Examples to Change the Ill-conceived Generalisations of the Type of People Rock Stars Really Are


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David Munkittrick has a Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University of Law and a Bachelor of Piano Performance. He is an associate of Proskauer Rose LLP, a company that provides a wide variety of international legal services from offices based in countries such as the United States, England, China, and France. Munkittrick believes that music is a unique form of protest that justifies public emotions. He writes, “Music is an important tool in defining oneself as part of or outside of a particular group. A person’s musical tastes constitute who one is on many levels: culturally, nationally, and individually. Music gives the individual the power to be whatever he or she wishes” (33). Music percolates from every tincture of humanity. It inspires and animates people to effectuate their speculations on something. Munkittrick reports, “Nearly every totalitarian regime has tried to control music in some form, from Hitler and Mussolini to Stalin and Mao. These motivations, without fail, derive from the shared belief that music influences behavior and identity” (21). If music did not have a personal affect, then government and society would have no reason to try to suppress it. Munkittrick believes, “Music occupies an integral position in modern society and culture—both the National Education Association and the market attest to that. It serves first amendment pursuits in ways inaccessible to more traditional, objective modes of communication and language” (60). Since music is such a monolithic aspect of society, people use it to juncture with others in protest. Those who are otherwise incapable also use it to feel justification in their way of thinking. As a result, young adults associate with rock music because it allows a forum for their voices to be heard in the political world.

Leonisa Ardizzone has a Doctorate of Education in International Educational Development. She is the jazz vocalist for the Leonisa Ardizonne Quartet and founder and president of Storefront Science, a company which provides children with the environment for scientific questioning and exploration. Ardizzone believes that minors are not allowed a political voice, but turn to music to profess their thoughts. She writes, “For many years, psychologists, anthropologists and social theorists have attempted to develop a clear definition and picture of adolescence along cognitive, moral, and social parameters” (2). A biased, firmly rooted, and negative opinion of minors prevents any exceptions, creating the floccinaucinihilipilification of youth opinion. Ardizzone asserts, “As youth are being denied political and social authority, they… search for outlets to become more vocal, political and present. While many adults may dismiss youth culture and the music it creates, youth know full well the power this outlet has” (11). Authorities may discard youth’s music as loud and obnoxious, but cannot deny the impact it possesses upon them, however slight that matrix may be. Rock music leaves an impression upon you to turn from society’s set paradigm. Ardizzone illustrates, “While rock has always been ‘angry’ and counter-culture, rock is not only angry, but also political and highly educational. …Rockers are using their voices to take back the future they perceive as stolen from them by corrupt politicians, greedy businessman and an apathetic, materialistic public” (16). Society cannot suppress a free people—no matter their age—without a backlash. Considering their lack of a legally legitimate voice, teens use music as their venue of battle against government. Ardizzone simply responds, “Youth culture equals youth power” (17). When teens take a stand, they impact the world on a grand scale. With their freedom of speech rights being constantly stolen from them, how is it a mystery why teens are deemed as peevish and irritated? For this reason, youths utilize the pervasive and intimate musical route to be seen and heard in the world.

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Ambrose Leung has his Ph.D. from Carleton University, his main research focusing on the aspects of youth mentality, such as delinquency and habits, from an economic standpoint. He has written many articles that are featured in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Youth Studies, and the Journal of Economic Psychology. Like Leung, Cheryl Kier has written many articles for similar journals. She has a Ph.D., M.Sc., and a B.A., of which all are in psychology. Leung and Kier believe that rock music fosters rebellious teen disposition, but nurture the want to politically express their opinions. They write, “Rock and rock culture are generally associated with revolt against mainstream political attitudes” (8). Although not all rock songs are protest anthems, the rock scene is mostly stereotyped as that which provokes anti-authoritative behavior. Leung and Kier report, “The number of hours that teenagers spend listening to music is almost as large as the number they spend in school over the years. The level of attention and meaning invested in music by youth is still unmatched by almost any other organized activity in society” (1). Music permeates every facet of youth’s lives. It is for this reason that teens use music to connect with other teens in their cause. Leung and Kier conducted a research in which they hypothesized that the group of punk rock music, categorized with two subordinate categories of contemporary rock (Factor 6) and heavy metal (Factor 7), cultivated aggressiveness and anarchy in the name of protest. Leung and Kier document, “Punk rock was included in two factors (Factor 6 and Factor 7). Factor 7 was significantly related to civic activity but Factor 6 was not, so this finding may not be robust. Heavy metal was included in Factor 7, supporting the hypothesis” (37). There are certain sub-categories of rock that can either indoctrinate aggressive, political expression or can simply be music to promote feelings of ecstasy. Either way, music is incontrovertibly a primary installment in youth culture. Why else would teens use controversial music to express their bureaucratic perspicacity?

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