What is culture? When it come to youth, teens, and college students it often is attitude, rebellion, interests, consumerism, and other factors. What is organizational culture? It is the way individuals in a group shape and control an organization. Often organizational culture is shaped by incentives like businesses and schools.
When we think of cultural relativism we often ask what is cultural relativism? It is the ability to understand activities and beliefs in terms of a person’s culture. There are many different youth cultures that shape the overall picture. What is cultural diffusion? Cultural diffusion is the spread of beliefs and activities from one group to the next.
Youth culture has changed over the years with the Internet. Teens now share videos and photos on the Internet. This is a a big part of the the culture. Haul girls in the UK is a big trend among teens and young women that go shopping for products and make a video about what they purchased. Most often videos are posted on YouTube. One girl Helena says its a very creative process that you have to find the right music, decide what products to film, and how. She often writes down a storyboard before she begins to film the video.
Helena explains its a creative process where you can talk to similar people about lifestyle and ideas. She is from the UK. A sociologist Dr. Kevin White from the University of Sussex says culture has changed because of Britain changing class. He says teens are satisfied with social media and entertainment and don’t feel need to rebel through dress and rituals.
Dr. Ruth Adams from Kings College in London say that with so much music and fashion at less cost it easier to buy consumer products than years ago. Today with the advent of the Internet and social media youth is more interested in constructing a identify online than one in the real world.
Youth and Sexting
Sexting is sending a photo or video of yourself partially naked or in a sexually comprising situation. Many teens admitted doing this even those that do not suffer from drinking, drug, or sex problems. Many do not know the dire consequences associated with this trend or practice. This practice did not often lead to sexual behavior or increased risk of drug or alcohol problems in most youth.
Most kids don’t know that sexting or sending a nude photo or video is punishable by law and often considered child pornography. Diana Graber who teaches cyber civics in California found that some of hrt eight grade studentd had participated in this trend. She now teaches about it so that they know the problems associated with this type of social communications.
Many teens are pressured online to sext and send photos. Often they feel lousy afterwards. Teaching them about the problem and how to say no is part of sex education. Parents need to be talking about this subject and limiting teens access to cell phones. Parents should check cell phones regularly to keep up on what teens are doing.
According to PEW over 95 percent of teens are online. Many uses social media like mobile sites like Snapchat and Instagram. It moves fast and with so many mobile phones, tablets, and smart phones this has replaced FaceBook. One study says one in four teens has sexted on the Internet. They do it to be liked and to see how many people will respond. This is a global problem found in most countries with teens.
Subcultures online often cross lines and boundaries become blurred. What is cultural diversity and when does it cross the line. Is a star like Molly Soda who is 24 with dyed hair and septum piercing normal for Tumblr. She has translated her career into an art form online. Recently she has produced an eight hour video of herself reading email. It was sold by Phillips in New York.
She is a cultural and fashion icon as Urban Outfitters ran a blog telling teens and young women how to dress like Molly Soda. Even though she does dress like she is wearing a costume instead of a regular outfit for every day wear she is popular. This is just one example how websites and social media of youth affects the definition of culture.
Another cultural trend called seapunk started on Twitter. A Facebook page was developed and it is a unique look for girls that involves dying their hair turquoise and listening to seapunk music at seapunk night clubs. It is a mid-western club movement created by kids in their twenties that wanted to influence culture. The seapunk look was adopted by rapper Azelia Banks, Lady Gaga, Rihana, and Taylor Swift.
Subcultures often come into popularity and fade quickly to be replaced by a new trend. It often makes youth and adults question what does culture mean? Fashion drives culture with teens and youth. Lululemon Leggings are one of the biggest sellers among teens girls today. That might be because teens are wearing yoga pants instead of jeans. Also leggings are comfortable often worn for exercise or working outs by younger women.
Hip Hop Music Breaks Down Cultural Barriers
For many years hip hop music has broken down racial barrier and eased tension in foreign countries. When the United States tried to market their culture as one with religious freedom and a diverse culture the money spent on advertising did not work. They found that urban culture like hip hop music had more power to change and define culture for different groups.
