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Gimme Shelter and the 1960s Counter Culture - Term Paper Example

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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). ...
42). Culture externalizes internal feelings, states of consciousness and thoughts into concrete forms that are shared by individuals. These concrete forms, such as music, are viewed as cultural objects (Cushman, 1996, p. 90). How music functions in any culture depends on how that culture operates socially, and these circumstances vary between one culture and another. Listeners responds to popular music physically, by singing along, dancing, clapping, etc.; emotional, by feeling the music, reminiscing or romanticizing; and cognitive, by learning, stimulating thought, processing information, and framing perceptions, etc (Lull, 1987, p. 141). Related to the concepts of culture, as it relates to the dominant culture, are countercultures and taste culture. Counterculture is the result of engaging in alternative forms of communication among social actors who are collectively pursuing alternative ways of living (Cushman, 1996, p. 8). The base of knowledge amongst the social actors in the counterculture runs counter to the dominant culture. Rock music counterculture means a group of individuals who are committed to disseminate rock music that is neither overtly nor covertly influenced by the dominant culture. Countercultures are often formed around music, due to music’s ability to communicate and mediate common experiences. For instance, the 1960s were marked by the Vietnam War, which gave birth to the activists and hippies, two examples of 1960's countercultures. The youth of those times, influenced by the Vietnam War and a general feeling of unrest, basically made war on their elders, and this was a world-wide phenomenon, even in the countries were Vietnam ...Show more
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Summary

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…
Gimme Shelter and the 1960s Counter Culture
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