Popular culture, also known as pop culture, may refer to a myriad of cultural communication channels ranging from print based media, television, advertising, radio, movies, novels, pop music, jazz music, and even comics. At the turn of the twentieth century, “high art” was the reserve of the affluent and educated in society which ultimately led to the emergence of a “low art” (also known as popular art) for the benefit of the lower classes. The stratification kind of fizzled out in the 1950s when pop culture became more popular across the different societal divides. By the 1960s, artists began combining pop culture with forms like imagery, advertisements, comics and even movies that were adapted from high art.
Over the years, many theories on pop culture have emerged. For instance, the aristocratic theory seeks to equate pop culture to moral degeneracy. Subscribers to this school of thought believe that pop culture is a threat to the modern day civilization. Some argue that pop culture blatantly undermines the important values that are taught by religion, civilization and art in general. Ironically, high art also has its fair share of the very same backlashing.
The other interesting theory of pop culture is the dialogic theory. This theory portrays pop culture as an amalgamation of a number of culture industry creations. That would imply that various communities engage in production of both culture and counter-culture elements, which ultimately make up the pop culture. The theory also looks at the consumers of pop culture as textual poachers since they are quick to adapt the text to fit very different scenarios as occasion demands. This, as Jenkins observes, is the reason why the consumers easily craft their social identities via borrowing and modifying mass culture and thereby championing causes that would otherwise be ignored by mainstream media.
The subversive culture is arguably the most interesting of pop culture theories. It stipulates that pop culture has intrinsic ability to challenge the norms in society. A great example is the Dixie Chicks political protest which led to coining of a new verb “to be Dixie Chicked.” Another good illustration is Avatar, a movie that is anti-mining, anti-corporate and anti-military and yet has raked in over 2 billion dollars. The movie challenges the norm and instead promotes nature spirituality and environmentalism.
Pop culture is just that- popular. If history is anything to go by, then we can safely state that pop culture is a force that cannot be stopped - especially since it is very amorphous. Over the decades, pop culture has mutated taking different forms and influencing thinking in society. Not only has it shaped our thinking but it has shaped our belief system too. However, whether pop culture will continue to grow stronger over the years is subject to debate and only time will tell.
Pop Culture as an Expression of Society Essays
636 Words3 Pages
Pop culture is the modern lifestyle which is countenanced and recognized by society, the cultural patterns that are common within a population. The general opinion is that pop culture is a useful expression of society and the prevailing environment, as pop culture is the culture which is followed by the majority, and therefore reflects society.
The pop culture of a society is influenced by many aspects of society such as music, movies and modern technology. Modern day songs and movies promote ideas about drinking, smoking and clubbing, as well as the usage of appalling language. These are heard and seen by the teenagers of society, who then feel that it is acceptable for them to get drunk, and do what they know they should not be…show more content…
The Beatles influenced other artists to perform their own unique music, which was very uncommon during the late fifties and early sixties. The Beatles, who often sang songs about love, may have helped to bring an end to the Vietnam War.
While The Beatles influenced society positively, their music also had its negative influence. The song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” has the initials of the drug “LSD”, which then influenced many teenagers to take drugs. The youth do not always approve of the previous pop culture, and try to form their own. One of the changes that was made was that drugs became acceptable and very popular, and are still popular today
Although everyone reacted differently to The Beatles drug taking and intense approach to life; it was just significant that people were reacting, and therefore were being influenced in some manner by The Beatles.
The Beatles were the greatest rock band ever to exist, and their influences will remain for years to come as the youth of each generation continue to listen to their music and buy the collectors items such as mugs and autobiographies.
In a personal questionnaire which was conducted, it was established that 86% of people in society believe that pop culture does have an influence on society, but that it has a negative effect as people become too obsessed with materialism, vanity, and they will follow the trends even if the obsession is completely