Thesis

The effect of underground rap on rappers' identities

Rap and hip-hop provide a forum for marginalized populations to express and create their own unique identity. To further understand rap and the concept of identity, two local hip-hop groups were examined and observed for a period of three months. One of two hip-hop groups represented consisted of members that resided in the inner city and were practicing Muslims. While, the other group consisted of Caucasian middle class youth. Though they differed drastically, both groups to a certain extent were marginalized from their surrounding communities. To help guide the research sociological theories from two prominent sociologists, Randall Collins and W.E.B. Dubois, were employed. Randall Collin’s theory of Interactional Ritual Chains helped to define how the rappers developed group identity and solidarity through group rituals. This solidified group identity caused conflict with the norms and values of the rappers immediate surroundings. 
 The response to marginalization that occurred after the group identity of the rappers was solidified was explained through W.E.B. Dubois' theory of Double Consciousness, which details the burden of balancing and having multiple/dual identities. Rap became an outlet for members of both hip-hop groups to celebrate and exemplify their identity in a positive way, while also serving as a coping mechanism in response to the development of a Double Consciousness.

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)-- California State University, Sacramento, 2013.

Rap and hip-hop provide a forum for marginalized populations to express and create their own unique identity. To further understand rap and the concept of identity, two local hip-hop groups were examined and observed for a period of three months. One of two hip-hop groups represented consisted of members that resided in the inner city and were practicing Muslims. While, the other group consisted of Caucasian middle class youth. Though they differed drastically, both groups to a certain extent were marginalized from their surrounding communities. To help guide the research sociological theories from two prominent sociologists, Randall Collins and W.E.B. Dubois, were employed. Randall Collin’s theory of Interactional Ritual Chains helped to define how the rappers developed group identity and solidarity through group rituals. This solidified group identity caused conflict with the norms and values of the rappers immediate surroundings. The response to marginalization that occurred after the group identity of the rappers was solidified was explained through W.E.B. Dubois' theory of Double Consciousness, which details the burden of balancing and having multiple/dual identities. Rap became an outlet for members of both hip-hop groups to celebrate and exemplify their identity in a positive way, while also serving as a coping mechanism in response to the development of a Double Consciousness.

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