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Trends vs Fads Assignment

Throughout time, humans have evolved by shaping what they do culturally. They have all followed – as different groups – a certain guideline of living, creating what one would call culture differences. The different cultures that have popped up everywhere all live different ways, and through a popularity contest, their culture evolves. This popularity contest mentioned is about Trends and Fads, which are different things that have helped shape cultural society all over the world through fashion, food and everyday life.

Most people find them to be interchangeable words, when in actuality, they both have different effects on cultural differences. During the 1970s, there were many trends that could be accounted for. Whether it be through fashion, food or the politics, the 70s helped shape what the world is now. One would probably think bell bottoms, androgynous style and glam rock when they look back at the birth “feel good” decade. However, things were taking place outside the dance floor, and in the political chambers, as well.

In 1978, China introduced “jihua shengyu zhengce” (translated as family planning policy), restricting urban couples to birthing only one child, unless there were special circumstance – twins, rural couples, ethnic minorities, couples where the mother and father are both only children, and foreigners living in China. Of course, this shook the world – especially America. They, as a proclaimed “free country”, could not imagine what it was like to have their government say that they were limited to only having one child.

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Not only did it insult the American belief system, it woke the US up to a waking problem – “what happens when America can’t house any more occupants? ” Now, this “one child law” is reaching its 33rd anniversary, protests all over the world against it as it’s only real birthday guests. Almost 33 years since this law has been passed, and it is still a controversial subject. It’s still a political trend. Fads, however, are any form of mannerisms that progress among a culture collectively for a short time.

Whenever someone finds something entertaining, they show others so that they may be amused as well. This idea catches like wild fire amongst a culture, until the meaning, or novelty of it has died. Different from what we’ve seen with a trend – which comes and goes, or stays “amusing”, through generations. A more recent fad that has hit the United States is something on a different scale entirely than Chinese laws. They are the silly shaped bracelets that every child (and sometimes even adults) wanted, Silly Bandz. Shaped in a wide variety of things, these Silly Bands were a huge fashion statement.

BCP Imports first sold Silly Bandz online in November 2008, but by fall of 2009, their popularity shot up from the east and west coast. This product made such a presence amongst the young crowd, that they were banned from some schools for being a “distraction”. There was even concerns about children’s health because some kids would wear them so high up on their arms that they would cut off their circulation. Now, in 2013, one doesn’t really hear too much about Silly Bandz anymore, nor do you ever really see them as much as in 2009 and 2010.

Both of these things do have something in common, even though they are not interchangeable. They both are things that a culture perceives as fresh and fun, and done communally. Do these things really help shape culture, or is it just societal? One would have to take a look at the things happening before and after a trend or fad occurs. A beatnik is a person who partook in a social movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. This social movement stressed artistic self-expression and the rejection of the traditions of conventional society.

Or, roughly speaking, a usually young and creative person who rejects the values of orthodox society. One no longer hears of a person being a beatnik, so one could assume that this is just a passing fad. But, how did this help shape culture at the time? Well, instead of persons of this time period in the United States shunning this revolutionary idea and name, they embraced all that it stood for. Without this beatnik movement, there wouldn’t have been indifference and individuality amongst the masses like there was. Would the American body still be stuck in the mindset that they were in during the 1950s?

Sexual inequality, nuclear ignorance and all-in-all obliviousness. Although we still have that in this day and age, it’s lessened incredibly. People’s mindset has opened up enormously from what it was in the 1950s. Hence the dramatic difference from someone’s moral standings that were brought up in the 1950s compared to someone that was brought up in the 1990s. This question will never really be answered since no one can never know the outcome of changed history, but it is common knowledge that things would be different if history were to change.

So, in theory, trends and fads do help shape who people are as a society. Fads are a “passing phase” in society’s history, whereas trends are continuous in catching someone’s interest through different periods of time. They do help outline a group of individual’s lifestyle, by forming a culture’s style, diet and behavior. Although both put a perception of enjoyment on something, only one survives to be a trend. This is because of the novelty and meaning of the said object deteriorating. These two words aren’t transposable, but do directly affect the transition of human evolution.

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