Straight Outta Compton: Race, Representation And The Culture

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The 2015 movie Straight Outta Compton is based on a true story about an African American group in 1987 who were members of the well-known rap group N.W.A. They used their music to improve their circumstances in Compton, which is regarded as a dangerous area in America. This exposed their encounters with institutionalized racism as they gained fame. According to reviews, their opinions sparked a social revolution that is still felt today. Straight Outta Compton exposed their past and their encounters with caricature in recent American history. Stereotyping refers o when individuals are reduced to a single dimension and then applied to the entire group. Stereotyping focuses mainly on the difference or its judgment, and it becomes reverberated in culture and the media; it is often hard to discover the sources of the stereotypes as the mainly come to be based on particular things that occurred in the past and are held to be evidence or a fact. This paper is going to analyze race, representation and the culture that led to the production of the film and how it reflects the history of its time.

In the movie, we see a scene where the members of the group are outside the studio where they recorded. Police officers show up thinking that the group was a bunch of drug dealers since they were all black and that they looked both dangerous and suspicious, this includes a form of stereotyping of the black race. The officers could not believe their story that they were working at the recording studio and proceed to tell and scoff them ordering them to lie on the ground and put their hands up so they could become searched for weapons and drugs. Multiple officers surround them while pointing their guns at the men and the men are forced to heed to the officer's commands. Moreover, the officers do not give the men time to lay down but push them on the ground and corner them so that the search them. The police officers were using their power to openly discriminate against the black men and reduced them to the stereotype that the society gives African-American men of being drug dealers and gang members. The officers did so lacking enough evidence to suggest the group was doing something considered illegal other than idling on a sidewalk and looking like they did. The form of police oppression is a clear illustration of the institutionalization of racism.

Social institutions like the police force need not discriminate against anyone. When the exercise their power negatively against specific race it is termed as institutional racism. Other institutions such as schools, law courts, governmental organizations and banks may account for institutional racism if the offer negative services to a group of people based on their race. In the current American culture, these things are still happening. The media has published stories of young black men who have been treated wrongly by the police by being detained or killed based on the notion that the looked like a threat. The Black Lives Matter Movement has come out in recent times to fight for the lives of black people in America to end the discrimination against black people. Straight Outta Compton is a movie based on the period of the 1980s and early 1990s I shows how the black men who are all comparatively famous icons of music today, grew up and experiences he negative racial stereotyping in contemporary history.

Fortress Of Solitude Reflection The Inter-Racial Nature Of American Popular Culture

Jonathan Lethem in his book Fortress of Solitude gives a reflection of the popular culture of America and looks into the popular cultures power to modify lives of American people through an examination of art, renewal, and music as a path for cultural interrelation during the seventies, eighties, and nineties. In a direct and palpable manner, Lethem shows the influence of popular culture to make an impact on lives of Americans by creating characters who earn their livelihood via their creative contribution to the cultural fraternity1. There are two utmost essential illustrations including Ebdus Abraham who is cast as Dylan’s father who gives his household support by creating cover art for novels based on science fiction. The other is Barrett Jr who had received reasonable financial success in the music industry with his band. Dylan in due course develops a career lettering liner notes. Mingus and Dylan are both named after famous musicians, so it is subtle to say that their destinies had become predetermined from birth.

The author illustrates the multiracial state of popular culture using the participation of the characters in the art of graffiti. The author uses the participation of Dylan in graffiti underground to depict the relations between black and white artistic practices that categorized the twentieth century second half from the mainstream’s adoption of rock n’ roll towards the cultural occurrence ‘wigger’ in the nineties. Lethem is seen to define the cultures from which his characters emerge by looking into the music types that they prefer. The crisis in Dylan’s cultural individuality becomes denoted by the music categories that his high school classmates and those in college who often are tuned to classic rock while his African American pals are engrossed in the subgroups of funk, R and B, and hip-hop later. Dylan is used by Lethem to illustrate the cultural hybridization that was emerging in the 70s and 80s when he began to produce his music as DJ for a radio station in UC Berkeley. Dylan here developed a combination of the various styles he had become exposed to in his entire life. The whole degree of the popular culture vast power can be understood well via its capability to commoditize and designate art practices that were intended initially to be rebellious activities against its supremacy.

