Critical Analysis Of "Identity risis" by Minabrere Ibelema , and "Oppositional Dress"by Elisabeth Wilson

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Ph.D.A+, October 1996

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In Minabrere Ibelema's essay 'Identity Crisis', Ibelema

suggests that the mainstream american culture is so powerful that

all cultures conform to it. Ibelema does this by showing how the

mass media portrays African Americans in relation to their

cultural identity by using situation comedies as a measuring

tool. Of the episodes Ibelema uses very few of them look at

African Americans cultural identity. However, what they do is

briefly address a cultural story line for one episode, but then

revert back to the mainstream anglo programming. On the

otherhand, Elizabeth Wilson says in her essay 'Oppositional

Dress' that sub cultures do exist in society and are strong

enough to resist assimilation into the mainstream, and still

exist on their own terms. Wilson proves her point by giving

examples of sub cultures that appeared in society, and she shows

that they still thrive today.On example Wilson uses is the hippie

culture that evolved in the 1960's.

She points out that hippies

can be seen today in some areas of the United states, proving her

point. She also mentions other movements like the Gay Liberation

Movement, the Punk movement, and the Skin Heads, who can all be

seen in some form today. In mainstream american culture some

individual sub cultures do get lost in the mainstream, but are

not forgotten, however most oppositional cultures resist

assimilation into the main steam and continue to define

themselves on their own terms.

In Ibelema's essay, he says that the mainstream culture is

so strong that individual cultures assimilate into it. This

proposition is not completely correct. The examples Ibelema uses

are derived from situation comedies that are directed at a cross

cultural mainstream audience. His point is that the African

American culture is nonexistent, or assimilated because African

American cultural values are not expressed...