culture 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 essay
demonstrates the globalization through rave culture and breaking all gender
roles. A rave is a large dance party consisting of music performed by DJs who
produce electronic dance music (EDM). The music is produced with loud deep bass
sounds accompanied by visual effects like laser light shows, various colored
visual images, and smoke or fog machines. Rave music simply put cannot be split
into one style of music. In fact, all the following are styles of music which
are associated with the rave culture Acid-House, Techno, Hardcore Techno,
Breakbeat, Ambient, Trance, Tribal, Progressive, Deep House, industrial, happy
hardcore. The rave culture is unique, different and beautiful in many ways.
Ravers live by this ethos motto PLUR which stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and
Respect. Here there is unhindered freedom of expression through dress and dance
or any other means without fear of judgment from others, a place where you can
freely be or do whatever you want. Everyone is accepting of each other in unity
a so-called, safe haven. The one main component of having a successful and fun
experience is a positive “vibe” or atmosphere. It is very crucial part of the
experience. This might seem quite rare in today’s society for this type of act
but as for rave culture, it is the norm.
of the biggest rave festivals is called the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) which
is held in Las Vegas. Many people from all over the world attend this rave.
Globalization has become closely associated with westernization. The west has
been able to take advantage of the globalized world and reach other places that
have not been reached before. Globalization has allowed many artists to expand
their music to areas all over the world. While these artists had the ability to
spread their music and profit from it, the real act of globalization is the
culture these artists have spread. Today with the spread of EDM music comes a
spread of rave culture in America. Ultimately the cultural spread of
globalization from foreign areas to the western world is very prevalent.
The definition of cultural globalization
according to study.com is the process by which one culture’s experiences,
values, and ideas are disseminated throughout the world through various
means. These ideas, values and beliefs contribute to the spread of
cultural globalization in rave culture by people coming together in one place
by, “bringing their own particular set of ideas and beliefs that can influence
another culture over time”. Another factor that can contribute to the spread of
cultural globalization is communication. One of the best ways to communicate is
through social media. On these platforms, one can reach an audience of millions
around the world.
The reason I chose to
research and write about this topic is simply that I participate in rave
culture and enjoy going to raves. I also wanted to pick a topic that is
relatively recent and closely related to my generation. With that being said
music changes with every generation. I wanted to get to know more about the
culture through research and maybe discover new things that I would not have
thought about before. Being a millennial and engaging in rave culture means I
grew up in the emerging age of social media and when EDM began to popularize
from 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 this
more than EDM. Millennials crave life experiences on a global scale, and EDM
culture nurtures that desire with its worldwide fan base, magical and
spectacular festival moments, and the constant flow of content.” Every generation
has its own sets of trends, rave culture is just one of the many that have
bloomed and blossomed into this huge scale for the millennials.
is a whole culture surrounding raves. Rave culture is a way of life and a way
of thinking. Being at a rave one becomes temporarily free from fixed identities
defined by gender, race, class or sexuality as the divisions and boundaries
surrounding these specific identities become obscured. One can simply
experience cultural belonging and acceptance. Rave culture blurs the
distinctions of these ‘others’. Differences and old hierarchies are disregarded
in the atmospheric euphoria. By examining gender practices and in particular
how they are produced, regulated, consumed and performed, we can gain a fuller insight
into 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”. It
doesn’t matter who you are, what is important is that you are present and
willing to participate. The ability to make one transcend into this fantasy
world where you can escape your troubles of reality and keep them out of sight
and out of mind, also the feeling of being treated and loved by everyone. I
think 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 willing
to do so.
(2015) said, “EDM festivals are a meaningful place to analyze identity and
belonging, as their roots can be traced back to the historical rave scene
providing marginalized groups with alternative spaces of transgression”. We all
want to feel a sense of belongingness. The desire for cultural belongingness
has motivated the youth culture to participate in such events. The events aim to
propagate a space where regardless of what race, class, gender or sexuality a
person is accepted by everyone. Raves in a sense represent spaces of belonging
and acceptance towards participants who have felt socially marginalized. It has
become a welcoming space for outcast’s to not feel so alone. Participants who
attend these raves have become increasingly diverse which creates a uniquely
diversified cultural grouping. Raves are not dominant to one particular race,
class or gender it is central to everyone equally.
