Culture and Society
A subculture consist of a group of individuals who exist in a broader culture but tend to distinguish themselves through the culture that they originally belong to. Many scholars have significantly deprecated this term while trying to avoid the perceptions of inferiority with regard to the prefix “sub”, and this is why they devised the term co-culture to describe a distinguished group of individuals within the larger culture. Nevertheless, this term has been more commonly used in defining a cultural group that prevails within a broader culture yet possesses distinct beliefs, perceptions, and interests that are distinct from those who live and thrive within the broader culture.
The study of subcultures is more centered on the comprehension of the aspect of symbolism that is linked with the modes of dressing and music that is distinctly common among other visible habits that characterize or are specifically associated with the members of certain subcultures and the perceptions of other members of the larger culture concerning these symbols. It is common for members of any given subculture to express their membership and association by using distinctive symbolic styles which may be exhibited in the form of dressing, codes of conduct or even argot. It is possible for subcultures to permeate all levels of any given organization, leading to the conclusion that multiple cultures can actually prevail in any given organization and their existence can either complement or contend with the general culture of the larger organization. In many circumstances, the perception of subcultures as a severe moral problem that need to be addressed as well as controlled by guardians of the wider society has resulted in the curtailment, restriction and passing of laws against them.
Membership within a subculture
An individual can become a member of a subculture if he or she adopts or identifies with the diverse symbolic attributes that are distinct within a particular group of individuals prevailing within the broader culture in any given institution or community. I ascribe to the Rockabilly subculture, and this is a distinct type of a subculture that has adopted the earliest ways of the 1950s’ “Rock and Roll Music”. This subculture is commonly known to have integrated the American and the Western musical patterns in order to invent the popular “Classic Rock and Roll Musical Style”. The reason why I regard myself myself as a member of this subculture is because I tend to imitate the distinct characteristics and ways of life that were adopted during the period of Elvis as the king of rock and roll music and I also behave like other members of this subculture who act and live like during the times when the phrase “I Love Lucy” was popular in the 1950s.
Rockabilly can be regarded as a distinct culture on its own because its distinct attributes can easily be differentiated from the larger culture. Some of the key unique characteristics of the rockabilly subculture are the strong musical rhythms, vocal strums, and the common use of tape echo. The individuals who follow this subculture strictly tend to maintain a unique outward appearance that is strongly linked to the rockabilly era of the 1950s. Members of this subculture also possess a unique fashion sense that is similar to that of the young people who lived in the 1950s and tend to prefer halter dresses, sleeveless blouses and sunglasses. In addition, females who ascribe to the rockabilly culture tend to wear high waist pants, coned bras, pencil skirts, and sundresses. Members of this group are known to adopt a unique color sense in their fashion which naturally distinguishes them from the larger culture. Some other trends that are popular with this group include application of lots of red lipstick, usage of red high heeled shoes and red gingham. Rockabilly subculture has in a way influenced the mainstream culture in the sense that certain unique attributes including fashion and musical styles from this subculture have been borrowed by the mainstream culture, leading to the revival of the earliest culture.
Members of the wider society or mainstream culture have largely embraced some of the styles that are strongly linked to the rockabilly culture mainly for commercial purposes. Fashion statements such as red lipstick, pencil skirts and high heeled shoes have remained quite popular within the mainstream culture leading the majority of the commercial dealers to focus on the production and sale of these products to members of the larger society regardless of whether or not they ascribe to the rockabilly subculture. In the same respect, musical styles from the rockabilly culture have equally been vulnerable to a similar development because they have become a significant representation of the unique state of music within the mainstream culture.
What can be done to reduce gender inequality?
Gender inequality is a term that refers to the concept of distinguishing between people based on their gender and such the distinctions that can be used in defining strengths, abilities and opportunities that people possess or need in order to undertake certain tasks depending on their distinct sexes. Gender inequality exposes the backwardness of a society that practices it because it entails subscription to the orthodox views, and this thus calls for the elimination of gender inequality in order to enhance significant development within the wider society. According to sociologists,gender inequality emanates from integrating complex cultural factors that are drawn from the 1970s and need to be addressed in order to reduce the entire issue. It is apparent that the issue of gender inequality is often perpetuated by the responsibility that parents undertake during socializing the children and defining the concepts of femininity and masculinity. Parents ought to desist from socializing their children into distinct gender roles that tend to intensify the differentiation between males from females.
