Popular Culture


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An early attempt at a PowerPoint for class, a miserable effort.

Popular Culture

  1. 1. Popular Culture What is It? Is it Important? What Does it Say About Us?
  2. 2. What is It? <ul><li>Pop culture is the vernacular (people’s) culture that prevails in any given society. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Unbelievable <ul><li>There are people who make a living studying popular culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s look at the web sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.wsu.edu/~amerstu/pop/tvrguide.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.americanpopularculture.com/journal/contents.htm </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. How is Pop Culture Determined? <ul><li>By everyday interactions, needs and desires, the cultural “moments” that make up our everyday lives. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who Influences Pop Culture? <ul><li>In modern society, pop culture is influenced by the industries that disseminate cultural material. </li></ul><ul><li>Film, television, news media, music, publishing, anime. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What Makes Pop Culture Unique? <ul><li>It is constantly changing </li></ul><ul><li>It is specific to time and place </li></ul>
  7. 7. Pop Culture has Broad Appeal <ul><li>Appeal to a broad spectrum of the public </li></ul><ul><li>Is it because broad appeal items are produced and sold by profit making companies in an attempt to maximize profits? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Is Pop Culture Superficial? <ul><li>Two schools of thought: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural items that require extensive experience, training, or reflection to be appreciated seldom become items of popular culture. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others argue that pop culture is on the cutting edge of culture- adopted by cultural mavens – and then adopted by the laggards in the mainstream. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Pop Culture is Serious Business <ul><li>Lots of people are making lots of money studying and commenting on popular culture. </li></ul><ul><li>We will look at a website devoted to our popular culture. </li></ul><ul><li>http:/www/americanpopularculture.com </li></ul><ul><li>Studies 20 th and 21 st century American culture and history. Articles on rap music, SARS and racial relations, women’s self esteem via Real Women Have Curves, etc. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Another Website <ul><li>http://xroads.virginia.edu/~YP </li></ul><ul><li>“The serious, scholarly study of mass or popular culture is a fairly recent phenomenon, although sociologists have long found the materials w/ which Americans amuse themselves fascinating for what they reflect about the people and the world around them. Pop culture serves as a mirror wherein society can better see itself.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Forms of Popular Culture <ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>Television </li></ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul><ul><li>Toys </li></ul><ul><li>Comic Books </li></ul><ul><li>Film </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Fashion </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines </li></ul><ul><li>Cyber culture </li></ul>
  12. 12. Issues in Popular Culture <ul><li>Race </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Imperialism </li></ul><ul><li>Censorship </li></ul>
  13. 13. Assignment <ul><li>Pick a form of popular culture – music, film, book, etc. and tell us what issue is being addressed. One slide that states form and issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, look at one website (at least) and see how they view the form and the issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Tie it together with a PowerPoint presentation. If possible, play the music, movie, etc. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Questions? <ul><li>What questions do you have? </li></ul><ul><li>Look into popular culture, what is it trying to say? </li></ul><ul><li>BE CREATIVE </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Presentation <ul><li>Needs to include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title Slide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The URL of 3 websites that you visited to study popular culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An analysis of the article of popular culture that you studied. For example, if a song, the lyrics and an analysis of what the artist is trying to say about race, gender, etc. </li></ul></ul>