The Process to Bullying Behavior: The Role of Culture on America’s New Bully

Everyone is watching. a live audience, and millions of national television and on-line viewers gawk as the award is announced that Taylor Swift has won the award for Best Female Video. Immediately, a defiant Kanye West invades the stage to grab the award from a shocked Swift to protest that the winner is undeserving. According to MTV News, the crowd is silent and confused as to how they should response.

While this scene from American Pop Culture is gone, should the style of this interaction be forgotten? Well maybe not, as Kanye West is still a popular Hip-Hop artist among teens and young adults. maybe this incident is just a photo-type of the attitude that prevails in popular teen culture today. From Pop to Hip-Hop, or what can also be defined as Gangsta, we see that a dominance type attitude is easily transformed from culture to actions. does this style of attitude have an impact on the actions that many define as bullying today? while we can’t blame artists like Kanye and his followers for why kids bully, we can certainly propose that for many young teens the impact of teen culture in American speaks loudly to the attitude of defiance and domination. I label it the art of thuggism, which translates to the art of being a thug and creating social discourse. in today’s society, to be crude, rude, and socially unacceptable is now grounds for some type of celebratory trophy. the sense of human entitlement and domination has clearly replaced the ideal of civility and passive existence from our political arena’s, to our creative style in media, from music to video games. but the real question is, within the process of our shocking in your face style of entertainment and illustration, has the culture clearly defined a new American Bully? Well, to answer this question, one has only to look at the types of extreme behavior that we for some reason want to label and Bullying.

A recent DMX song might help define the new American Bully:

Yall gon make me lose my mind up in here, up in here

Yall gon make me go all out up in here, up in here

Yall gon make me act a fool, up in here, up in here

Yall gon make me lose my cool, up in here, up in here

In reality, what was once defined as an insult or put down, or should we say traditional bullying, has now gravitated into a serious in your face style of behavior that is strongly supported by a number of Fortune 500 media giants and sold as Youth or Pop Culture. This was best defined in the Public Broadcasting Documentary Merchants of cool, featuring media correspondent Douglas Rushkoff. he closely defined the rise of the new American Bully when he declared kids’ culture and media culture are now one and the same, and it becomes impossible to tell which came first, the anger or the marketing of the anger. This style of in your face commercialism has emerged to give us a back drop for the style of bullying behavior we are now seeing. the new American bully can be seen as an opportunist to impact a new style of aggressiveness well outside the lines of social norms. This takes the form of cruelty beyond name calling and represents a forms of emotional, and at times, physical beat downs.

Why are a number of teens now admitting defeat to the overwhelming abusive culture? maybe they realize something we don’t in the fact that this goes beyond simple human interaction and making a few negative comments. it goes to the power of a culture that has its base in major financial investors who want to cash in on the latest trend at any cost. clearly we can all agree that the cost could be basic human civility. with the backing of the large empire of wealth that supports youth culture, the new style of bullying behavior is never in isolation. it operates with an unspoken power of the mass that is represented in style and entertainment. the victims of the behavior may at times feel that their abuser is society in general, not simply the negative choices of individuals. moreover, the bully believes that they possess a greater power than just feeding off of peer pressure. they have the power of culture. That power, in many cases is interpreted to be a so called license to insult or injure without consideration of the consequences.

At stake here is the fact that bullying is just a word that has lost any connection to real self definition. in today’s culture many do not see put downs, profanity, threats, and even physical abuse as bullying. in reality for teens, they see it as part of an existence, and in some cases a means to survival in the growing in your face world.

So how do teens escape this new form of abuse? For some, they did not have the strength and took their own lives. For others, it is molded through depression and acting out. Finally, for some, they escape by transforming into a bully themselves. Kanye West and others like him, have definitely cashed in on the new American dream; how to insult your way all the way to the bank.

The Process to Bullying Behavior: The Role of Culture on America’s New Bully


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