Raveculture has become one of the major popularized new youth movements prevailing.It is now the popular culture in urban areas all around the world. This essaydemonstrates the globalization through rave culture and breaking all genderroles. A rave is a large dance party consisting of music performed by DJs whoproduce electronic dance music (EDM).
The music is produced with loud deep basssounds accompanied by visual effects like laser light shows, various coloredvisual images, and smoke or fog machines. Rave music simply put cannot be splitinto one style of music. In fact, all the following are styles of music whichare associated with the rave culture Acid-House, Techno, Hardcore Techno,Breakbeat, Ambient, Trance, Tribal, Progressive, Deep House, industrial, happyhardcore.
The rave culture is unique, different and beautiful in many ways.Ravers live by this ethos motto PLUR which stands for Peace, Love, Unity, andRespect. Here there is unhindered freedom of expression through dress and danceor any other means without fear of judgment from others, a place where you canfreely be or do whatever you want. Everyone is accepting of each other in unitya so-called, safe haven. The one main component of having a successful and funexperience is a positive “vibe” or atmosphere. It is very crucial part of theexperience.
This might seem quite rare in today’s society for this type of actbut as for rave culture, it is the norm. Oneof the biggest rave festivals is called the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) whichis held in Las Vegas. Many people from all over the world attend this rave.Globalization has become closely associated with westernization. The west hasbeen able to take advantage of the globalized world and reach other places thathave not been reached before. Globalization has allowed many artists to expandtheir music to areas all over the world. While these artists had the ability tospread their music and profit from it, the real act of globalization is theculture these artists have spread.
Today with the spread of EDM music comes aspread of rave culture in America. Ultimately the cultural spread ofglobalization from foreign areas to the western world is very prevalent. The definition of cultural globalizationaccording to study.com is the process by which one culture’s experiences,values, and ideas are disseminated throughout the world through variousmeans. These ideas, values and beliefs contribute to the spread ofcultural globalization in rave culture by people coming together in one placeby, “bringing their own particular set of ideas and beliefs that can influenceanother culture over time”. Another factor that can contribute to the spread ofcultural globalization is communication. One of the best ways to communicate isthrough social media. On these platforms, one can reach an audience of millionsaround the world.
The reason I chose toresearch and write about this topic is simply that I participate in raveculture and enjoy going to raves. I also wanted to pick a topic that isrelatively recent and closely related to my generation. With that being saidmusic changes with every generation.
I wanted to get to know more about theculture through research and maybe discover new things that I would not havethought about before. Being a millennial and engaging in rave culture means Igrew up in the emerging age of social media and when EDM began to popularizefrom artists to fans, it was easy to share and get access to. Burns (2014)wrote “Discovery is a key attribute Millennials possess and no genre fuels thismore than EDM. Millennials crave life experiences on a global scale, and EDMculture nurtures that desire with its worldwide fan base, magical andspectacular festival moments, and the constant flow of content.” Every generationhas its own sets of trends, rave culture is just one of the many that havebloomed and blossomed into this huge scale for the millennials. Thereis a whole culture surrounding raves. Rave culture is a way of life and a wayof thinking. Being at a rave one becomes temporarily free from fixed identitiesdefined by gender, race, class or sexuality as the divisions and boundariessurrounding these specific identities become obscured.
One can simplyexperience cultural belonging and acceptance. Rave culture blurs thedistinctions of these ‘others’. Differences and old hierarchies are disregardedin the atmospheric euphoria. By examining gender practices and in particularhow they are produced, regulated, consumed and performed, we can gain a fuller insightinto broader gender patterns and arrangements (Kehily and Nayak, 2013, pg.6).This culture is a way of making everyone feel welcome to “come as you are”.
Itdoesn’t matter who you are, what is important is that you are present andwilling to participate. The ability to make one transcend into this fantasyworld where you can escape your troubles of reality and keep them out of sightand out of mind, also the feeling of being treated and loved by everyone. Ithink that is what makes this whole rave culture very unique and beautiful.There are not many places in the world where everyone is accepting and willingto do so.
Park(2015) said, “EDM festivals are a meaningful place to analyze identity andbelonging, as their roots can be traced back to the historical rave sceneproviding marginalized groups with alternative spaces of transgression”. We allwant to feel a sense of belongingness. The desire for cultural belongingnesshas motivated the youth culture to participate in such events. The events aim topropagate a space where regardless of what race, class, gender or sexuality aperson is accepted by everyone. Raves in a sense represent spaces of belongingand acceptance towards participants who have felt socially marginalized.
It hasbecome a welcoming space for outcast’s to not feel so alone. Participants whoattend these raves have become increasingly diverse which creates a uniquelydiversified cultural grouping. Raves are not dominant to one particular race,class or gender it is central to everyone equally. Individuality can just as easily befound as well as inclusiveness.
