Culture, Counterculture, Cultural Studies, Mass
What is the meaning of
popular culture? Popular culture typically refers to what we do in our leisure
time. In this society, much of what we do involves consumption. Since the Frankfurt School, which identified with the high
culture of the intellectual classes, popular culture has been seen as
commercialized, serving the interests of the capitalist system.
Intellectual opinions of popular
culture, the culture of the masses, have been shaped by critical theory.
That "culture" was divisible into different types such as high, popular, and
folk are the most common distinctions came from the writings of Matthew Arnold.
Popular culture as we know it
came about in the second half of the nineteenth century and was viewed very negatively by
those who dared to acknowledge its existence. Post-modernists see popular culture as
representing the voices of the previously silent. By adopting the methods of film analysis
or literary criticism post-modernists examine the way popular culture is produced.
The Journal of Popular
Culture - The official publication of the Popular Culture Association. The
popular culture movement was founded on the principle that the perspectives and
experiences of common folk offer compelling insights into the social world. The Journal of
Popular Culture continues to break down the barriers between so-called "low" and
"high" culture and focuses on filling in the gaps that a neglect of popular
culture has left in our understanding of the workings of society.
An introduction to
theories of popular culture - Strinati, D.- Publisher: Routledge
Abstract: The publication represents a clear and comprehensive guide to the major theories
of popular culture, and a critical assessment of the ways in which these theories have
tried to understand and evaluate popular culture in modern societies. Among the theories
and ideas that the book introduces are: mass culture; the Frankfurt School and the culture
industry; structuralism and semiology; Marxism, political economy and ideology; feminism;
postmodernism; and cultural populism. The books explains how theorists have grappled with
the many forms of popular culture, from jazz to the Americanization of UK popular culture,
from Hollywood cinema to popular television series and soap operas, from teen magazines to
the spy novel, and shopping centres.
Discourse on popular culture: class, gender and history in the analysis of popular
Shiach, M. - Publisher: Basil Blackwell Ltd.
Designed to be of interest to students of communication and cultural studies, literature
and literature theory, women's studies and cultural history, the book examines the history
of analyses of popular culture in the UK, from the 18th century to the present day. It
highlights the ways in which discussions of popular culture have been structured by
considerations of power, class and gender. Specifically, the focus is on a series of key
phases in the history of these discourses during which the nature of popular culture
became a crucial issue for theorists situated within the dominant culture. Among the
examples discussed are the transformation of discourses on popular culture brought about
by the development of broadcasting. It is argued that the cultural and political
assumptions underlying the discourses raises issues which should be critically examined in
discussions of popular culture.
Urban Myths: Popular Culture, the City and Identity
By Katie Milestone, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University (July
Abstract: This article uses Manchester (England) as a case study to examine some
relationships between the city and the popular culture that emerges from, or seeks to
represent, this city. We focus on post-war popular culture that has been widely
disseminated such as film, television and popular music. The article considers whether
these examples of popular culture reflect wider urban, social and cultural change and
discuss what impact this popular culture has had on changing the landscape and fortunes of
the city. We discuss the case study of Manchester's popular culture in terms of ideas
about place-based identities and social class. We consider popular culture in terms of
de-industrialising Manchester through to regenerated Manchester. Concludes by discussing
the possibility that the city centre of Manchester has become gentrified and considers the
impact that this is having on popular culture.
Gay Sexuality in Singaporean Chinese Popular Culture - Where Have All the Boys
Kenneth Chan - China Information, Vol. 22, No. 2, 305-329 (2008)
In offering a selective survey of gay sexuality in Singaporean Chinese popular culture,
particularly television, film, and theater, this article examines how the notion of the
liminal functions as an effective critical trope to engage with a shifting
presence/absence materiality of gayness in these representations. It also argues that this
presence/absence is a consequence of the concentrically circular hierarchy of cultural
production and consumption created by the Singapore media censorship model.
The symposium on urban popular culture in modern China
by: Min Ma, Jin Jiang, Di Wang, Joseph Esherick, Hanchao Lu
Abstract: The studies of urban popular culture in modern China in recent years have
attracted wide attention from scholars in China and abroad. The symposium, Injecting
vitality into the studies of urban cultural history, Issues in the studies of
urban popular culture in modern China, The microcosm of Chinese cities: The
perspective and methodology of studying urban popular culture from the case of teahouses
in Chengdu, Remaking the Chinese city: Urban space and urban culture and
From elites to common people: The downward trend in the studies of Chinese urban
history in the United States, provide valuable insights on the perspective, trend,
and methodology of the studies.
