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Psychology: Michael Jackson as a cultural object
Michael Jackson was born in 1958 and together with his siblings, they formed a group called the Jackson’s five. His father was a crane operator with his mother being a homemaker. His father believed his sons had a talent, and he helped them mold it and at times he would get violent with them as they rehearsed as shown in (Ochs, 2014). Jackson at age five-year, was already a lead singer with outstanding skills on a mature singer and not like a five-year-old child. At age 13 years, he launched a solo career although he still maintained the group singing under the Jackson five. He used to sing pop music that helped transform the pop culture in the 1980s. In 1979, he launched a success album “off the wall” and became number one pop music on the billboards. With a release of the introduction of the moonwalking dance by Jackson, most people in the 1980s would try but would do nothing close to what Jackson would do as shown in (Rosen, 2009). His dress code and powerful voice, transformed the culture too since people tried to dress, sing, and dance like him.
Pop culture object is appropriate for popular culture research
Jackson is suitable for research in popular culture since he was not only an icon in the music industry but also to his followers from the general public (Rosen, 2009). For instance from the music industry people Madonna, Janet jacket her since, and Chris Brown followed his singing with Chris Brown following his singing, dressing code and dancing.
Sociological theories to explain your popular cultural phenomenon.
It is fascinating that he shaped the pop culture with his music and lifestyle. He created fashion for the pop culture, for instance, the red leather jacket he wore had so many zippers, and all youths would want to be seen with such a jacket, he used to wear a sequined glove on one of his hand and was practiced by many who favored the pop culture. The mirrored sunglasses that he wore were popularized too (Rosen, 2009). The symbolic interactional theory is a sociological theory that emphasize that people act according to what their surrounding environment means. It states that people act on what they believe and not what the reality is as indicated in (Denzin, 2008). Michael Jackson was not the one who discovered the pop culture, but through his input to the society via music and fashion, he was able to change many elements of the pop culture that people believed were better. People would try to imitate his voice, dancing skills and ultimately dress like him. In a functionalist theory where the focus is on how a particular part of the society contributes to the stability of the whole society as shown in (Thompson, 2013). This would help explain how Michaels input made the pop culture popular culture both for the white and black persons.
American values that help explain the existence of this pop culture artifact or phenomenon.
In 1969, the racial discrimination for the black person was rampant and may civil right movements, and a lot of activisms to save black people was common. This is the time Martin Luther Junior was assassinated. In America being black at this time it was a misfortune, Blacks were made to feel inferior, but some embraced a sense of black pride by keeping the Afro hair style. Jackson came as the savior of the black by making black look beautiful; this was a cultural connection to the lifestyle of African American (Rosen, 2009). Most American including white would try to keep Afro hair styles to look like Michael Jackson. In his time, he was the only child superstar and this helped challenge the negative attitudes towards Black people. He has been controversial with the allegation of molesting young boys for instance the 1993 charge by a 13-year-old boy (Madow, 1993). He was also controversial by dangling his child and later claimed that he wanted his fans to see his baby. With Michael a superstar, black people became confident of their identity, black and white people shared the culture and this created a social harmony.
In conclusion, Michael Jackson was a pop start that made the pop-culture acceptable most people across the globe. He was talented and always out standing in the Jackson five and launched a solo career that became a success. He was a black person but was celebrated by all races.
Denzin, N. K. (2008). Symbolic interactionism and cultural studies: The politics of interpretation. John Wiley & Sons.
Madow, M. (1993). Private ownership of public image: Popular culture and publicity rights. California Law Review, 125-240.
Ochs, M. (2014, June 26). Michael Jackson: Black Superhero. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.blogger.com/feeds/4156549005120971550/posts/defaultRosen, J. (2009, June 28). 7 Ways Michael Jackson Changed The World. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-06-28/news/0906260178_1_michael-jackson-jackson-changed-jackson-five
Thompson, M. J. (2013). A functionalist theory of social domination. Journal of Political Power, 6(2), 179-199.