Individuality can just as easily be
found as well as inclusiveness.
is a form that we can identify with and also become identified by. The unique
ability for the rave to create a personal sense of identity as well as
collective and communal identity makes it that much more valued to everyone who
attends. Ravers are bonded through their shared love with others but also they
lead their own pathway through their individual experience. It consolidates
one’s notion of personal self as well as having the ability to identify with a
larger cultural experience. Instant gratification is a result of all these
feelings and emotional components coming together.
unique aspect of the rave culture is the fashion. There is a definite sense of
individualism. What one decides to wear to a rave can be limitless. There is no
dress code. Whether that be wearing the most or wearing the minimal amount of
clothes. The conventions of gay fashions and heterosexual dress codes in the
rave culture is very prominent and widely practiced. Clothes are a central
element of individual identity performance, representing a visual statement of
an individual’s self perception and role performance (Jones, Pritchard &
Morgan, 2015). These clothes construct a meaning and carry a message as a
signifier of socially constructed concepts of fashion. These clothing styles
convey a specific persona. The meaning and interpretations of these clothing
choices are all different and appeal to different people. With fashion comes
identity. What you choose to wear is a display of your identity. Within the
rave culture these identities are much different which these norms that have
been set. Given the diversification of dance music culture and the alternative
norms and values associated with it, the parameters of permissible identity
performances within dance music environments are significantly different to
those in many other contemporary social leisure settings due to the norms and
values associated with such space (Jackson, 2004; Jaimangal-Jones, 2010).
Self-expression is aspect of the rave culture
which is not only encouraged but also promoted. Exploring sexuality is
important and I think being at a rave and engaging in this culture really helps
those who may be lost or confused help guide them in the right away. Meeting
new people may help one discover new things, it is all about exploring human
sexuality and identifying with yourself. Tepper (2007) discusses sexuality in
her book sexual health. She talks about how it is one of the building blocks
for a society that celebrates healthy sexuality and its diversity of
expression. We should be having conversations about sex and sexuality. By
expressing our sexuality in ways that promote health and well-being and
respects others is an important part of our identities as sexual beings. Being
in a place that will not judge you for who you are and allows you to express
yourself freely with open arms is one step in the right direction for our
is important to note the link between EDM and the LGBTQ community of color
which helped create safe spaces that allowed a marginalized population to
flourish the freedom to be themselves. The solidarity in no matter who you are
plays 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 and
that there is a common practice, raving, which can bring these people together,
and in which they can articulate their dissent from a dominant culture which
does not cater to their beliefs about life”. (Daniel, Pg 91).
to further talk about gender and sexuality in rave culture and the lack thereof
well 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 as
entertainment performers. Women do not have many influential or important roles
in the EDM scene. My point is women are seen as objects to ensure success and
fulfill entertainment purposes, which is sexist and objectifies women. Gavanas
(2008), a female DJ and anthropologist, points out how the legitimacy of women
in the industry is always questioned along with their music interests, and they
are not taken as seriously. This goes to show how stereotypical,
traditional ways of performing femininity and masculinity can affect even one
of the most supposedly open and accepting cultures.
this paper I have learned a lot more about the various aspects of rave culture
than I thought. All of these are important aspects that make rave culture a
cultural phenomenon for our generation and explain why so many people love to
be apart of this rave family. For many, it gives them a sense of home where
their actual home may not be welcoming and supportive of their sexuality or
whatever it may be. This allows them to escape reality and be whoever they want
to be even if that might just be for a one night. Who are people to tell them
what they can and can not do in this culture. There is no doubt about why
raving is what it is today thanks to all who know what raving truly means and
what stands behind it. I am proud to be in this generation that has such
accepting and loving people in a place where nothing else matters but you.
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Electronic Dance Music The Ticket To Reach Millennials? Retrieved
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Gavanas, A. (2008). Grasping
communitas. 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. Leisure
Judy Soojin Park. (2015). Searching
for a Cultural Home: Asian American Youth in the EDM Festival Scene. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance
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Martin, D. (1999). Power Play and
Party Politics: The Significance of Raving. Journal of Popular Culture, 32(4), 77-99.
Nayak, A., & Kehily, M. J.
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(2007). Sexual health. Westport, CT: Praeger.
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