Popular Perception

Pop music negatively portrayed by the public despite notable influence on society, culture, youth


Rachel Boone, reporter

r the greater part of the last century, pop music has been one of the defining traits of society across the globe. However, pop has gained a negative reputation in the minds of modern people as a result of the emergence of different genres. Parents have also expressed concern about popular music containing
references to sex, drugs and alcohol abuse. Despite its negative reputation, pop music is a fundamental aspect of culture, and has the ability to create relationships as well as improve emotions.

Since pop is the most accessible genre among teens, it hold a great amount of power in youth culture. According to research by Professor Donald Roberts of Stanford and Professor Peter Christenson of Lewis and Clark College, despite parental concern about the consequences of popular music among teens, as well as making efforts to censor it, music does not have any tremendous negative effects. In fact, young people often use pop music to establish an identity and connect with others.

Though the definition of pop music has changed throughout different decades, the effects are about the same. Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, a British craze swept through the United States, as well as the rise of Soul, R&B and Disco. Early forms of pop music are different from the beat-infused sounds that are prevalent throughout today’s culture, but teens still process music in the same way. Research from the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute in the United Kingdom states that music can be used to regulate Elvis Presley
mood and create memorable experiences. Teens throughout the ages have used popular music to create personal memories.

Concerned adults often argue that today’s pop music contains more references to risky behavior than it did in the past. However, artists that are considered classic, such as The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and Jimi Hendrix, covered topics such as sex and drugs about as often as current artists do. Well-known pop songs from the past, such as “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac and “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath notably discussed drug use. Though popular music has evolved over the years, it still has a crucial effect on society and culture, as well as on personal experiences. Though controversial at times, pop music has proven to have little negative effect on its audiences, and instead creates bonds between individuals, improves mood and stabilizes emotions.