Punk subculture in its context

An essay for Media Convergence & Culture, Spring 2016

According to Phil Cohen’s definition of subculture, quoted in “The Function of Subculture” (Hebdige, 1979), it is a response, reaction, or opposition to certain social conditions; in other words, a compromised solution between two contradictory needs. Every subculture declares itself as a symbolic form of resistance to authority and hegemony by contesting existing social values and establishing a highly-structured group identity through recognizable external markings and value system. Outsiders see them as “the others” or “the outlaws,” yet they themselves are revolutionists who desire to break free from button-down social order and voice their own individuality in a conformist society. Continue reading “Punk subculture in its context”

The Freedom that Means the Most

A paper for The Politics of Freedom, December 2015

All my life I have been searching for the definition of my bona fide self in independence from the environmental situation that I am in. Before I came to college, I constantly struggled to mediate between my true self and my compromised self, my action and my thought, my aspiration and reality, in a disciplined family nurture, under a competitive and hectic educational system, and around a bigoted cultural and political society. The more desire to voice myself and indignation I built towards these systems, the more I engaged in leadership. Ironically, I found myself suffocating when I took on more leadership roles. I realized that instead of being liberated and vocalized, I became a tool of the system because I was always “representing” a body of some sort. Continue reading “The Freedom that Means the Most”

Imagined community in media rituals

In her book, Susan Douglas refers to Benedict Anderson’s description of the way that mass media or broadcast media can create a sense of imagined community, or an imagined ‘public’, by acting as a kind of shared ritual activity.  Where else in human experience (present or past) is there a specific media ritual activity which holds together human beings who are not in physical proximity?

Continue reading “Imagined community in media rituals”