Getting so-called role models to advertise their products to ensure that all young people want them, simply to ‘fit-in’. The pressure on young people today is a problem, especially international, global pressure. Whilst still facing the same problems those past generations have endured, as White (1999:2) suggests “Unemployment, poverty, racism, sexism, heterosexism and inequality. ” Using Australian youth as an example, White (1999:3) explains the problems young people face in today’s world:
“Coming to grips with the rapidly changing world – the ‘global society’ – confronted with; shrinking full time labour-markets, advanced communication and information technologies, consumerism as a mass ideology, widespread cynicism about the political process, and public ‘moral panics’ about community safety and social deviance” As a young person, trying to define and shape your identity can be difficult, with no occupational status and the underlying urge to ‘fit-in’, then a group of people who ‘think the same’ or at least like the same music/films/video games is a good place to start.
Today, young people do not have to stay with the people at school or their friends in the street; over the Internet they have the whole world to find a community for themselves. The interest in music is common amongst young people; “According to the i?? rsbok omungdom (1991) 94 per cent of all the 16-25 year old respondents stated that they are extremely or quite interested in music – girls equally as much as boys. ” (Taken from Fornas and Bolin -1995:98) Some sub cultures have derived form music, hip-hop culture, started in New York in the 1970s has had a widespread emergence.
The origins of hip-hop have often been contested and debated so many times, but the cultural practices within it have remained the same; rapping, scratching, break-dancing, graffiti and of course the clothing. d’Souza and Iveson (1999:56) discuss hip hop emergence in the U. S, graffiti and break-dancing as responses to the ghetto life to when many African-American and Latino young people were restricted. Ali Gripper and Andrew Hornery (1996 – cited in d’Souza and Iveson 1999:56) have written about a clique of young people in a Western suburb in Sydney calling themselves the Fijian Bula Boys (FBB)
“Most of the FBBs identity is borrowed straight from one of the most dominant global youth sub cultures known – the ‘homeboys’ or ‘homies’ based on black American street culture” Gripper and Hornery also state that these ‘homies’ have a ‘headquarters’ at a dingy local pool hall – wearing Nike shoes, baseball caps, sweatshirts and any kind of baggy pants; whilst playing pool, perfecting their graffiti tags, taking drugs and listening to gangsta rap. A German language rapper (from Frith 2002) explains:
“For a lot of people the commercial side of it, the image, the clothes are more important than the music … they pretend to be ‘gangsta rappers’ from the USA and yet we have enough social problems here to be addressed. ” This can relate to the sense of belonging and identity that young people want to feel. If USA influences are affecting the culture in England, Germany and the Westerns suburbs of Sydney in Australia, then surely all hip hop all over the word is following the American version and copying the original.
However, a Geordie rapper (in Frith 2002) claims that he “writes directly about his own experiences of living in Newcastle and performs in a Geordie accent. Hip hop here is valued as an authentic mode of expression that is primarily rooted in the power it gives them to comment on their everyday experiences. ” Thus, taking a subculture formed earlier and adapting it to the lifestyles locally, mixing localisms with globalisms. Massey (1998:121) discusses her interviews with women in Yucatan, Mexico and her experience after the interviews:
“Whilst going towards the jeep, our ears were assaulted by a racket of electronic noise. In a pool of light coming from another building – this one wired for electricity – a dozen or so youngsters were urgently playing computer games. Machines were lined up around the walls of the flimsy shack and everyone was surrounded by players – along with American slang and bits of western music” According to Rifkin 2001 (The Guardian 3/7/01) incidents of backlash against the cultural globalisation we are witnessing have occurred:
“Local cultures are reawakening everywhere in the world. In India, consumers recently trashed McDonald’s restaurants for violating Hindu dietary laws. In Germany, the public is engaged in a heated debate over what is German culture in the era of globalisation. The centre left is worried that any talk of resurrecting a German Leit culture – or guiding culture – will spawn a resurgence of fascist sentiment, but the centre right asks how long Germany can deny its cultural heritage.
In France, angry farmers uprooted Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops, claiming that they are a threat to French cultural sovereignty over food production. In Canada, local communities are fighting to keep out the giant Wal-Mart chain for fear it will destroy neighbourhood businesses and replace traditional small town culture with suburban super malls. ” Rifkin is not the only one to report the drawbacks of cultural globalisation; Akande (2002) has observed:
“Suddenly, people all over Africa and the rest of the non-Westernised regions of the world, appear to be imbibing materialistic and individualistic values previously associated with Western culture. What explains this apparently abrupt Westernisation? One major reason is the structural change in the world economy: globalisation and the flood of goods dumped in poor countries that are marketed by mass seductive advertising which is blatantly superficial but nonetheless successful in creating fresh desires in peoples of traditional societies.
For some, especially the young, these new products and content with new ideas can be exhilarating. Change may mean escape from oppressive traditions. It may also bring new opportunities for cultures to mingle in creative ways. Obviously, it would be an excessive form of cultural fundamentalism to suggest that Africans should try to keep everything exactly as it is, rather than allowing culture to develop. However, there is genuine cause for concern about the rate at which cultures (African and non-African) are being undermined in a world that is bound together by ever-stronger economic ties. ”
Giddens 2002 argues that Cultural globalisation is evident in the spread of the English language around the world and in the films and TV programmes that are sometimes seen by hundreds of millions of people in different countries. Politically, the world is more inter-connected than it ever was before: most governments now recognise that there are many decisions which can’t be tackled simply on a national level – an example is ecological issues, which truly need to be confronted globally as well as locally. Massey (1998:122) suggests that the local culture of the Yucatan is a product of interaction.
It is certainly not a closed, local culture, but neither is it an ‘undifferentiatedly’ global one. Massey suggests therefore that the young people strive for the right trainers or the right t-shirt with the western logo on the front, but have limitations, thus, find themselves in a ‘hybrid’ culture, in which importation, adoption and adaptation is the way forward, forming cultures that work for the individual, when encountering limitations, follow a crowd or stick with diversity. Therefore dividing the world into the ‘haves’, ‘have nots’ and ‘have some’.
Roth (1999) suggested ‘the idea that cultural differences will fade away as people share more information media has turned out to be problem rather than a solution’ however, the range of mass media being presented world wide usually derives from the western world, the deprived countries watching an episode of friends might not necessarily help to break down barriers between cultures. Nevertheless, with a wide range of information available, the exchange can go from east to west, recently there has been an influx from ‘bollywood’ with films such as ‘East is East’ and the musical ‘Bombay Dreams’.
Therefore not necessarily less diversity but more exchange of culture, Roth (1999) argues; “globalisation and localisation cannot be thought of independently of one another. They are obviously two sides of a single coin. ” With the never ending increase in access to technology in the western world our culture is sent all around the rest of the world, over satellites, down telephone lines etc that it would be impossible for other cultures not to be effected.