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Exploring Whether Or Not Profanity In Music Is Corrupting Our Youth

1326 words - 5 pages

Profanity in music, is it a problem that must be addressed now or is it even a problem that we as a society have the power to fix. There have been many different arguments on the topic of profanity in music, however the question remains should music be censored. In Robert T. M. Phillips’ address to congress he insists that we must act now to protect our society from the damaging effects of explicit music. Becky L. Tatum argues in her article “The Link Between Rap Music and Youth Crime and Violence” that the effects of rap music are basically unknown and extensive research must be conducted before causal assumptions are made. Martha Bayles suggest in her article “The Perverse in the Popular, that society is attracted to evils or negatives and therefore would not allow music censorship to be successful .Therefore the problem is that we have no adequate answer to the problem.
Bayles suggest that many of our ideas about popular culture come from three sources Communication Theory, Cultural Studies, and Traditional philosophy. Communication Theory begins with the perception of a helpless society. Many Communication Theorist believe that the media has the power to transform human consciousness. However, as Bayles points out, after surveying the available evidence W. Russell Newman observed that most human beings are resistant toward any message that dose not fit the cognitive makeup of the mind receiving it.
Cultural Studies focuses on the political and social impacts of media. Cultural Studies assumes that all cultural products are ultimately about power and possess value only to the degree that they attack established social order. Traditional Philosophy emphasizes the perennial difficulty of sustaining excellence in a culture seemingly devoted to the negative.
It seems to me that Bayles introduces these three ideals to give her reader a better picture of the sides that are being taken on this issue. Communication Theorists want the public protected from the lyrics that could alter there way of thinking. Cultural Studies seem to see think that the shocking aspects of entertainment are a necessary evil. Then there is Traditional Philosophy, that seem to dismiss popular culture altogether.
Communication Theory is based on Marshall McLuhan’s hypothesis that the medium is the message or that the media has the power to retool the human sensorium and change human consciousness. W. Russell Neuman found that most humans are resistant toward any message that dose not fit the makeup of the mind receiving it. The optimist and the pessimist of Communication Theory totally contradict each other. It seems that Bayles introduces her readers to the Communication theorist and both sides of the argument to discredit the theory altogether.
Bayles then moves on to the field of Cultural Studies. Cultural Studies focuses on the political and social impacts of the media. Its academic practitioners place all works on the same level, as specimens to be analyzed, not...

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