Reaching the Hip-Hop Generation - Report Only

Reaching the Hip-Hop Generation - Report Only

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The MEE Report finds that African American urban youth may well be the most difficult audience to reach with anti-abuse or pro-social messages. This report is the result of two years of extensive research into the lives and lifestyles of urban youth, and examines hip-hop culture, the rap music phenomena, the dynamics of message assimilation, and relevant socioeconomic issues.

It also explores the most effective message strategies to deal effectively with the cultural and communications dynamics of urban youth. It includes The MEE Report Update, which examines violence, substance abuse, and sexuality among urban youth.

This excerpt is from a section of The MEE Report that focuses on peer pressure and the effect of group dynamics on disseminating positive messages among urban teens.

"We found few instances of attempts to persuade a peer or significant other to change behavior. When asked how they would try to stop a close friend who was considering using drugs, the typical response was, 'I wouldn't.' After all, they would explain, his life 'ain't none of my business.' The culture itself shuns persuasive attempts to control or direct behaviors or actions of its participants, rejecting attempts framed on moral grounds, especially from each other.

Persuasive attempts that call into question a peer's actions because they constitute a violation of a mainstream moral code are particularly inappropriate. As a result, a genre that is too overly persuasive is immediately not only suspect, but often rejected."

This excerpt is from a section discussing communication strategies for reaching urban youth.

"The teens in the MEE study expressed the sentiment that 'prevention' was no longer an issue for them at this age (16-18). Instead, they felt that while everyone is telling them what not to do, few are telling them what to do. For example, for those not involved in drugs, the only messages sent are still of the 'prevention' type.

What the teens need are messages that inform them how to 'make it,' or offer alternatives to drug and/or gang lifestyles…More attention is needed in offering students some alternatives to negative lifestyles. Messages that are of the 'do' variety as opposed to the 'don't' type are lacking for this group. While these students are certainly susceptible to a host of negative influences, many have made the choice to reject that part of youth culture. For this group, motivational and practical guidelines for success-oriented behavior are necessary."

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