, for instance, you wish to understand the Lowe‘s organizational culture, the best thing to do would be to get a job there: whereupon you would also be allocated an account at the Myloweslife.com portal. Through your day to day interactions with co-workers (including the supervisors and the managers), you‘d soon learn a great deal about the organization‘s culture – more than what you‘d have learnt in any other way.
- By reading literature from the nation: literature has been described as a ‘mirror of the society‘. This means that by reading through a nation‘s stories, novels and plays, you can soon get to know how the people in that nation live – that is, their culture.
- By watching movies from the nation: if you don‘t feel like reading a nation‘s literature in your bid to learn more about the nation‘s way of life (culture), a good alternative would be to watch movies from the nation. Watching a movie is less involving than reading a novel, meaning that this is the easier option.
- By listening to the nation‘s music: people usually express their deepest yearnings and fears through music. Therefore, by listening to a nation‘s music, you‘d get to learn about the people‘s aspirations, fears, yearnings – and generally about how they go about their lives.