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Defining Popular Culture
Transcript of Defining Popular Culture
Isn't high culture also higher quality? Not necessarily. Some works of art might meet the basic criteria of high culture, without actually being the BEST high culture. Similarly, some mass culture films, books, songs, and television shows can be of the finest quality and exempify incredible skill. Although we tend to think of the high culture/popular culture distinction as being an issue of quality, it is really about... Popular culture is defined as the culture that is associated with the broad masses, rather than the powerful elite. But even powerful elites love a good pop song! For our purposes: 'Popular' culture is defined as commercially produced culture. This commercial production implies that it is made for a broad audience and sold for financial gain. What about the word 'Culture'? The term culture invokes the issue of MEANING. What meaning does our world hold? What is the meaning of our lives? We answer these questions through cultural practices--from going to church to listening to music. 'Popular Culture' then implies that some meanings are broadly shared in society, bridging across our class identities, religions, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and regional locations. Popular culture if full of meanings about all aspects of human life. For our purposes this semester, we will focus on meanings related to:
Which brings us back to... Reflection Theory: One approach to the relationship between culture and power suggests that culture simply reflects the power system in our broader society. If television is full of narrow and stereotypical images of women, it's because that how our society treats women. Television is not to blame, society is. If television, music videos, movies, fashion magazines, and popular books are a mirror... Distorted reflection! Shaping Approaches: If we think that popular culture actually has some power, then we have to use theoretical models that acknowledge culture's capacity to:
-Transform meaning How does culture shape the meanings of race, disability, gender and sexuality? STEREOTYPES ABSENCES UNDER-REPRESENTATION OVER-REPRESENTATION SIDE-LINING VILLIFYING ANNOINTING: MAKING SAINTS OUT OF A PARTICULAR GROUP So, although our focus this semester is on how popular culture deals with sexuality, disability, gender and race, what we're ultimately examining is...