For this assignment, I chose to spend my time watching the Fox News channel. It was interesting because I typically do not spend a substantial amount of time watching the news. My time spent watching television is typically reserved for live sporting events or major awards ceremonies. I typically get news information from the Internet. It was a good experience to take the time out of my day to watch the things that are being broadcast on live television, and the ways in which the content relates to culture and subculture.
A subculture is a smaller group that exists within a larger cultural group, and members of the subculture often have political, religious, or social views that are different than those of the larger culture (Cento Bull, 1992). The views of the subculture could either be more or less extreme than those of the larger culture. In general, the views of subculture groups tend to be more extreme than those of the larger culture (Portwood & Stacer, 2012).
This is true because the average person in an individual culture does not always have highly passionate views about things like politics, religion, or social activities. Such is not always the case. Some cultures are filled with highly passionate people, and the subcultures are people with more general and less extreme views. In the United States, mainstream culture tends to be more towards the middle of the spectrum with regards to politics, religion, and social issues. Subcultures within the United States consist of people that have views that deviate from the center.
For example, people that think that homosexual people should be killed or rehabilitated represent a subculture. Many people are both for and against the topic of homosexuals having the right to marry, but the percentage of people that favor punishment for homosexual couples represents a small minority of the population, and can be thought of as a subculture.
While watching Fox News, the topic of terrorism came up. Several attacks in recent months have spurred the conversation regarding the topic of terrorists and religious extremist groups. The news reported was commenting on the attack that happened at a pop concert recently. A bomb was blown up, and people were killed and injured. In the aftermath of the attack, it was discovered that the bomber may have carried out the attack for religious reasons, and that he was likely a member of the Islam religion. I chose to write about the issue because it seems like many people have a misunderstanding about it. Members of ISIS and other extremist groups do not accurately represent the entire population of people that practice Islam. Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, and many people practice it without ever having the desire or motivation to kill other people or commit acts of terrorism. The larger culture of Islam is entirely different from the subculture of ISIS and radical Muslims. Members of ISIS and other radical Muslim groups believe that it is their duty to harm or kill people that do not believe in the religion of Islam, and in many cases, they also believe that they will be rewarded in the afterlife for doing so.
Many people in the United States and other Western nations have a misperception about Islam. Since we read headlines about terror attacks coming from people who practice Islam, we mistakenly believe that the entire religion is about violence and acts of terrorism, when in reality, only a small subculture believes in such extreme measures. Even religions like Christianity have small subcultures of people that hold extremist views, and could potentially be viewed as terrorists be other people if they chose to take action on the things they believe in, it is important to understand the larger culture as a whole before making judgments about groups of people.