Intercultural Communicaton Muted Microcultural Groups: The Rap Music Generation
Microculture: “An identifiable group of people who share a set of values, beliefs, and behaviors and who possess a common history and a verbal and nonverbal symbol system that is similar to but systematically varies from the larger, often dominant cultural milieu”
Microculture: Microcultural groups often develop their own language for communicating outside the dominant or majority culture’s context or value system.
Microculture: The terms “minority group” or subculture are often used to refer to microcultural groups, however these terms carry negative connotations. By definition, sub- means “beneath,” “below,” and inferior”.
Microculture: • Social scientists generally recognize five characteristics that distinguish microcultural groups from the dominant culture. • 1) Ethnicity/Gender/Language/Distinctive Dress Habits, e.g., Rastafarians • 2) Microcultural membership is usually not voluntary • 3)Microcultural group member generally practice endogamy (i.e., marrying within the in-group)
Microcultural: • 4) Group members are aware of their subordinate status • 5) Such groups often experience unequal treatment from the dominant group in the form of segregation and discrimination
Muted Group Theory • The manifestation of the muted group theory is that microcultural groups’ speech and writing are not valued by the dominant cultural group. • “Moreover, microcultural groups experience difficulty expressing themselves fluently within the dominate mode of expression; that is, they may not speak the same language as the dominant group, and hence “micro-macro interaction is difficult”.
Words Are Weapons:Rap’s Self Depreciating Lexicon Written by Homeboy Sandman, who identifies as a hip hop artist.
Word’s Are Weapons: Rap’s Self Depreciating Lexicon • These words, and others, are given more media attention in the hopes that more people will use them or embrace them. • There are many negative stereotypes of this microculture, which leads to oppression of the group. • Those who embrace this lifestyle are also embracing all the negative stereotypes, and become easier victims of oppression
Word’s Are Weapons:Rap’s Self Depreciating Lexicon • The author of “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart in Two Days,” said: • "the basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words." • This shows the importance of language, language usage, and content of language. • The intended meaning of language may not be the meaning interrupted by the listener.
Words Are Weapons:Rap’s Self Depreciating Lexicon • Children will often rely more on the judgments, like stereotypes, about people that what the person is actually like or has done. • Example : “How did the idiot get all of the questions right” • Children will accept that he is an idiot, wonder how he managed, and not ask why he’s an idiot. • Rap is being marketed and aimed at children more and more.
Words Are Weapons:Rap’s Self Depreciating Lexicon • Hip Hop music is basically telling children to become people that others feel aren’t even worthy of respect. • “Metacommunication -- implanting subliminal messages by stressing certain key words." • Which came from a list of ways to control society • In the long run children that identify with hip hop culture grow to not respect themselves
Words Are Weapons:Rap’s Self Depreciating Lexicon • There is a greater issue of, institutional racism, that certain practices, and attitudes are brought about by the majority group, to keep the minorities inferior. • Like hip hop music and culture being used to sell those cultural beliefs to children. • With the difference in the punishment for those found with drugs, specifically crack.
References Sandman, H. (2012). Words are weapons: Rap's self depreciating lexicon. Huffpost arts & culture. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/homeboy-sandman/words-are-weapons-hip-hop_b_2156846.html Neuliep, J. (2012). Intercutural communication a contextual approach. (pp. 95-99, g-3). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.