Both popular and the news media have significantly perpetuated the gender stereotyping by restricting the ability of boys and girls to assume less-gendered responsibilities. For gender inequality to be reduced, it is necessary to deal with gender stereotyping that is carried out via the popular media and at the same time raise the public awareness concerning diverse factors that perpetuate gender inequality. There is also need for the dispensation of gender education within the society to make sure that individuals within various social structures including the family, schools as well as the community at large fully comprehend the diverse issues that affect gender inequality. Such measures can help to erase cultural superstitions as individuals would be able to comprehend the need for members of both sexes to be treated equally by being allowed to access equal opportunities. Reducing the cultural orientations that are believed by the society believes about the cultural orientation would equally play a significant role in reducing gender in equality. It is common for societies to demarcate roles on the basis of what is perceived as being masculine or feminine. It is possible to reduce gender inequality by exchanging the roles across gender, and this can be done by permitting males to undertake roles that are perceived as feminine while females can be allowed to engage in the roles that are perceived to be masculine.
Agents of socialization
The agents responsible for the perpetuation of the concept of socialization are usually the diverse societal factors that interact during lifetime of a person which influence their behavior and the subsequent characteristics that prevail within the wider society. My family and peer group are some of the key agents that have greatly impacted my life. The family in particular has significantly shaped my beliefs, attitudes, and values among other orientations that I have concerning life. It is apparent that most of my beliefs, values and attitudes are similar to those held by my family members, because instinctively we tend to integrate our values and beliefs.
It is not possible to ignore the role that parents play in teaching their children the different prejudices and biases that they are bound to hold in the course of their lives. In similar fashion, I was centrally taught by my family what it meant to be white, and the reasons why whites have to be perceived as being distinct from blacks. This cultivated in me the belief of whites being superior to blacks and the need for white people to be esteemed higher than the blacks. In addition, the family also played a central role in cultivating obedience in me and this has helped me to see value in adopting positive behaviors while refraining from socially non-acceptable behaviors like crime and violence.
The peer group has also played a crucial role in shaping my values, beliefs and attitudes mainly because my friends have integrated me into certain values and statuses that have significantly influenced my lifestyles, preferences, and social activities. In particular, my friends have influenced my tastes and preferences in terms of music, mode of dressing and many diverse elements of life. Of importance to note, is the fact that peer groups play an essential role in teaching their respective members gender roles. Conversely, my peer group has oriented me to specific, culturally cultivated gender roles. Not only has this influenced how much value I attach to certain roles and elements of culture, but also shaped my perception and driven me to fulfill these roles while avoiding others that are not culturally expected of me.
How social class affect people’s lives
Social class normally refers to a system within the social stratification model which is created and seeks to divide group individuals in sets of hierarchical categories that may commonly be known as upper, middle and lower categories. The importance of class is that it serves as a crucial factor that is used by sociologists in grouping individuals and also defining their lives under varying contextual meanings. Social class effects can clearly be felt in every aspect of life because it shapes almost every state of interaction. Even though it is obvious that workplaces are also affected and shaped by social classes, individuals in search of employment have undertaken quite a different approach.
The difference in approach is largely owed to the fact that most employees can no longer expect to automatically climb the hierarchy of job positions mainly because most companies choose to hire individuals from outside the company and particularly focus on those with desirable educational background as opposed to hiring as well as promoting individuals serving within the company. This has subsequently affected advancement within employment fields especially for those who have a lower level of formal education because they cannot be able to advance into higher job positions. This is because higher social hierarchy is dependent on an individual obtaining a higher level of education. This has affected how people perceive and pursue education because they choose to spend a significant number of years and amount of money on studies as opposed to serving in low cadre positions. Such social hierarchy changes at the workplace can shape the learning process.
At the same time, social class affects family life and how children subsequently develop because they are often taught how to integrate within their respective social classes, and this can perpetuate their developing personalities that correspond to their social statuses. Education system is yet another major tool that is often used to drive social mobility among members of the low class society because most preferences are often accorded those that belong to the high class society. In this respect, teachers tend to anticipate the potential knowledge that is bound to be held by members of certain classes and ignore the potential of others, especially those in lower classes. It is common for children from the high class society to be perceived as being more intelligent in comparison to those that belong to the lower class society. Unfortunately such children that are perceived as being intelligent are often given more attention than those who are not hence resulting in discrimination and teachers shaping the future of certain children as opposed to others.
It is clear that culture is an essential tool that heavily influences the totality of socially transmitted patterns, beliefs, symbols and institutions which can later be used as a form of expression that is distinct in a particular community, class, society or population. These subsequent attributes can effectively be used to characterize a distinct subculture that sets itself apart itself through attributes symbolizing the larger culture. The concept of culture can be an instrument of perpetuating gender inequality because it can lead to distinct cultural orientations being set in place to define strengths, abilities and opportunities that are distinct to members of different sexes. There is need for control of these factors so as to reduce the impact of gender inequality. Culture can also influence the process of socialization, and by so doing, nurture unique beliefs, values, attitudes and perceptions in an individual. In addition, cultural aspects usually influence the concept of social class, which inevitably affects life by shaping how people conduct themselves within the education system to be able to obtain high achievements to empower them climb up the social hierarchy.
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