"Urban" in the news

The latest buzz word seems to be "urban". Well, perhaps not the latest (I heard the word being used in Dutch "youth" culture scenes over 15 years ago) but it's pretty well everywhere nowadays. The meaning has changed over the years as far as I can tell but, as usual with these buzz words, no-one actually knows what it means, and those who claim to know never seem to agree on the meaning. :)

Be that as it may, "urban" is cool and advertisers want to get on the band wagon. Fortunately, they fail to grasp the finer nuances of the scene and the more they try to commercialise the word, the faster the meaning shifts. Fast communications result in fast changing interpretations.

However, there are some admirable attempts to at least describe certain aspects of "urban". The article Urban in de Volkskrant on the New Media and Urban Culture blog (in Dutch!) is such an attempt. It's an interesting article about the Dutch "urban" radio station FunX, its audience and its reasons for being.

This article is well worth a read to understand at least a few aspects of what "urban" means. Just keep in mind that a few months from now the whole story could be different. Don't you just love modern culture? :)

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