From music celebrities to sports figures urban leaders influence what people buy and pass on attitudes and information to youth ages 16 to 34 years old. This is an important way to define culture. Using musicians and sports heroes to shape culture is not new and is still a powerful force today that is a way to define culture.
SnapChat Photos and The New Barbie
A new application or photo sharing site is SnapChat. It is about sending silly or serious photos to friends via the Internet. This pictures disappear after they are viewed. There are rumors that SnapChat is used for teen sexting but his seems to be a small part of the use. In fact an online poll by Survata interviewed over 5,475 people that used SnapChat. Only about 13 percent used the applications for sexting.
Actually adults 23-29 use SnapChat to sext more than younger teens and college students. Teens describe SnapChat as ugly and funny. It was also called serious by some users. Snapchat has its problems with some teens and young people. If your kids use this site check to see how it is being used.
The new Barbie doll has fuller legs, wider hips, and darker hair. It is an attempt to say Barbie is not always a model. It shows that teen girls do have imperfections. Another doll maker created the Lammily doll because he wanted girls to know reality can be beautiful. This doll has had over 1 million views by girls and teens. One girl said it looked like her sister because the doll looks like a real person.
Teen Boys and Culture
A study in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that adolescent boys are concerned about their body images. Approximately 18 percent think about their body and overall weight. Many are likely to suffer from depression and sometimes use alcohol and drugs. The concern about weight among boys is not good say Dr. Alison Field an associate professor at Boston Children’s Hospital. The problem she says are many do whatever it takes healthy or unhealthy to achieve weight loss.
Many boys are concerned about more muscle and losing weight. Most wanted to gain weight and build muscles rather than lose it. The media is partly to blame as it now portrays more young men with well built bodies and toned muscles. Boys just like girls are being influenced by an image the media conveys.
Working out and pumping iron is important to boys in middle school and high school. About a third has used protein powders and shakes as part of the program to build muscle for sports or just every day life. Some even admit to using steroids which can often have bad side effects. Steroids are a problem but not that easy to obtain for teens. Some of the shakes are more of a concern because they are not regulated and parents don’t know what is in them.
Long term use of steroids can produce rage attacks and suicidal tendencies. Boys can get eating and weight related disorder just like girls. An eating disorder is not just a woman’s issue. In the last 15 years more men have had eating disorder than ever before.
Another hidden fact is that boys in our culture are more likely to die from suicides than girls. That is because often boys do not report depression or get help. High school is the time when the rate spikes higher than girls.
Cultural diffusion is the mixing and spreading of many different world culture and subcultures. It has taken place in the 20th and 21st century. Examples are Chinese restaurants are found in many countries other than China. McDonald’s a fast food franchise is in countries around the globe. It often comes about slowly over time involving including social, political, religious, intellectual, technological and economic areas.
Examples of cultural diffusion are the spread of popular music throughout the world. A culture definition is not needed here. Southern cities have signs in both English and Spanish. The popularity of sushi a Japanese dish in the US and other countries show diffusion.
Cultural diffusion take into account technology like the spread of the use of paper throughout the world. Gunpowder originated in China and spread through Europe and eventually came to the United States. The fax machine was made in Germany and made a world wide business machine by the Japanese. These are examples of cultural diffusion.
Overall culture shapes the world and parents must be aware of how it effects their children. Parent should know about websites, social media, and applications that their children use. It is important to talk with kids about what they are doing and what their interests are.
Knowing what your kids are involved with and their friends protects them the down side of the Internet and culture. Culture has many positive and negative effects on youth. Finding a way to keep the balance is the challenge parents and teacher face daily.
What is culture? It is what our children and youth are doing on the Internet, on cell phone, social media , shopping, movies and lifestyle. Shopping, sex, drugs, school, consumer products, the Internet, TV all shape what is culture. What is culture is not the question but how do we make sure it is a positive experience for all teens, kids and young adults.