Language. Rebellion. Identity. Sociological-anthropological empirical study of the rap youth subculture, Warsaw 2016

What is the book about?

Rap jargon is rich and broadens the vocabulary of contemporary language. Adapting the subcultural lexis is closely connected with identifying oneself with a group. Thinking 
in terms of specific subcultural categories and interpretation of reality is not indifferent to the individual’s life motivations and accomplishments. For the identity of the individual is emphasized by the usage of social dialect and knowledge of slang words. Polish and Ukrainian rap lyrics are a fantastic lexical medium. Lingual expression 
is often enriched by vulgarization and words negatively marked. Rap lexis abounds 
in offensive, profane forms, negative words and phrases, loan translations, conceptual abbreviations, borrowings from foreign languages, semantic and structural borrowings, internal loanwords: from criminal and street vernaculars, from the language of drug addicts, formative and lexical neologisms, compound words, neosemanticisms, neophraseologisms, diminutive forms, interjections, conceptual abbreviations, exclamations, sayings, 
and addressative phrases. The results of the research show that the vision of the world includes a desire 
of rebellion and protest, which for the people identifying with the rap subculture is a decisive element in terms of affiliation with the group. Lack of boundaries gives inexhaustible ability to create and use symbols and "achievements" of different subcultures. Force of otherness 
is seated and has strong ties not only with the lifestyle or dress code, but most of all with the context embedded in the surrounding reality, which is subject to transferring to and interpreting the conditions of the country in which rap has adapted. Rebellious attitude is directed primarily at people and objects, rarely abstract phenomena. Strong ties with the US, where rap has originated, are visible primarily in lexical layer of both Poles and Ukrainians. Selective bilingualism is adapted to the socio-political reality and current problems of the country. To the same extent it helps to explain 
and imposes its own way of seeing and interpreting the real world. Interviews with respondents indicate that rap language evokes emotions and leads to reflection on the world around us. Events that trigger rebellion in the fatalistic, full of self-centeredness rap lyrics are injustice, inequality, power, lack of prospects and limitations. Defiance makes sense only 
if it is a group action. The biggest problem worrying the respondents is low standard of living. However, 
for the Polish people unemployment, as well as hypocrisy, poverty and lack of prospects for the future are more disturbing. The Ukrainians on the other hand dread corruption, lack 
of prospects for the future, injustice and politicians. Key values for Poles are love, health, friendship, freedom and respect. Ukrainians cherish friendship, health, self-fulfillment, freedom and love. The essence of this subculture is expressed in the language of rap since the content 
of the songs incorporates the key message inspired by stimuli of the surrounding world characteristic of this youth movement. Language of this transfer specifies the ontology 
by means of which people identifying with the rap subculture describe their world, 
not discarding the sovereignty of another man, their affiliation with another subculture, 
or their favorite kind of music. It must therefore be concluded that rebellion and protest against the reality in the lyrics of rap, which takes a fatalistic form is the result of problems with multiple and unstable identity.

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