Real country music and language in working-class culture pdf

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real country music and language in working-class culture pdf

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It also examines the ways country artists and others have welded ideas of an authentic and genuine music to those performances to make those contingent stages seem solid, stable, and unchanging, even as they reflect a southern culture in transition. It assumes a tight connection between the images presented on stage and the off-stage relationships between performers, producers, and other industry insiders, an interconnection that has had ramifications for country music scholarship as well. Keywords: gender , authenticity , barn dance radio , country western music , country music , tomato controversy. Country music has always hidden the instability of its gender conventions and performances under the guise of authenticity.

Review: Real Country: Music and Language in Working Class Culture

For details on it including licensing , click here. This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author but see below , don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. This content was accessible as of December 29, , and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.

Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.

Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages. More information is available on this project's attribution page. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. To download a. Society and culture influence the words that we speak, and the words that we speak influence society and culture. Such a cyclical relationship can be difficult to understand, but many of the examples throughout this chapter and examples from our own lives help illustrate this point.

One of the best ways to learn about society, culture, and language is to seek out opportunities to go beyond our typical comfort zones. Studying abroad, for example, brings many challenges that can turn into valuable lessons. The following example of such a lesson comes from my friend who studied abroad in Vienna, Austria.

Although English used to employ formal thou , thee and informal pronouns you , today you can be used when speaking to a professor, a parent, or a casual acquaintance. Other languages still have social norms and rules about who is to be referred to informally and formally. My friend, as was typical in the German language, referred to his professor with the formal pronoun Sie but used the informal pronoun Du with his fellow students since they were peers.

Their professor informed them that they were going to duzen , which meant they were going to now be able to refer to her with the informal pronoun—an honor and sign of closeness for the American students. As they went around the table, each student introduced himself or herself to the professor using the formal pronoun, locked arms with her and drank similar to the champagne toast ritual at some wedding ceremonies , and reintroduced himself or herself using the informal pronoun.

Given that we do not use formal and informal pronouns in English anymore, there is no equivalent ritual to the German duzen , but as we will learn next, there are many rituals in English that may be just as foreign to someone else.

We arrive at meaning through conversational interaction, which follows many social norms and rules. To help conversations function meaningfully, we have learned social norms and internalized them to such an extent that we do not often consciously enact them. Instead, we rely on routines and roles as determined by social forces to help us proceed with verbal interaction, which also helps determine how a conversation will unfold.

Our various social roles influence meaning and how we speak. One social norm that structures our communication is turn taking. People need to feel like they are contributing something to an interaction, so turn taking is a central part of how conversations play out.

Although we sometimes talk at the same time as others or interrupt them, there are numerous verbal and nonverbal cues, almost like a dance, that are exchanged between speakers that let people know when their turn will begin or end. Conversations do not always neatly progress from beginning to end with shared understanding along the way.

We also have certain units of speech that facilitate turn taking. Adjacency pairs Related communication structures that come one after the other adjacent to each other in an interaction. For example, questions are followed by answers, greetings are followed by responses, compliments are followed by a thank you, and informative comments are followed by an acknowledgment.

These are the skeletal components that make up our verbal interactions, and they are largely social in that they facilitate our interactions.

Some conversational elements are highly scripted or ritualized, especially the beginning and end of an exchange and topic changes. At this point, once the ice is broken, people can move on to other more content-specific exchanges. Once conversing, before we can initiate a topic change, it is a social norm that we let the current topic being discussed play itself out or continue until the person who introduced the topic seems satisfied.

We then usually try to find a relevant tie-in or segue that acknowledges the previous topic, in turn acknowledging the speaker, before actually moving on. Changing the topic without following such social conventions might indicate to the other person that you were not listening or are simply rude.

Social norms influence how conversations start and end and how speakers take turns to keep the conversation going. Ending a conversation is similarly complex. Topic changes are often places where people can leave a conversation, but it is still routine for us to give a special reason for leaving, often in an apologetic tone whether we mean it or not.

Generally though, conversations come to an end through the cooperation of both people, as they offer and recognize typical signals that a topic area has been satisfactorily covered or that one or both people need to leave. It is customary in the United States for people to say they have to leave before they actually do and for that statement to be dismissed or ignored by the other person until additional leave-taking behaviors are enacted.

Silence is not viewed the same way in other cultures, which leads us to our discussion of cultural context. We have a tendency to view our language as a whole more favorably than other languages. Although people may make persuasive arguments regarding which languages are more pleasing to the ear or difficult or easy to learn than others, no one language enables speakers to communicate more effectively than another.

From birth we are socialized into our various cultural identities. As with the social context, this acculturation process is a combination of explicit and implicit lessons.

Just as babies acquire knowledge of language practices at an astonishing rate in their first two years of life, so do they acquire cultural knowledge and values that are embedded in those language practices. At nine months old, it is possible to distinguish babies based on their language. Even at this early stage of development, when most babies are babbling and just learning to recognize but not wholly reproduce verbal interaction patterns, a Colombian baby would sound different from a Brazilian baby, even though neither would actually be using words from their native languages of Spanish and Portuguese.

