Summary and Critique
The given article argues that country music, if combined with an organized country subculture, contributes to suicide rates through its over-representation of such themes as divorce, alcohol abuse, financial strain (including impoverishment), and exploitation at work. The main features of country music are fatalism and hopelessness, which are considered to be detrimental for human psychological well-being. Since white people do not externalize their emotions as blacks do, the relationship between country music and suicide is stronger for the former than the latter.
I fully agree to the argument highlighted in the article “country music per se is not expected to drive people to suicide
But, given the existence of an organized country subculture, the risk of suicide is enhanced.” For instance, if a normal person, who does not abuse alcohol, is not exploited at work and has no financial or marital problems, listens to county music, he or she is not likely to get concerned about the mentioned issues. I know many people who like country music just for its rhythm, and they do not think about suicides at all. On the contrary, if it comes to an organized country subculture, it can be harder for a person to withstand group pressure. The point is that any subculture intensifies its influence and outlook through various means, for example, typical clothes, symbols, propaganda, etc. Anyway, a subculture is highly capable of asserting and imposing its ideas, due to the fact that its power stems mainly from unanimity of its members. Therefore, it is typical of a person, who belongs to the country subculture, to become more prone to suicidal moods than other people. A constant existence in the environment, where human problems are at the center of attention, cannot but make a person want to get rid of them, and suicide seems one of the best ways to do this.