Musicis a form that we can identify with and also become identified by. The uniqueability for the rave to create a personal sense of identity as well ascollective and communal identity makes it that much more valued to everyone whoattends. Ravers are bonded through their shared love with others but also theylead their own pathway through their individual experience. It consolidatesone’s notion of personal self as well as having the ability to identify with alarger cultural experience. Instant gratification is a result of all thesefeelings and emotional components coming together.
Aunique aspect of the rave culture is the fashion. There is a definite sense ofindividualism. What one decides to wear to a rave can be limitless. There is nodress code. Whether that be wearing the most or wearing the minimal amount ofclothes. The conventions of gay fashions and heterosexual dress codes in therave culture is very prominent and widely practiced.
Clothes are a centralelement of individual identity performance, representing a visual statement ofan individual’s self perception and role performance (Jones, Pritchard &Morgan, 2015). These clothes construct a meaning and carry a message as asignifier of socially constructed concepts of fashion. These clothing stylesconvey a specific persona.
The meaning and interpretations of these clothingchoices are all different and appeal to different people. With fashion comesidentity. What you choose to wear is a display of your identity. Within therave culture these identities are much different which these norms that havebeen set.
Given the diversification of dance music culture and the alternativenorms and values associated with it, the parameters of permissible identityperformances within dance music environments are significantly different tothose in many other contemporary social leisure settings due to the norms andvalues associated with such space (Jackson, 2004; Jaimangal-Jones, 2010). Self-expression is aspect of the rave culturewhich is not only encouraged but also promoted. Exploring sexuality isimportant and I think being at a rave and engaging in this culture really helpsthose who may be lost or confused help guide them in the right away. Meetingnew people may help one discover new things, it is all about exploring humansexuality and identifying with yourself.
Tepper (2007) discusses sexuality inher book sexual health. She talks about how it is one of the building blocksfor a society that celebrates healthy sexuality and its diversity ofexpression. We should be having conversations about sex and sexuality. Byexpressing our sexuality in ways that promote health and well-being andrespects others is an important part of our identities as sexual beings. Beingin a place that will not judge you for who you are and allows you to expressyourself freely with open arms is one step in the right direction for oursociety.
Itis important to note the link between EDM and the LGBTQ community of colorwhich helped create safe spaces that allowed a marginalized population toflourish the freedom to be themselves. The solidarity in no matter who you areplays a pivotal role in rave culture that is not only practiced but preached.Daniel (2014) wrote “Rave is a celebration of the differences between people,that it is neat that I am straight, you are gay, I am black, you are white andthat there is a common practice, raving, which can bring these people together,and in which they can articulate their dissent from a dominant culture whichdoes not cater to their beliefs about life”. (Daniel, Pg 91). Nowto further talk about gender and sexuality in rave culture and the lack thereofwell respected female DJs. It is certainly no doubt that he is male-dominated.The males are the headlining DJs while the females work as dancers on stage asentertainment performers. Women do not have many influential or important rolesin the EDM scene.
My point is women are seen as objects to ensure success andfulfill entertainment purposes, which is sexist and objectifies women. Gavanas(2008), a female DJ and anthropologist, points out how the legitimacy of womenin the industry is always questioned along with their music interests, and theyare not taken as seriously. This goes to show how stereotypical,traditional ways of performing femininity and masculinity can affect even oneof the most supposedly open and accepting cultures. Throughoutthis paper I have learned a lot more about the various aspects of rave culturethan I thought. All of these are important aspects that make rave culture acultural phenomenon for our generation and explain why so many people love tobe apart of this rave family. For many, it gives them a sense of home wheretheir actual home may not be welcoming and supportive of their sexuality orwhatever it may be. This allows them to escape reality and be whoever they wantto be even if that might just be for a one night. Who are people to tell themwhat they can and can not do in this culture.
There is no doubt about whyraving is what it is today thanks to all who know what raving truly means andwhat stands behind it. I am proud to be in this generation that has suchaccepting and loving people in a place where nothing else matters but you. Works Cited:Burns, W.
(2014, July 31). IsElectronic Dance Music The Ticket To Reach Millennials? RetrievedNovember 29, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/willburns/2014/05/26/is-electronic-dance-music-the-ticket- to-reach-millennials/#74cfe54365daGavanas, A.
(2008). Graspingcommunitas. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, 73(1), 127-133.Jaimangal-Jones, D., Pritchard, A.,& Morgan, N. (2014). Exploring dress, identity and performance in contemporary dance music culture.
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Gender, youth, and culture young masculinities and femininities. Basingstoke, Hampshire:Palgrave Macmillan.(n.d.). Retrieved November 29,2017, from https://study.com/academy/lesson/cultural- globalization-definition-factors-effects.htmlTepper, M.
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