it is human nature to live together with other human beings and so cannot live in isolation. With different backgrounds and personalities, the communities and societies consist of many people. This therefore implies differences in behaviour and probably leads to misunderstanding. This paper seeks to look into a community problem where on neighbor plays loud music thus disturbing the others. And will after careful analysis of the community, problem, observation and cross cultural research, come out with a recommended solution.
For the human race, one of the things that does not change from each passing generation to the next is the need to live in a community. This has been defined with our need of being closer and forming societies with the main objective of co existence. It is, therefore, true that for the human population, one cannot live on their own because we are nurtured to fulfill the need to be socially available for others. In respect to this, the community under which this paper is based on is my neighborhood. It is a simple estate with houses grouped into court yards. Each court is distinct in that it holds approximately fifteen houses with only one gate welcoming you to the court.
My neighborhood is well diverse in terms of population in that there are different races and generations living together. This is relatively true for any other neighborhood that is a close representation of ours given that such neighborhoods are common in the United States. My community consists of five white American families, four African Americans, one Asian family and three Hispanic families. The majority of the children from these families are in their teenage years with only two families having an infant and a toddler. One of the Hispanic family consists of a couple who appear to be newly wedded given that they only moved in a year ago and are yet to have children of their own.
The neighborhood is very engaging in that people tend to make an effort of who their neighbor is and thus far, it is fair to say that most families are friends or acquaintances within this small society. The people are also hard working in that they have jobs to attend to while there are two or three business owners from my neighborhood. One thing that everyone in this community likes is to understand each other and providing a peaceful environment for those around them. This can be understood with the norm of being tolerant towards each other and more so in respect to accommodating to one’s culture in order to coexist peacefully.
In as much as I would like to say that the neighborhood is often problem free, it is a given that people will collide from time to time. This is because this is a large community and people have different personalities and cultural beliefs. The one problem facing this neighborhood is noise pollution from a neighbor who insists on playing loud music at night. Loud music can present a number of issues for the neighbors to deal with. Two of the most common complaints that have been raised by different neighbors from the loud music at night is: disturbance thus deprived sleep and hostility.
The first problem is simply as a result of being unable to sleep from the loud music. At night, it is expected that neighborhoods are quiet so as to allow people to rest peacefully. However, with loud music, the vocals and the vibrations from the sound system tends to travel a long distance thus keeping most people awake because most people cannot sleep under such an environment. The lack of sleep will eventually lead to physical exhaustion because the body is not well rested. explains that it is important for the human body to get rest especially through sleep at least eight hours or more a day. This is because it is the perfect time for muscles to heal and other bodily functions to halt thus allowing the respective systems to take a break. There is also the problem of potentially losing one’s ability to hear effectively because of the loud music.
Another problem is that of hostility towards the accused neighbor. The majority of the population will see this neighbor to be the cause of the problem and therefore become hostile towards them. Chances are that neighbors might begin to take sides because there might be those who are not affected by the loud music while there are others who are. In such a situation, the neighborhood becomes divided and people might start to attack one other physically or psychologically. Either way, the peace of the neighborhood becomes threatened because everyone feels like they are right and if the situation is not well addressed, chances that injury or damage becomes imminent.
Participant Observation Summary
In order to undertake the participant observation summary part of the paper, I found it necessary to include more than just my neighbor. I saw it fit to include the neighboring court that was directly opposite ours. The reason for this was to consider the problem from more than one point of view thus broadening my target population. The other court is similar to ours in terms of structure and layout but they do not have a neighbor who plays loud music at night. However, it did come to my attention that loud music is often played during the day from several houses which are owned or rented by young people.
From my observation, my neighbor who plays loud music tends to do so between 9 pm to about 2 am on particular days of the week. During the day, it appears as though there is nobody at home and it is only from 5 or 6 pm that one can notice some movement in or out of the house. As for the opposite courtyard, the place becomes noises as soon as it is 9 am in the morning. This goes on until the afternoon when things start to quiet down. From this neighborhood, the majority of the population are young people who appear to be in their mid-twenties and are employed. The common factor from this neighborhood is that they respect each other’s space.
