The Origins Of Hip Hop Culture
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentHistory and Geography
ProgramMaster of Arts
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The purpose of this research project is to analyze the origin of the cultural paradigm known as Hip Hop culture and its founding institution, the Universal Zulu Nation. Hip Hop culture is the result of various social and cultural elements, combined with the vision of a Bronx youth who combined various cultural elements to develop a new cultural paradigm for the purpose of activism and higher consciousness. In forming this cultural historiography of Hip Hop, this project will analyze the period of 1946 to 1975, with greater emphasis on the years 1968 to 1975. The hypotheses presented in this work is that Hip Hop culture is the convergence of the 1960s urban youth gang culture, Black Consciousness Movements in New York City, and the unique artistic elements that include forms of music, visual art and dance. This research project will offer a cultural history that utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, which includes historiographical and anthropological research methodologies. The historiographical methodologies will include: sub-altern historiography, regional historiography, oral history, and archival research methods. The anthropological methodologies will include: ethnography, participant observation, quantitative data, social anthropology, and cultural psychology. This project will present testimony from primary sources regarding the events, ideas and context of the social and cultural factors that contribute to the genesis of Hip Hop culture. In this work, great emphasis will be placed on oral history and first hand accounts as primary sources, by which the historiography of Hip Hop culture may be formed. This project is not intended to be a history of Hip Hop music or rap music, but rather an analysis of the cultural factors that helped form what is now the global phenomenon of Hip Hop culture and its founding institution; the Universal Zulu Nation.