Beatlemania - Butler 1 Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Section 1A...

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Butler 1 Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Section 1A February 13, 2012 Beatlemania: An Emotional and Cultural Phenomenon “Beatlemania, in most accounts, stands isolated in history as a mere craze—quirky and hard to explain” (Ehrenreich, p. 11). “In its intensity, as well as its scale, [it] surpassed all previous outbreaks of star-centered hysteria” (Ehrenreich, p. 13). Although many experts in sociology, psychology, and anthropology at the time attempted to explain the mayhem as everything from protest to conformity to sex (Ehrenreich, 1986), no real conclusion was made. Even today, there is no conclusive explanation for what caused teenagers of the time to express such adoration, emotional outburst, and mass hysteria for The Beatles. Nonetheless, this emotional and cultural phenomenon affected numerous individuals and stands alone in historical existence. Emotion is, in Western culture, seen as “a psychobiological structure and an aspect of the individual” with culture’s part “seen as a secondary, even minimal” (Lutz, p. 4). Yet, with Lutz’s in-depth analysis and comparison of emotions cross-culturally, we can see “that emotional experience…is more aptly viewed as the outcome of social relations and their corollary worldviews than as universal psychobiological entities” (p. 209). This is precisely why the emotional experience of Beatlemania is specific to those involved and is not easily understood outside of its socio-cultural context. Taking the Western view of emotions as subjective, we can also say that individuals outside of the Beatlemania will never have the same emotional experience since those emotions are particular to that time and place and set in one’s moment and point of view (Lutz, p. 71).
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Butler 2 In order to understand the social and cultural context of Beatlemania, we must examine the historical context as well. It occurred mainly between 1963 and 1966 in America (and Europe, but we will be focusing on the former). It predates the movement for women’s rights, which would come shortly after the peak of Beatlemania. At this time, women, and girls in particular, “were expected to be not only ‘good’ and ‘pure’ but to be the enforcers of purity within their teen society” (Ehrenreich, p. 11). According to Lutz, dominant moral views, such as these, develop from the existing power relationship in a society (1988). At that time, it is clear that patriarchy prevailed. Two months before the arrival of the Beatles in America, beloved President Kennedy had been assassinated, a somber event for the nation. Yet, in the time leading up to the Beatles arrival, the publicity was overwhelming. Ernest remembers all the publicity on the radio: Me: So tell me about what you remember about watching the Ed Sullivan Show. Ernest: Well what I remember most is it that my parents dragged me to my uncle’s
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course SOCIOLOGY 128 taught by Professor Terrianderson during the Winter '12 term at UCLA.

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Beatlemania - Butler 1 Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Section 1A...

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