Culture theory and popular culture essay

Book clubs were scandalous because they created a space where high and low could meet.

Pop is specific of something containing qualities of mass appeal, while "popular" refers to what has gained popularity, regardless of its style. The theory of culture industry[ edit ] Diametrically opposed to the aristocratic view would be the theory of culture industry developed by Frankfurt School critical theorists such as Theodor W.

For example, certain currents of pop culture may originate from, or diverge into a subculturerepresenting perspectives with which the mainstream popular culture has only limited familiarity.

This type of criticism, often produced by people who are also active in popular literary writing themselves, often amounts to paraphrase and suffers from an uncritical identification with the study object.

In the sixties, Marshall McLuhan caused wide irritation with his statement that the traditional, book-oriented intellectuals had become irrelevant for the formulation of cultural rules in the electronic age. July Learn how and when to remove this template message Still the traditional views have a long life.

The historicity of the contemporary situation is not taken into account, so its internal contradictions are ignored, and thus revolution can only be seen as purely utopian.

While in the 19th century, intellectuals managed to construct art as a proper, closed domain in which only the in-crowd was allowed to judge, they Culture theory and popular culture essay seen this autonomy become ever more threatened by 20th-century mass society. Soon, the term " middlebrow " was introduced to qualify this phenomenon and to dismiss it as a threat to the authenticity of both high and popular culture.

The neo-aristocratic defense of so-called transhistorical and universal human values may also often be linked to a conservative political project.

The media, themselves divided over innumerable specific discourses, transform them again. Moreover, beliefs and opinions about the products of commercial culture spread by word-of-mouthand become modified in the process and in the same manner that folklore evolves.

This force consisted mainly of lower-class people, but nevertheless disposed of a certain authority over the upper class.

Recurring issues in popular culture studies[ edit ] The interactions between popular and legitimized culture[ edit ] The blurring of the boundaries between high and low culture is one of the main complaints made by traditional intellectuals about contemporary mass society.

No cleanup reason has been specified. The main factor here was not the quantitative expansion of consumption culture, nor the intrusion of commerce into the field of art through the appearance of paperbacks and book clubs.

Though Roberts claims to take a distance from studies of canonical fiction, he justifies his implicit decision to impose canonical models on popular fiction as follows: Both establish the lonely, autonomous, avant-garde intellectual as the only light in a zombie society.

And in the academic world, growing attention for popular and marginal cultures threatens the absolute values on which intellectuals have built their autonomy. However, they also criticized the pessimism of the Frankfurt School: The system has taken over; only the state apparatus dominates.

Thus they cannot control the reception of their own messages anymore, and thereby see their influence on the structuring of culture threatened. Contemporary popular culture studies[ edit ] Aside from precursors such as Umberto Eco and Roland Barthespopular culture studies as we know them today were developed in the late seventies and the eighties.

With the widespread use of the Internet from the s, the distinction between mass media and word-of-mouth has become blurred.

Some scholars, however, describe how opposition forces use the logic of the media to subvert them. As Alan Swingewood points out in The Myth of Mass Culture, [3] the aristocratic theory of mass society is to be linked to the moral crisis caused by the weakening of traditional centers of authority such as family and religion.

The growing awareness of the historical and cultural variability of moral categories had to be a problem for an intellectual class which had based its position on the defense of secular but transhistorical values. After the book clubs came the mass-production of the paperback format, and its influence was even more wide-ranging.

It is of course mainly the influence exercised by the Frankfurt School which matters here: Many critics easily read popular fiction and film as "attacks against the system", neglecting both the exact ways in which the so-called revolutionary message is enacted, and the capacities of dominant doctrines to recuperate critical messages.

This brings us to a second problem humanist intellectuals face, that is, the fragmentation of the public. Other theories easily yielding to monolithic thought stem from the emancipation movements of oppressed groups. His chapter on the history of jazz, blues and rock does not present a linear narrative opposing the authentic popular music to the commercial record industry, but shows how popular music in the U.

Other scholars [20] claim that, by presenting their perversion as supernatural, or at least pathological, horror films precisely contribute to perpetuating those institutions. On the other hand, Thomas Roberts demonstrates in An Aesthetics of Junk Fiction, [22] a study of the historical background of the private detective model, how the detective story came into existence in the middle of the 19th century, at the time the institution of state police was developed.

If we consider all the views depicted in the present article as instances of both the thesis and the antithesis of an argument, it is a less known scholar, Blanca de Lizaur who manages to finally produce the synthesis.

As Andrew Ross [11] writes, a history of popular culture is also a history of intellectuals, of cultural experts whose self-assigned task it is to define the borders between the popular and the legitimate. This is not to say that they lost any real political power, which humanist intellectuals as such hardly ever had.

In the sociological line of Mims and Lerner, she sees Literature as a necessary social institution -id est: The criticism raised can be summarized in three main arguments. Only studies analyzing the cultural oppression of homosexuality seem to take a less deterministic position.

And finally the public meaningfully relates those messages to individual existences through the mediation of social groups, family networks, etc. One way could be to introduce small gradual changes in products otherwise conforming to the requirements of a dominant ideology.Pop Culture Essay Examples.

31 total results. An Analysis of the Influence of Pop Culture and How It Is Influenced by Mass Media. words. Popular Culture, Language, Religion and Human Behavior Through Different Perspectives. 1, words.

3 pages. An Introduction to the Analysis of Humanities; Pop Culture. words. A lot of the things that were popular in the past are now fads that have come and gone, and the stuff that is considered pop culture today will probably do the same.

Back in the 60's there were the tye-dye t-shirts, bell-bottom jeans and love beads.3/5(6). Popular culture studies is the academic discipline studying popular culture from a critical theory perspective. It is generally considered as a combination of communication studies and cultural studies.

popular culture is always defined, implicitly or explicitly, in contrast to other conceptual categories: folk culture, mass culture, dominant culture” “Popular” and “Culture” As we have look in the first part of this essay, culture is not a fixed thing, it changes over time.

Popular culture

. 1 What is Popular Culture? aus: STOREY, John: Cultural Theory and Popular Culture.

Popular culture studies

- London et al. (PearsonlPrenUce Hall) I Before we consider in detail the different ways in which popular culture has been defined and analyzed, I want to outline some of the general features of the debate which the study of popular culture has generated.

Popular Culture essaysA typical teenage slumber party in a typical suburban home, girls in their pajamas talking about juicy gossip, hot guys, music and breast implants.

Breast implants? Albeit it is slightly shocking, even disturbing to think of teenage girls talking about such things as breasts en.

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Culture theory and popular culture essay
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