Life Style

Role Played by Identity in the Choice of Popular Music among Youngsters and Its effect on their Education

Identity of youth is another factor affecting the choice of music among youngsters and its impact can be analyzed in following manner. According to Frith, (1996) popular music reflect and represent the people and their way of life and in examining social identities, a problem in encountered where there is no means track the connections back from the work to the social group who produce and consume the life style music. In choosing the popular music, the racial identity plays a major role which is explained through the following response. Leisure activities such as music are a significant component in defining the youth identities in studying life styles of youngsters and youth peers group identities are moulded through style, language and music they use. (Dolby, 2001) Youngsters use variables such as taste of music in building their group of peers and they develop social boundaries not to allow students with different taste joining their unique peer group with unique taste of music. In the study of Dolby, [2001], Themba an African at Fernwood explains that they are a unique race behaving in the same way, locally and internationally and they are proud to have similarities where they all prefer the same sport and same kind of dress. These Africans are well known to adopt similar practice, icons and commodities in their routines life which are drive by effective investments. Accordingly, Indian students also behave in the same manner when they make global presence for their race. (Dolby, 2001) At Fernwood, Africans listen to music such as rhythm and blues, slow music such as Whiteney Housten. Similarly, White Americans at Fernwood prefer the heavy metal music where as Indians takes an approach more close towards the Black Americans. At Fernwood, teachers use popular music to connect students to engage in classroom activities and effectiveness of it is questionable as teachers do not understand that the preferences of music varies according to the racial identity of students. As an example, when Dolby, [2001] conducting the research at Fernwood, there was a class teacher who used popular Alanis Morrisette music to get the class to engage in the lesion. However, class comprised of 90% of Africans and teacher failed at her attempt to connect the class to the lesson as the song was completely ignored by the class as it was labeled as white music and not listened by Africans. It also emphasized the fact that students are very familiar with racial identity and its boundaries where they tend to protect their identity by not getting involved in any activity which would confuse their identity. Additionally, in protecting their identity students of black race do not get involved with white students in social activities such as clubbing as their choices of music is different even though they study in the same classroom which creates a gap in among peer groups. (Dolby, 2001) According to Frith, (1996) there is a recent emergence of identity politics where it strongly emphasizes on uniqueness of identity values and it has built strong points to talk such as “only a African American can appreciate African American music”. According to Perry, (2002) the identity of Black population is imposed on them by White population in the society where they use certain set of keywords to define attributes of Black society. In the discussion Perry, (2002) presents that Black population at schools are known under themes of “cool”, “gangster” and “tough” where there are increasingly being copied by the white students in the class which represents a contradicting situation with the findings presented in Dolby, [2001]. According to Perry, (2002) the transformation in the taste of the White population is due to the perception of covering what is missing from their personalities. Additionally, Perry, (2002) explains that these themes used to describe Black Americans such as “cool”, “gangster” and “tough” are not actually the characteristics of identity of Black Americans, but they are the characteristics which define a stereo type Black Americans and they are being used by White Americans to change their lifestyle to become “wanna be black”. Additionally, in Dolby, (2001) the impact of globalization on the popular music and its effect on the school curriculum is explained. According to Dolby, (2011) globalization has allowed to create global culture where it has allowed to create set of global popular music. This has significantly transformed the life style of the youth, where youth around the world has started to listen to a common set of music irrespective of the nationality. In Dolby, (2011) it is argued that adaptation to the global culture has resulted in white students in South Africa attempting to look like music Black American due to the influence of the popular Black singers. However, this has resulted in significant change in youth from the way in which they dress to the type of the music they listen. Additionally, due to the effects of the global culture, guys with black skin are considered as hero in the classroom which as primarily resulted through the popular black singers and Dolby, (2002) identifies it as a significant that would affect the curriculum in the school.


  • Dolby, (2001), Creating Race-Role of the Taste in Youth’s Production of Identities
  • Frith, S. (1996). Music and Identity . In: Hall, S and Gay, P.D. Questions of cultural identity. London: Sage Publications Ltd. PP108-127.
  • Perry, P. (2002), Shades of White: White kids and Racial Identities in High School, Durham, Duke University Press


Share this post

Related Posts