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Cultural studies


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  • 1. Cultural Studies Steve Gibson
  • 2. First Assumption
    • Culture pervades and invades all facets of human behavior
      • Need a different meaning for culture
        • The various norms, ideas, values, and forms of understanding in a society that help people interpret their reality
    • All a part of a culture’s ideology
    • Ideology – framework used to makes sense of our existence
  • 3. First Assumption Cont.
    • Cultural practices and institutions permeate our ideologies
    • “ All groups are constantly engaged in creating and remaking meaning systems and embodying these meanings in expressive forms, social practices, and institutions”- Graham Murdock
    • Culture wars – cultural struggles over meaning, identity, and influence
    • Many behaviors that we practice daily, and others that are less frequent
  • 4. Second Assumption
    • People are part of a hierarchical structure of power
    • Meaning and power are closely related
      • Power is something subordinate groups desire but cannot achieve
  • 5. The Media
    • Ultimate source of power
    • Hall argues that no institution should have the power to decide what the public hears
    • Choose what is important
    • Tool of the dominant class
  • 6. Hegemony
    • Defined as the influence, power, or dominance of one social group over another
    • Idea can be traced back to Antonio Gramsci
      • One of the founders of the Italian Communist Party
    • Based on false consciousness
      • Belief that people are unaware of the domination in their lives
    • People will consent to the ideologies of the dominant culture if they are given “rights”
      • Freedoms, material goods, etc.
  • 7. Hegemony Cont.
    • Theatre of Struggle
      • Competition of various cultural ideologies
        • Ex. Women’s rights prior to 1920 and women’s rights after 1920 or African American rights prior to the 60s and after the 60s
  • 8. Counter-Hegemony
    • People use hegemonic behaviors to challenge the domination in their lives
      • The Cosby Show
  • 9. Personal Experience
    • Over the span of my life
      • The Beatles
      • The Beach Boys
      • Classic rock-> Duran Duran, Aerosmith, Guns ‘N Roses, etc.
      • Rap
      • Rock/Metal/Punk/Hardcore
  • 10. Discussion Question
    • Are there beliefs or qualities that people or yourself possess that cannot be influenced by the dominant culture? If so, where did these beliefs originate?