From the shoes I wear to the bat ears hat I own and clapping with my hands above my head music and television has influenced my socialization into American culture. Some musicians may have been forced upon me, others I voluntarily listen too to make my socialization easier and alas the ones I liked when no one else around me liked.
Coming to the United States I had had an accent which I got rid of for the most part within a year of my being here. Upon my arrival I knew nothing of what was going on in music because in Cameroon such things were trivial at the time. The first few months were spent listening to Radio Disney. So many tales they told and so many morals to go along with them. However when I started school here, all the kids were listening to Hot 97 and songs about people being shot in the hood. I found everything about such music appalling but I pretended to like it in order to fit into my surroundings because I had nothing else in common with these foreign children. This was in primary school.
As the earls went by and I entered junior high school, my new accent trained with the help of 7th heaven, Charmed, Buffy the vampire slayer, one tree hill, and The BBC I found that everyone was suddenly obsessed with what they wore which baffled me because we had a uniform, white collared shirt khaki pants and black shoes however everyone turned these basic things into hundreds of dollars worth in clothing and my mother found that ridiculous so I was unable I connect with anyone. As a result to not haven bought 200 dollar sneakers I was picked on so instead I got my socialization of a preteen did from book by Judy Blum and Julie Ann Peters among many others like J.K Rolling and such. From Harry Potter I learned the value of loyalty and friendship. The only problem was I had no one else to share these newly found values with because no one else was reading the same books as me. With One Tree Hill, though I’d been drawing for ages I adopted the style of drawing one of the main characters used, I also got a lot of the music I listened to from that show. The only thing I did socially was play chess with strangers over the Internet. So for 3 years I listened to Radio Disney, watched Television, played chess with strangers and read countless books.
In high school I got to enforce all the morals I picked up in books and movies and still be cool all because one day I got my mum to buy me a pair of classic converses which the small group of head shaven tattoo sporting piercing haven cool kids wore. This landed me a spot in their little circle and in that circle I enforced for myself what I felt was right and wrong based on the books I'd read and what I watched on television, It was wrong to not drink alcohol and do drugs, It was wrong to have sex with random people, It was wrong to dumpster dive, It was wrong to side on the side walk and look like a hobo (this rule was flexible if I was tired of standing) it was wrong to listen to radio Disney, it was wrong to mistake The Turtles for The Doors, It was wrong to not wear tight pants and loose tops, it was wrong to dress in bright colours, It was wrong to look like your clothing just got laundered. Eventually I got sick of all the rules of socialization so I went to join a different more simple group or so I though. The next group was a practically all lesbian group, and learning the acceptable gender terms and fashions was a tedious as the last group so after a while I left there too and joined the girl’s basket ball team as their manager. I wasn't as expected to know everything a basket ball player would know but I had to learn new handshakes and locker room etiquette.
Leaving high school I got really into the band Tegan and Sara which I'd gotten to know from One Tree Hill. I liked what they stood for, love, peace and equality. Tegan and Sara are identical twins from Canada who play indie rock music. They also happen to both be lesbians which doesn't matter to me because music doesn't have a gender. They also educate their fans on various subject matters, for example Sara wrote a piece about misogyny in the music industry which is really important for any female in today's day and age. I've been reading a lot lately because of Tegan and Sara. Sara has a book list which she updates frequently and the types of books she reads are rather different from what I generally enjoy reading. Aside from their book list, Tegan and Sara fans are very literate so since I and several friends of mine run a Tegan and Sara fan page we do a lot of reading, we even ship books to each other because none of us live near each other. Though my mother teaches English she couldn't get me to read any of the classics but I'm currently reading Catcher in the Rye and The book Thief. Of late people have been telling me I'm quite well read and I really attribute that to Tegan and Sara.
In conclusion I think I have been more influenced by books and Television than my own parents. No one really ever listens to their parents because what do they know they aren’t from our time. On the other hand when you have music and shows and friends who partake in influencing of your adolescent to adult lives you really grow close to it. Then maybe you actually go back and listen to your parents if all goes wrong. I think I’ve turned out alright, and so must my mum because she constantly brags and takes credit for everything I do.