Hip hop in China: negotiating and appropriating western popular culture
In this study the researcher will interview young people in China especially students from colleges who are 18 years old and above. What we are trying to explore is the impacts of hip hop culture on the Chinese youth (the Associated Press, 2002) which begins with issues concerning the language used, the behavior of hip hop stars and supporters, and the dress code which is commonly used by hip hop singers and supporters. The main reason as to why this topic was chosen is because hip hop has been widely spreading in China and in the majority of countries throughout the world. This enables the researcher to focus on media and cultural studies since they are capable to explain the impact of hip hop and how it has affected the general cultural features of the country where hip hop culture is rapidly absorbing the youth. We are also going to survey the ethical issues concerning hip hop culture in China.
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The main aim of this research is to realize the ethical issues of the Western popular culture which has brought about the adaption of the hip hop type of music (Pang, 2004) and culture, replacing the traditional music. Thus our main goal in this research is to survey the youth of China who are the followers of this type of culture (Latchut, 2009).
The media and cultural analysts have a great interest in this topic because it allows to clearly understand the Chinese culture and all the forms it takes when it comes to analyzing of the political and social context where hip hop culture manifests itself. That is because our study will not be focused solely on the Chinese cultural studies, but it will also view the topic from the political perspective.
The main questions which need to be answered are:
- What are the positive and the negative impacts of hip hop in China?
- Has the Western popular culture significantly changed the cultural background of the country by introducing hip hop music to China?
This is a very important topic of our study because it brings in a commitment of an ethical evaluation of the modern Chinese society which has embraced the use of hip hop type of music and culture which has become very common among the majority of young. This shows elements of adaption of the Western popular culture including the dressing styles, peculiar behavior, and the language that hip hop artists use (Craig, 2005).
These questions are aimed at guiding the whole dissertation. This research is about the hip hop culture in China which, just like the hip hop in America (Glabal Ninja, 2007), originated in the streets. The movement started in the 1990s; the majority of Chinese rappers were rapping in their native language (Emmett, 2009). Though this culture is gaining popularity in the country, it has still not been accepted by the elder population. Senior citizens consider it to be a form of moral decay, while the Chinese government has tried to control the spreading of culture, but it has led to the further increase in its popularity (Jeff, 2005).
In order to be able to answer all the research questions, we have to conduct a semi-structured interview which will be composed of five questions. The questions are fixed although there might arise new ones if the situation requires. The data in these semi-structured interviews is usually of very high quality and the respondents are in most cases more likely to give in their own opinions and suggestions.
In this study the data obtained from respondents will give the researcher a very clear and a detailed view of the topic. This is a very clear explanation as to why the ordinary questionnaires would not be very suitable in our study because the study would be focused on getting detailed answers from the respondents. In this case, the researcher can be able to observe the respondents’ answers including their choice of words as they are answering the questions. This is because the researcher can be able to follow up all the unclear answers from the respondents by the use of additional questions so as to be able to get all the details which are needed in the study.
The respondents are supposed to give their own opinions and the researcher should believe them because they are supposed to be honest. The method of collecting data from these semi-structured interviews is appropriate for the scope of the project because the data will be aquired straight from the respondents themselves which means that there will be no third party which could lead to erroneous data.
The answers will be properly recorded since most of the issues will be discussed between the respondent and the interviewer. That is why there will be present a voice recorder, but we hope this will cause no negative effects on the respondents’ answers.
Ethical sensitive elements are not involved in this research. We shall not be interviewing people under 18 years old. Our respondents will be composed of young adults who are above the age of 18. The respondents will each sign an informed consent form as a proof that they were not forced to take part in the interview. In the research we will focuse only on college and university students who tend to practice hip hop type of music.
However the respondents will be asked to give their own opinions and views regarding hip hop in China and some ethical problems which come as a result. The interviewer has to guarantee that all the given information is going to be confidential. The interviewer will not be allowed to give full details about his or her identification and if he or she does, full identity protection must be ensured through the substitution of the original names with other codes.
Issues of Self-reflexivity
As a sociologist, I have no clear views which concern the issue of hip hop music and its impacts and I have a very strong feeling that my current position about the issue of hip hop music will not affect the research.