Coming back to my neighborhood, it appears as though we tend to understand that we all have different personalities, however, not everyone agrees that the loud music is a bother. The immediate neighbors from the culprit house complain a lot while those furthest from them are okay with it and as a matter of fact, do not understand why the rest are complaining. Relaying the same to the opposite courtyard, people there feel like everyone is entitled to their own freedom given that they do not infringe on the others. As such, most if not all of they agree that at night, loud music can be a bother to everyone and that is why they do not do it. They somehow feel that it is acceptable during the day because everyone is either out of their homes and those left behind are playing loud music themselves.
Therefore, from my neighborhood observation, it was my understanding that there is a great difference in how people view loud music at night and also, they are divided based on how it affects them individually. From the opposite neighborhood, it was my understanding that there appears to be more integrated living in that people are genuinely involved and care for each other. That is why in as much as every individual household has people with a personality different from the rest, they all come together is appreciating simple things thus showing respect to each other.
Key Informant Interview Summary
In order to gather as much information on the situation as possible, I included four key informants. To keep their identity a secret, I will use the names, neighbor 1 to 4 to identify them. Neighbor 1 is a stay at home mother of three whom together with her husband bought their house six years ago. She explains that they choose the neighbor as it was in close proximity to the school of choice for their children and that the neighborhood was very promising. Neighbor 1 chooses to be a housewife after a discussion with her husband because of the need for one of them to be readily available for their children. However, she takes on regular online jobs that she can do from the comfort of her home with the only problem being that the loud music is affecting her input at night. She explains that in as much as she can do the work during the day, most of her clients are overseas meaning that time difference sometimes forces her to be online at night in order to communicate with them. Furthermore, it is not only her but her husband and children who are being affected by the loud music. She complains that during school days, her children wake up exhausted if not late for school for having to stay awake until the noise stops. The same goes for her husband. Neighbor 1 has the option of reporting the matter to the police, the neighborhood watch or talking directly to the neighbor but chooses to stay silent hoping that someone else will take care of the problem. She feels like she does not want to come across as a “that” neighbor who puts others in trouble with respective authority and thus far, she has managed to live peacefully with the rest so why ruin it now?
My second key informant is neighbor 2 who is dance teacher at a private performing art school. She is recently married and just made the bold move of taking up a mortgage in order to secure their future children housing situation. Her husband and her have were born and raised in America even though their descendants were immigrants. She enjoys music and uses it as a therapy not only for her dance students but on herself. In respect to the loud music, she says that it is not that much of a bother given the distance between their houses. She does acknowledge that it is disrespectful to play loud music at night because it disrupts others but at the same time, she admits to occasionally enjoying the music but this has to be on the weekends. She says that the disturbance from the music is mild to her when she considers her other neighbors given that she does not hear it be as loud as everyone else does. Neighbor 2 career depends on a good night sleeps and for this reason, she says she has had conversations with the accused asking them to be a bit considerate of others.
My third key informant had to be the neighbor who plays the loud music. Just to continue with the same naming pattern, neighbor 3 is a couple who are in their late twenties and expecting their first child. They only recently inherited the house from the girl’s grandparents who gave it to them as a wedding gift. The couple plays loud music at night because this is the time the pregnant wife finds it possible to clean. She explains that during the day, most of her time is taken up by meetings and the running of her business that she has little time left to do house chores. Since she is pregnant and will be on maternity leave soon, she wants to ensure that certain business goals are reached to secure the successful running of the business with her being away from it for at least three months. She says that she only plays loud music during certain days of the week and according to her, she does not think it is that loud. Her husband, on the other hand, acknowledges that some neighbors have complained about the music but chooses to do nothing about it because the wife not only likes it but now that she is pregnant, he is afraid of the retaliation asking her to stop might bring. The two have always enjoyed loud music and somehow it is part of their personality on that now it is a disturbance to others.
