Gimme Shelter and the 1960s Counter Culture

Gimme Shelter and the 1960s Counter Culture Term Paper example
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The social music phenomenon recognizes that music is not just personal, but contributes greatly to the social fabric of society. Music implicates culture, subcultures, taste cultures and counterculture, as well as implicating collective identity. The first of these implications that will be examined will be that of culture, and how culture impacts music and music impacts culture.


People make culture, and culture makes them. Through making culture, individual and collective identities are formed (Cushman, 1996, p. 7). The construction of cultural institutions reflect “commonsense beliefs about human behavior” (Bruner, 1990, p. 38) Take the case of the men playing in a hobby band. The descriptive terms that one uses for these men and their vocation, such as “playing”, “audience” and “instrument” are all cultural meanings, and these cultural meanings control how we act. An individual’s experiences and acts are shaped by his intentional states, and these states are ”realized only through participation in the symbolic systems of culture” (Bruner, 1990, p. 33). It is only through cultural interpretations of one’s personal autobiography that this story becomes understandable. Through this cultural mediation, meaning becomes communal and public, as opposed to private. The difference between culture and biological inheritance is that the latter does not necessarily shape human experience and action, but, rather, constrains action in a modifiable way. Culture shapes the human mind and life by giving “meaning to action by situating its underlying intentional states in an interpretive system.” (Bruner, 1990, p. 34). ...
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