The commodification process of culture takes both white and black forms of culture. Punk and hip-hop were initially rebellious refusals of the status quo and power, but he eventually rose to become wholly commercial genres. Some types of art seem more difficult to trade than others, for example, visual avant-garde is considered to be intellectual traditionally that is not accessible easily by the many. The father of Dylan was unable to make considerable finances from it and was eventually mandated to produce the art pop as an alternative. This is yet an additional way by which popular culture can decree the course of somebody’s career and life in the United States. Dylan’s father was enforced to put up with the demands of the culture industry by giving up his true passion. There have been warnings offered to attempt to give Americans warning about the long-term impacts of commoditizing our culture since the past times. Adorno is among those to serve the warnings, but he has been accused of being exceedingly pessimistic, and not proposing any good resolutions . He fell out of approval with academic community for declining to grip the post-modern turn that started to be felt in the field of social sciences in the times in which the book plot has been set. The act of human beings commoditizing their lives and culture in service of the economy means an even bigger problem as we are excavating ourselves a deeper hole. The impact will make it way harder to escape from and recover that which we have lost when we can resolve and say, we have had enough.

Impact of Technology on American Popular Culture in the 20th Century

Culture and technology are forces have influenced each other real. The culture is affected either positively or negatively by the introduced technology and is in most cases changed forever. The change in cultures consequently leads o he developed technologies. Cultures consist of learned behaviors and beliefs which are the rules through which lives are ordered and the significances that people create to deduce their lives and their place in them. The American popular culture has had technologies created to make life better, but that repeatedly has adverse impacts on the culture even though it seems to offers remunerations. In due course, technology advances affect the evolvement of cultures directly. A connection always exists between culture and technology as they continue to impact each other as the change and advance over time.

In the ninetieth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, culture and technology have considerably impacted one another1. The Revolution of the American Industrial system of the nineteenth century significantly shaped American culture. The developments in engineering, communications, and manufacturing, cultures have been rebranded global through freeing human beings from small household farms by force or through choice, disbanding info and altering the environment. These technological advancements have transformed the cultures positively but in an undesirable manner as well. Cultures, on the other hand, drive technological development. The influence and growth of American culture had substantially increased in the twentieth century due to the technology advancements. Nations across the world are more accustomed with the popular culture of Americans and find it interesting. The Popular Culture is composed of perspectives and attitudes relatable to a number of citizens in the United States. This views and opinions are powered by mass media outlets, for example, sports, films and television, music, and fashion

The relationship between culture and technology can be considered cyclical. A culture will cultivate techniques based on the desires or needs of the individuals since this is where the imaginative influences are. The technology spreads out and becomes absorbed into the human beings lives; it influences their way of life. Lifestyle changes happen when technology is created outside a culture is presented into the culture, offering an outside influence. In history, there have been cultural changes that led to the evolution and creation of technology; thus explaining, the cyclical nature. In the twentieth century technology in agriculture eradicated small farms in favor of superior technologically advanced farmsteads. Technological Advances like genetically modified plants came up at first to be the last step meant to solve the food shortages in the World, especially in under-developed nations. People migrate from rural areas into the urban centers in search of wage jobs with the onset of Industrialization. Industrialization transformed cultures of the industrialized countries on impressive levels.

Americans saw a transformation in consumption in the twentieth century. Manufactured goods dropped in price in production and people bought more and more things. The huge goods production starting in the Revolution of the American Industrial field led to the American people consuming more and more things may be due to the cheap nature of items. This becomes evidenced in the benefits seen with the attractiveness of huge stores offering particularly reduced prices on a wide assortment of things. The equipment needed for the goods manufacturing made production faster and cheaper than ever before. Department stores like Sears developed in 1886 presented mass-produced produce to customers in their shop. Through an order by mail catalog, individuals could get everything from attires to household items. Developments in manufacturing technology changed the means of living of Americans. It led to goods to be readily available to a broad population leading to more free time to follow leisure deeds. The goods becoming easily available and cheaper made Americans more in tune with their love for consumption. Firms began to increasingly develop new products to sell to the masses and enhance their profits.Technology has had an essential aspect in the formation of racial identity in the United States. The development of technology has seen a change in the way race becomes understood in America. Majority of the white people have embraced other cultures that are defined by race or ethnicities.


Faber, Michel. 2003. "Review: The Fortress Of Solitude By Jonathan Lethem". The Guardian.

Henderson, Odie. 2015. "Straight Outta Compton Movie Review (2015) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.Com.

Little, Daniel. 2009. "Technology And Culture". Understandingsociety.Blogspot.Com.

Straight Outta Compton (2015). Film.

Technology And Culture: A Circle Of Influence". 2017. Global Studies.

June 26, 2023

Race and Ethnicity

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