The actual language we speak plays an important role in shaping our reality. Comparing languages, we can see differences in how we are able to talk about the world. In English, we have the words grandfather and grandmother , but no single word that distinguishes between a maternal grandfather and a paternal grandfather. In this example, we can see that the words available to us, based on the language we speak, influence how we talk about the world due to differences in and limitations of vocabulary.

The notion that language shapes our view of reality and our cultural patterns is best represented by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Judith N. Martin and Thomas K. Nakayama, Intercultural Communication in Contexts , 5th ed. Culturally influenced differences in language and meaning can lead to some interesting encounters, ranging from awkward to informative to disastrous. At a more informative level, the words we use to give positive reinforcement are culturally relative.

In terms of disastrous consequences, one of the most publicized and deadliest cross-cultural business mistakes occurred in India in Union Carbide, an American company, controlled a plant used to make pesticides. This lack of competent communication led to a gas leak that immediately killed more than two thousand people and over time led to more than five hundred thousand injuries.

The documentary American Tongues , although dated at this point, is still a fascinating look at the rich tapestry of accents and dialects that makes up American English. Dialects Versions of languages that have distinct words, grammar, and pronunciation.

Accents Distinct styles of pronunciation. Myron W. Boston, MA: Pearson, , — There can be multiple accents within one dialect. For example, people in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States speak a dialect of American English that is characterized by remnants of the linguistic styles of Europeans who settled the area a couple hundred years earlier.

Even though they speak this similar dialect, a person in Kentucky could still have an accent that is distinguishable from a person in western North Carolina. American English has several dialects that vary based on region, class, and ancestry. Dialects and accents can vary by region, class, or ancestry, and they influence the impressions that we make of others. When I moved to Colorado from North Carolina, I was met with a very strange look when I used the word buggy to refer to a shopping cart.

Research shows that people tend to think more positively about others who speak with a dialect similar to their own and think more negatively about people who speak differently. Of course, many people think they speak normally and perceive others to have an accent or dialect. Social norms are culturally relative. The words used in politeness rituals in one culture can mean something completely different in another.

Additionally, what is considered a powerful language style varies from culture to culture. Confrontational language, such as swearing, can be seen as powerful in Western cultures, even though it violates some language taboos, but would be seen as immature and weak in Japan. Patricia J. Gender also affects how we use language, but not to the extent that most people think.

Although there is a widespread belief that men are more likely to communicate in a clear and straightforward way and women are more likely to communicate in an emotional and indirect way, a meta-analysis of research findings from more than two hundred studies found only small differences in the personal disclosures of men and women.

This could be due to the internalized pressure to speak about the other gender in socially sanctioned ways, in essence reinforcing the stereotypes when speaking to the same gender but challenging them in cross-gender encounters.

Researchers also dispelled the belief that men interrupt more than women do, finding that men and women interrupt each other with similar frequency in cross-gender encounters. These findings, which state that men and women communicate more similarly during cross-gender encounters and then communicate in more stereotypical ways in same-gender encounters, can be explained with communication accommodation theory.

Communication accommodation theory Theory that explores why and how people modify their communication to fit situational, social, cultural, and relational contexts. Howard Giles, Donald M. Within communication accommodation, conversational partners may use convergence Using communication similar to that of your communication partner.

People who are accommodating in their communication style are seen as more competent, which illustrates the benefits of communicative flexibility. Conversely, conversational partners may use divergence Using communication to emphasize the differences between you and your conversational partner.

Convergence and divergence can take place within the same conversation and may be used by one or both conversational partners. Convergence functions to make others feel at ease, to increase understanding, and to enhance social bonds.

Divergence may be used to intentionally make another person feel unwelcome or perhaps to highlight a personal, group, or cultural identity. For example, African American women use certain verbal communication patterns when communicating with other African American women as a way to highlight their racial identity and create group solidarity. While communication accommodation might involve anything from adjusting how fast or slow you talk to how long you speak during each turn, code-switching Changing accents, dialects, or languages.

There are many reasons that people might code-switch.

Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture

For details on it including licensing , click here. This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author but see below , don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. This content was accessible as of December 29, , and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages.

London and New York: Routledge. Brandstad, A. Gripsrud Ed. Ching, B. New York: Oxford University Press. Dyndahl, P.

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Culture was defined earlier as the symbols, language, beliefs, values, and artifacts that are part of any society. As this definition suggests, there are two basic components of culture: ideas and symbols on the one hand and artifacts material objects on the other. The first type, called nonmaterial culture , includes the values, beliefs, symbols, and language that define a society. These elements of culture are discussed next. Every culture is filled with symbols , or things that stand for something else and that often evoke various reactions and emotions.

Gendered Stages: Country Music, Authenticity, and the Performance of Gender

Haugh Aaron A.