1) Media As A Source of Information
Surveillance and Interpretation
People get information from many sources, but their primary source of information is the media.
20% of high school students listed rock music as an important source of information about moral values.
25% said it was an important source of information about interpersonal relationships.
Rap music has long been criticized for its anti-social and anti-feminist portrayals. But women in rap are emerging as equal opportunity oppressors. Below is a "PG" rated video from Lil' Kim.
The lyrics to "How Many Licks" are more representative of her work.
Click here to open new window with complete lyrics.
Note: Lyrics contain strong language.
But some scholars defend rap as social expression:
"Much rap music provides a spectacle of self-assertion with images of black rap singers threatening white power structures, denouncing racial oppression and police violence, and celebrating a diverse realm of black cultural forms extending from Afrocentric nationalism to the gangster lifestyle. With its staccato beat, multilayered sound, aggressive lyrics, in-your-face messages, and defiant style, rap provides a spectacle of revolt and insurrection in its live performances, music videos, and recorded forms. Blasting out of boom boxes in the ghettos, roaring from car stereos, and blaring from home sound systems, rap provides a cascade of sounds threatening middle class order and decorum and the powers that be."
Click here to read "Rap, Black Rage, and Racial Difference."
Some critics also condemn popular music for its sexual attitudes:
"Overall, 22 percent of radio segments contained sexual content, and 20 percent of these were "pretty explicit" or "very explicit." When there is sexual content on the radio, it tends to be during music segments (44% include sexual content) or during talk segments (30%). Almost half (44%) of sexual messages during talk segments referred to sex outside of pre-existing relationships, whereas fewer than one in ten (6%) messages referred to sex within a pre-existing relationship. ...
For both the CDs and the radio programming, very few songs or segments included messages about sexual planning/responsibility, the consequences or risks of sexual behavior, the benefits of sexual patience, or fidelity."
Click here to read "Teen-Oriented Radio and CD Sexual Content Analysis."