ERIC Number: ED332232
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr-6
Reference Count: N/A
Popular Music, Television, and Generational Identity.
Although previous generations have by no means been disloyal to the popular music of their youth, the tenacious attachment of the Baby Boomers to the music of the 1960s seems unprecedented. Three main reasons account for this constantly widening musical reclamation project. First, the Baby Boomers have a clearer sense of generational identity that any other generation has had. They are incessantly studied, written, about, renamed, "targeted," and otherwise reminded of their own supposed uniqueness and importance. Second, the Baby Boom generation refuses to let go of childhood and youth. This notion of longevity is attributed in part to a lack of a clear connection to an acceptable history (in a sense, World War II ended history, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy did something similar). This resulted in a need of Baby Boomers to create a substitute culture which remains strongly embedded in their memories as they ultimately become a part of the mainstream. Finally, the mass media, especially in their marketing and advertising functions, encourage both the generational identity and longevity. Examples are seen in the repacking of the VH-1 video channel and MTV, the recycling of the 1960s songs in current advertising, and the musical/televisual attempts to reconfigure the present as consistent with past ideals. (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Detroit, MI, April 5-8, 1990). Best available copy.