Essay Sample on Rock Music and Cultural Rebellion in the West

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1180 Words
Date:  2022-12-02


Insofar as Rock Music is a sensational, a glamorous, and an appealing art of the western culture, it beholds many controversial implications on the same community. Furthermore, despite the use of the popular music genre by the majority as self-expression and a way of life, the music has compromised and raised many questions on the morality and integrity on the western culture (Haenfler, 2015). A quote by Weinstein (1983) that claims that "Rock Music was born of a revolt against the sham of Western culture; it was direct and gutsy and spoke to the senses. As such, it was profoundly subversive. It still is," elucidates it all. Therefore, this paper underscores a critical discussion of the quote with regard to the perpetuation of the moral decadence and cultural rebellion by the popular rock music in the western culture.

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Background Information on Rock Music

The popular rock music genre originated as "rock and roll" founded in the United States in the early 1950s, grew, and developed into style and to different other genres such as folk, electric blues, and from the country. Notably, each of the genres of rock contributed in one way or another to the development of the psychedelic rock, which was influenced by hippie and countercultural psychedelic scenes. In the 1960s, the subculture Psychedelia emerged courtesy of the American popular music the rock music. People who were drug addicts and used drugs such as mescaline, LSD, and psilocybin (found in mushrooms) characterized the subculture perpetuated by rock music. Moreover, the term psychedelic was used to describe surreal and highly distorted visuals, artworks bright colors to evoke and enhance the usage of drugs (Spielvogel, 2012).

The quote claims that the revolt and rebellion perpetuated by the popular rock music are evident since the psychedelic subculture experience is characterized by the creative exuberance and striking perception of one's mind promoting hallucination, synesthesia. Typically, the above experiences can transform a person and initiate changes in metal operations thus defining one's self-identity. Essentially, it is because of the use of these psychedelic substances that resulted in a rebellious and drug-based subculture that threatened the integrity and the morality of the western culture.

Rock Music and the Youthful Generation

Primarily, the youths are the locomotive factors in the alteration of patterns of human relations. Right from the inception of the popular music in the 1950s, numerous critical debates have emerged following the Rock artists' characters and moral. Music in this case the famous rock music has been used as the primary weapon to pervert and erode the precious and good moral values especially among the adolescents which have evolved as a significant influence of all time generations.

Weinstein claims that the subculture initiated by rock music or the rock and society were undoubtedly subversive. Moreover, to expand on the above quote, it is true and evident that the primary role of the music of self-expression, entertainment, and cultural prestige was perverted in the contemporary society of the west. Instead, rock music is now being used to ridicule, patriotism, productivity, and religion while on the other hand glorying destruction, revolution, sexual promiscuity, and Drugs.

Additionally, the popular music is also known vastly of its vulgar language and radicle criticism of the existing society. Examples of songs such as the "Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire's , "Maggie's Farm," Much of Bob Dylan's work such as the Highway 61 and John Lennon's Imagine have been cited widely as an example of criticism of unjust, dehumanizing and materialistic aspects of the society of the west (Poiger, 2000).

Notably, at the brink of all these cultural erosions, moral decadence, as well as pervasions and the grievous rebellion, are the adolescents, the youths. Consequently, the matter has prompted movements and serious criticisms against the American Popular Music as well as socio-cultural debates where those who believe that rock is a factor for social change have been hostile to the music right from the inception. Much of their reactions have centered on the various elements of the music lyrics more so those that promotes sexual promiscuity and drug use, as well as the music jingles that they claim, arouse the youths to frenzy (Spielvogel, 2012). In the western society, the popular music genre has also been accused of involvement in promoting satanic themes by the small-town and rural fundamentalist preachers and several other people such as the Vice president Spiro Agnew warning against the Music.

In as much as the rock, music has some benefits to the youth such as biological benefits including stimulation and provoking multiple responses; emotions, cognitive, physiological and behavior, passing messages to teenagers that enforce positive actions, its adverse effects are detrimental.

Rock Music and Moral Decadence

In the Quote by Weinstein, it is true to denote that the cultural erosion and the moral decadence that Rock music has perpetuated in the western culture is inferably what he meant by birth of revolt against the sham of the culture of the west. The effect of the cultural erosion associated has not only been realized in the west but also in several other countries in the north. For instance, rock music has also served and embodied as the vehicle for social and cultural movements, culminating into major subcultures such as the rockers and mods in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from the city of San Francisco in the 1960s in the United States.

The rebellious cultural movement largely associated by political activism, drug use, with changes in social attitudes to sex and race, and most of the time viewed as a revolt against the wise adult conformity and consumerism was a threat to the western culture. The revolt behavior, attitudes, and characters of the Rock musicians and fans substantiates the terms of the quote by the reputable writer Weinstein (Haenfler, 2015). The rebellious and immoral behaviors as well as emergence of subcultures associated with the rock music are a manifestation and an inference of the Quote. In most part of the world aside from west, the middle-class male-dominated music has been used to promote themes such as rebellion against the social concerns, the establishment of lifestyles, with other writers such as Christgau in 1992 defined rock and roll as an aggression of male sexuality and aggression (Poiger, 2000).


In conclusion, Weinstein's quote was surely a mirror image or a simulation of the adverse and grievous characters of glorification of sexual promiscuity, revolt rebellion against social concern in the contemporary society of the west. Inferably, the quote also gives an underpinning message moral decadence and cultural revolution that the music initiated in the west and across the globe. The Rock subculture was a revolt movement associated with immoral behaviors and drug users that was a threat to the existence of the pristine western culture hence shams of western culture.


Haenfler, Ross (2015), Punk rock, hardcore, and globalization. "The SAGE handbook of Popular Music. London: Sage. Pp. 278- 295.

Poiger, U. G. (2000). Jazz, rock, and rebels: Cold war politics and American culture in a divided Germany. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press.

Spielvogel, J. J. (2012). Western Civilization: Since 1300. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Pub Co.

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