Minority culture base their lifestyle and future on the actions of majority culture. Majority culture set the customs for minority culture to follow. Majority and minority both play an active part into each other. One would not exist without the actions of the other. In "False Identifications" by Diana Taylor and " What's Black, Then White, said All Over?'' by Leslie Savan, it is described how majority culture has an impact on minority culture and how they are both similar and different. Although both cultures practice performance, it is practiced in both similar and different ways. Both cultures practice performance through language, identity and media but in different ways.
Language has a major influence in minority. It is one component that allows society to perform. Although both cultures use the same , it is more crucial for minority culture because language is their performance. Language is a way for minority culture to advance into society. Majority culture is responsible for society speaking proper English and minority culture is responsible for bringing slang into our language. Savan states " "Black slang" can't describe black language, because clearly most black language is composed of standard English" (Savan 156). Although we use slang, which came from minority culture, the slang would not have been made possible without the use of proper English from majority culture. Both cultures use proper English as a language, but minority culture uses slang as a performance. Minority can not show that they are a part of minority culture without talking in slang, slang makes them feel that they are of importance. Slang makes minority culture feel proud because it is something that has been passed to majority culture, it is their performance.
Identity has a large impact on majority culture. Identity is what allows people to be a part of majority culture. It is what determines if a person is wealthy and if they are important enough to be looked upon. Majority culture live in big houses, have the perfect job, and the perfect life; they dress in name brand clothes and drive expensive cars. This causes majority culture to make their life a performance because they want to portray that they really do have the perfect life. They may have the big house and the money, but they will stay in "costume" wherever and whenever they go somewhere to hide their unhappiness; they will not show society their flaws. Taylor states " Performance becomes visible, meaningful, within the context of a phantasmagoric repertoire of repeats" (Taylor 239). Society is so accustomed to seeing people dress to impress, that if someone is underdressed, even at the grocery store, they will judge them to be a part of minority culture because it appears they can not afford name brand clothes. Minority also uses identity as a performance for the same reason. Minority will dress in nice clothes and drive expensive cars, when in reality they can not afford it. They do this because they want to have society believe that they are more important then they truly are. Minority culture does not want to be looked down upon. Minority would only be looked down upon because of the image majority culture has portrayed. Majority culture has made identity a part of every day performance.
Multi-media is a way for both cultures to express their life as a performance and to come together. Majority culture is known for their wealth and for living a lavish lifestyle. This sets the goals for minority culture even though most people know that this goal is not possible. Taylor states "Became the spectacle for a global audience brought together, perhaps by grief but most certainly by television, newspapers, journals and the web" (236). Almost all of society has accustomed themselves to music videos, a form of multi-media, and everyone knows that to be in a music video you must be part of majority culture. This is how majority culture makes their lives a performance because by being in a music video, it is portrayed that you have money. Identity is a performance for majority culture. This is where language comes into play for minority culture because in music videos, the language that is sometimes portrayed is slang; this is performance for minority culture. Music is not constructed in proper English, it is constructed in the language that is popular; this language is slang. This makes minority culture seem more popular. By working both performances together, a multi-media master piece is created that most of society will watch and process into their everyday lives.
Minority and majority cultures both have active parts in performace, but portray them in different ways. Majority sets the role for minority to follow, but majority culture would not exist without minority culture. Each culture practices language, identity, and media as a way of performance. Although they share the same forms of performance, each performance is portrayed in both similar and different ways. Both cultures work together to succeed. Even though majority culture sets the base for minority, minority has just as much power as majority.
- Taylor,Diana."False Identifications: Minority Populations Mourn Diana." Emerging 3rd Ed.Ed.Barclay Barrios. New York:Bedford/St.Martin's,2009
- Savan,Leslie. "What's Black, Then White, and Said All Over?"Emerging 3rd Ed.Ed,Barclay Barrios. New York:Bedford/St.Martin's,2009