Mainstream

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For selling out, see Selling out#Music.
For other uses, see Mainstream (disambiguation).

Mainstream is the common current thought of the majority.[1] It includes all popular culture and media culture, typically disseminated by mass media. The opposite of the mainstream are subcultures, countercultures and cult followings. It is often used as a pejorative term by subcultures who view ostensibly mainstream culture as not only exclusive but artistically and aesthetically inferior.[attribution needed] In the United States, mainline churches are sometimes referred to synonymously as "mainstream."[2][3] Also known as "straight" and "straights" for individuals.[4]

In film[edit]

Mainstream films are films that are distributed to movie theaters which give these films wide releases.[citation needed] However, the definition of a mainstream film can vary by country. For example, a mainstream film from China wouldn't be considered a mainstream film in India. But from a global perspective, mainstream films could be defined as Hollywood films, because it is these films which make up the majority of the most widely distributed films in the world. This makes Hollywood films the worldwide mainstream.

In the media[edit]

Mainstream media, or mass media, is generally applied to print publications, such as newspapers and magazines that contain the highest readership among the public, along with radio formats and television stations that contain the highest viewing and listener audience, respectively. This is in contrast to various independent media, such as alternative media newspapers, specialized magazines in various organizations and corporations, and various electronic sources such as podcasts and blogs (Though certain blogs are more mainstream than others given their association with a mainstream source.[5]

In music[edit]

Mainstream music denotes music that is familiar to the masses, as for example pop music, middle of the road music, pop rap or pop rock.

Opposing mainstream music is the music of subcultures. This exists in virtually all genres of music and is found commonly in punk rock, indie rock, alternative/underground hip hop, anti-folk and heavy metal, among others. In the 1960s this music was exemplified by the music of the hippie counterculture.

In science[edit]

Mainstream science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study that does not depart significantly from orthodox theories. In the philosophy of science, mainstream science is an area of scientific endeavor that has left the process of becoming established. New areas of scientific endeavor still in the process of becoming established are generally labelled protoscience or fringe science. A definition of mainstream in terms of protoscience and fringe science[6] can be understood from the following table:[7]

Systematized as scientific definition
Treated with scientific method
Attempts to be scientific or resembles science
Superstition Pseudoscience Fringe science Protoscience (Mainstream) science

By its standard practices of applying good scientific methods, mainstream is distinguished from pseudoscience as a demarcation problem and specific types of inquiry are debunked as junk science, cargo cult science, scientific misconduct, etc.

In sociology[edit]

Main article: Normality (behavior)

Mainstream pressure, through actions such as peer pressure, can force individuals to conform to the mores of the group (e.g., an obedience to the mandates of the peer group). Some, such as those of modern Hipster culture, have stated that they see mainstream as the antithesis of individuality.

In religion[edit]

Mainstream Christianity is a term used to collectively refer to the common views of major denominations of Christianity (such as Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Protestantism) as opposed the particular tenets of other Christian denominations. The context is dependent on the particular issues addressed, but usually contrasts a orthodox majority view against a heterodox minority view. In the most common sense, "mainstream" refers to Nicene Christianity, or rather the traditions which continue to claim adherence to the Nicene Creed.[8][9]

Mainstream American Protestant churches[10] (also called "Mainline Protestant") are a group of Protestant churches in the United States that have stressed social justice and personal salvation,[11] and both politically and theologically, tend to be more liberal than non-mainstream Protestants. Mainstream Protestant churches share a common approach that often leads to collaboration in organizations such as the National Council of Churches,[12] and because of their involvement with the ecumenical movement, they are sometimes given the alternative label of "ecumenical Protestantism" (especially outside the United States).[13] While in 1970 the mainstream Protestant churches claimed most Protestants and more than 30 percent of the American population as members,[14] as of 2009 they are a minority among American Protestants, claiming approximately 15 percent of American adults.[15]

Education[edit]

Mainstreaming is the practice of bringing disabled students into the “mainstream” of student life. Mainstreamed students attend some classes with typical students and other classes with students that have similar disabilities. Mainstreaming represents a midpoint between full inclusion (all students spend all day in the regular classroom) and dedicated, self-contained classrooms or special schools (disabled students are isolated with other disabled students).

Gender mainstreaming[edit]

Main article: Gender mainstreaming

The difference of male and female, in the sense that human beings are distinguished as non-conformant.

Etymology[edit]

The term mainstream refers to the principle current of a river or stream. Its figurative use by Thomas Carlyle to indicating the prevailing taste or mode is attested at least as early as 1831.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Princeton Edu definition" http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=mainstream
  2. ^ Caldwell, John. "Faith in school: as mainstream churches continue to wrestle with homosexuality, some religious colleges are taking an increasingly welcoming attitude toward gay students,", The Advocate Sept 2, 2003
  3. ^ Baer, Hans A. "Black Mainstream Churches; Emancipatory or Accommodative Responses to Racism and Social Stratification in American Society?" Review of Religious Research Vol. 30, No. 2 (Dec., 1988), pp. 162-176
  4. ^ America in the Sixties. John Robert Greene. Syracuse University Press, 2010
  5. ^ Wallsten, K. (2007), Agenda Setting and the Blogosphere: An Analysis of the Relationship between Mainstream Media and Political Blogs. Review of Policy Research, 24: 567–587. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-1338.2007.00300.x
  6. ^ Reflections on the reception of unconventional claims in science, newsletter Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University (1990).
  7. ^ Thomas Kuhn: Reflections on my critics. In: Imre Lakatos and A. Musgrave: Criticism and the growth of knowledge. Cambridge University Press, London (1974), pp. 231–278.
  8. ^ The Nicene Creed, Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI (New York: Robert Appleton Company), 1911, "The Nicene Creed is the profession of the Christian Faith common to the Catholic Church, to all the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, and to most of the Protestant denominations" 
  9. ^ "Nicene Creed", Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Online., 2007, "Christian statement of faith that is the only ecumenical creed because it is accepted as authoritative by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and major Protestant churches" 
  10. ^ Moorhead, James H. (1999), World Without End: Mainstream American Protestant Visions of the Last Things, 1880–1925, Religion in North America, number 28, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. xxii, 241 
  11. ^ Chang, Perry (November 2006), Recent Changes in Membership and Attendance, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), archived from the original on 2010-02-02 
  12. ^ Wuthnow, Robert; Evans, John H., eds. (2002), The Quiet Hand of God: Faith-Based Activism and the Public Role of Mainline Protestantism, p. 4 
  13. ^ Hutcheson, Richard G., Jr. (1981), Mainline Churches and the Evangelicals: A Challenging Crisis?, Atlanta, Georgia: John Knox Press, pp. 36–37 
  14. ^ Hout, Michael; Greeley, Andrew; Wilde, Melissa J. (2001). "The Demographic Imperative in Religious Change in the United States". American Journal of Sociology 107 (2): 468–500. doi:10.1086/324189. 
  15. ^ Report Examines the State of Mainline Protestant Churches, Barna.org (The Barna Group), December 7, 2009 
  16. ^ "Mainstream (n)" Online Etymology Dictionary