My fourth informant is neighbor 4 who comes from the opposite courtyard. She is a stay at home mom who runs an online business as a marketing affiliate for different local brands. She explains that her work is very flexible and does not require her to be working the normal hours of the day. She explains that it is only when she has a bulk to deliver that she will work most day time but for most occasions, she chooses to work at her own convenience. As for the loud music during the day, she says she does not mind it because her home office is the situation at a place in her house that the noise is at its minimal. Having said this, she does acknowledge that it can indeed get a bit too loud and when it does, all she has to do is politely ask the respective neighbor to turn down their volume and also explain her reasons for doing so. For her, it is all about mutual respect because people have different reasons as to why they prefer loud music and since they too have rights, it might be reasonable to come to a mutual understanding about the situation rather than creating hostility.
Cross Cultural Research
is of the opinion that the younger generations are relatively known for playing loud music. Teenagers and young adults have been known to play loud music even through their earphones not knowing the potential dangers that they are subjecting their ears to. Given this cultural acceptance of younger generations playing loud music, it can be associated with our neighbors who are in their late twenties. As young adults, they are still drawing their ideologists and living a lifestyle that they have become accustomed to. That is why; it is easier for them to have no problem with the loud music while their neighbors, who are older, have a problem with it.
There is also the cultural perspective of wanting to express their feeling through music. Music as an industry has grown tremendously during the recent years because it is perceived as a global language that everyone understands and accepts. As a younger population, music is the best way to express the way they feel. It can be seen in the concerts that they attend and the following they give musicians today. 3further explain that given the importance music has today, it is a general acceptance by the younger population to play loud music. Therefore, it can be observed that through cross cultural research, loud music is a norm and practice accepted by teenagers and young adults who want to adhere to the demands of their lifestyle as per their age.
As per the problems highlighted through observation and informant interviews, this paper recommends the following solutions as a possibility. Firstly, the key informants, especially neighbor 1 has to come out and talk to their neighbor. It would be best to have a courtyard meeting where every neighbor is available and address the issue as calmly as possible. According to, addressing a noisy neighbor in a calm and reasonable way can be more effective than involving the police. As such, the neighbors, especially the most affected need to tell the couple how the loud music is a destruction thus coming up with solutions acceptable to both parties. This approach is also most likely to help with any hostility because of the manner in which the issue was approached.
Another recommended solution is to have a neighborhood agreement to what time loud music should be played. Just like our opposite neighbors, it is important to respect each other and that is why it would be important for every neighbor to come to a consensus as to what time everyone is comfortable with. This way, the neighbors can come together thus creating an environment of togetherness, peace, and understanding which is ideal because there will be fewer reasons for hostility.
Based on the research carried out, it is the conclusion of this paper that indeed loud music is a problem within our neighbors. It is also a conclusion that it is mostly the younger generation who tend to enjoy such music but this is due to their age group culture. We all have different personalities and at times, our preferences and activities are guided by a culture that defines such boundaries. Given that neighborhoods are meant to be peaceful societies, it is important for neighbors to solve their problems as effectively as possible. This being the case, simple misunderstandings given the behavior of one choice based on their cultural preferences ought not to be the root cause of neighbors fighting and causing disturbance to the rest. All these can be addressed by coming together and understanding the others point of view. In all this, we become tolerant towards each other.
Dachis, Adam. “How to complain about your noisy neighbor without being that guy,” Lifehacker. 2011. http://lifehacker.com/5868482/how-to-complain-about-your-noisy-neighbors-without-being-that-guy
Delistraty, Cody. “Let the body rest, for the sake of the brain.” The Atlantic. 2014. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/let-the-body-rest-for-the-sake-of-the-brain/381582/
Health & Lifestyle. “One Billion Young People Risk Hearing Loss From Loud Music.” Learning English. 2015. https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/one-billion-young-people-risk-hearing-loss-from-loud-music/2723230.html
Trulia. “Neighbor Disputes: 7 ways to keep the peace.” Huffington Post. 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/trulia/neighbor-disputes-7-ways-_b_11318270.html