The Beatles Influence On Popular Culture

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Introduction Hordes of screaming adolescents, police struggling to contain them; this is not an image of a riot or protest. These are the fans of the infamous rock band, the Beatles. This extreme fan reaction came to be known as Beatlemania, and it left a lasting impression on history. In the impact of the Beatles, aspects of anthropology, sociology, and psychology can be observed, as the band and its fans influenced cultural and social change and revolution, and the behaviour and actions of a generation, while fostering a sense of unity and conformity. No other musical group in history has left such an impression, and the influence of the Beatles continues to this day. Beatlemania and Anthropology The Beatles were prominent in the 1960s,…show more content…
Yet, conformity was an overwhelming force in the Beatlemania phenomenon. In the Wellington study, the behaviour of fans as a group was studied. One key finding was that, individually, none of the fans were prone to the hysterical, disorderly, and defiant behaviour they exhibited as a group. This means the behaviour displayed by Beatles fans as a group was completely abnormal and extreme for these individuals. For example, some teens with no prior criminal record or tendencies were driven to break into the home of one band member to steal memorabilia. Specifically, this behaviour can be related to the Asch experiment on conformity, which concluded that people will act in ways they normally would not in order to fit in and gain the approval of a group. In the case of the Asch experiment, when asked to match a comparison line to a given sample line, subjects would give the same answer as others even though they knew it was wrong. In the case of Beatlemania, fans followed the hysterical and extreme reactions of others around them, even though they would not normally act this way. As a crowd, their emotions combined and fed off one another, and, surrounded by people with a common interest and similar ideals, a sense of unity was created. Likewise, these people conformed to the counterculture ideology of rebellion and non-conformity that the Beatles spread. So, while the photo above appears at first to show non-conformity through the fans’ resistance to the police, conformity is clearly shown in the way these fans act as one unified

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