Counterculture — not subculture

If you haven’t yet read my post on the three genres of Christian music, please do so now. You’ll need that context for this brief post to make sense.

Although it’s clear that Jay Howard is biased towards the transformational genre of Christian music, I think that what he has to say about why he prefers it is interesting, even though, of course, it is not as successful as the other two genres (in terms of listeners and sales).

Daniel Radosh is interested in that as well and asks him why:

For Howard and other fans of transformational CCM, its special appeal is in its potential to be, as the name suggests, transformative. “I think there’s a legitimate indictment of the church today, it’s that we’re subcultural rather than countercultural. A subculture, sociologically speaking buys into the vast majority of the values of the surrounding society but tacks on its own things…We don’t challenge the materialism of our culture. We don’t challenge the self-indulgence in our culture.” (169)

I have both integrational and transformational tendencies/aspirations that both conflict and overlap. But I think this quote deserves some thought in relation to Mormon culture.

2 thoughts on “Counterculture — not subculture”

  1. As a person being re-introduced to Mormon culture in the last eight years, I find it difficult to find any Mormon pop music that is not so syrupy sweet that it won’t cause a diabetic coma. You mention one rocker in the other blog. I didn’t know we could listen to rock and roll without breaking some sort of covenant (which I break on a regular basis). I’ll give Mark Hansen a listen I am interested in learning more about CCM and Mormon pop music and if some good pop/rock music is being produced by these groups.

    Some of the kids in our ward listen to CCM but I have no idea in what category it falls. As a side note when I run across CCM videos a lot of the musicians have piercing and tattoos. I assume we will not see that in Mormon musicians any time soon. When I listen to Mormon music it is still the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which of course is not considered a pop group.

    I like the subculture idea. I certainly would fit better into mainstream Mormon if a subculture was accepted as part of the whole.

  2. .

    There are clues to prove their Mormonism if you already know, but otherwise, Sunfall Festival is excellent without being obviously LDS. So I don’t know how well you consider that to count.

    There are others as well, but I’m no expert and Sunfall is astonishing. I’m not joking. Buy Monday 23 today. And Bang Bang Bang tomorrow.

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