Popular Culture and Demystification: Adorno's Argument in the Context of Russian
Popular Culture - Hajiyev, Anna
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 94th Annual Convention
Abstract: The essay explores the question if popular culture can function as a
demythologizing force in society and focuses on the Russian greatness myth. I argue that
some instances of mass culture are negatively capable of unmasking a collective myth. I
disagree with the idea that modern mass culture promotes solely regressive and
antidemocratic tendencies in society and hope to explicate my point of view by analyzing
the Russian comedy series Nasha Russia.
Law and Popular Culture: Examples from Colombian Slang and Spanish-Language Radio
in U.S. - Ernesto Hernandez Lopez - Chapman University School of Law
Abstract: This article argues that critical analysis of popular culture themes benefits
legal scholarship by providing distinct cross-border perspectives and illuminating popular
resistance efforts to hegemonic forces. This examination occurs in an Inter-American
context, characterized by a south-north dynamic and migration's transnational influence.
In these dynamics, there is significant popular resistance and anti-subordination to
hegemonic forces. This resistance is visible within popular culture.
This article makes two claims about popular culture's relevance. First, observing how
popular culture reflects societal interpretations of the law and politics greatly benefits
the scholarly objectives of international research by promoting an exchange across
national borders with an appreciation for different perspectives. Second, critically
exploring popular culture illuminates how resistance and anti-subordination efforts often
exercised by popular sectors, civil society, or Southern countries may be represented in
this culture. As evidence of this, Colombian slang and Spanish radio in the U.S during
2006 immigration demonstrations are examined as two popular culture examples.
Knowledge, ignorance and the popular culture: climate change versus the ozone hole
Sheldon Ungar - University of Toronto at Scarborough, Public Understanding of Science,
Vol. 9, No. 3, 297-312 (2000)
This paper begins with the "knowledge-ignorance paradox," the process by which
the growth of specialized knowledge results in a simultaneous increase in ignorance. Given
the assumption of widespread scientific illiteracy, the paper tries to show why the ozone
hole was capable of engendering some public understanding and concern, while climate
change failed to do so. The ozone threat encouraged the acquisition of knowledge because
it was allied and resonated with easy-to-understand bridging metaphors derived from the
Strong plots: The relationship between Popular Culture and Management Practice
& Theory - Czarniawska, Barbara, Gothenburg Research Institute, Rhodes, Carl,
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Abstract: Starting with references to previously established connections between high
culture and management, we turn to popular culture for the same kind of connection. We
suggest that much popular culture is based on established and repeated patterns of
emplotment. The "strong plots", we claim, provide possible blueprints for the
management of meaning in organizations. We illustrate our ideas with three types of text.
An ethnographic study of an organization in decline. Here we show how management practice
that attempted to work outside of the heroic emplotment of management action was resisted
in the organization. The second example concerns two popular novels about the financial
services industry. Thirdly, we turn to two examples of the parody of working life in comic
strips and animated cartoons. In this case we demonstrate that popular culture can also be
a site for the critique of, and resistance to, strong plots.
Television & Popular Culture
There is a need to develop a new critical vocabulary to understand how television and
popular culture function culturally. Contemporary media users are widely recognized as
literate and cynical, fully aware of the conditions under which they consume media and
popular culture. Academic research in the realm of television and popular culture needs to
recognize the impressive power of the industry to draw agendas for discussion of media
content and use. We propose to look at three types of practices: 1. Practices of
production 2. Practices of reception 3. Practices of critique. These practices involve all
aspects of television and popular culture: specific texts, the groups who make and use
them, and the contexts in which they do so. They provide a perspective to look at
television and popular culture, without marking social or cultural domains.
Syllabus: Popular Culture - Phil
Popular culture typically refers to what we do in our leisure time. In this society, much
of what we do involves consumption. We are a culture of mass consumers. Almost every
aspect of our modern leisure lifestyle (i.e., music, TV, sports, nightlife, etc) is based
on purchasing something that was initially made by someone else (probably on an assembly
line) and is then sold to us. This course examines popular culture in context of mass
society, mass media and the television in particular, and the issues raised by mass
society leisure patterns: In a mass society, who influences the forms of entertainment
that are made available to the 'mass' public? What messages and ideologies are promoted by
mainstream television and radio - and how are they helpful or harmful to certain groups?
How are some subcultures seeking their own voices in defiance of the dominant culture?
These and other questions are the subject of this class.
This course is partly designed to introduce the student to a sociological approach to the
study of how the production of desire brought by industrialism, capitalism, and the mass
media have influenced our lives. These influences are pervasive, influencing ideas about
'success', 'beauty', 'romance', 'happiness', and even what it means to be an 'American.'
The study of popular culture requires an examination of the larger social and economic
forces that influence our lives, particularly the rise of industrial capitalism and a mass
media which is driven by capitalism.
The course will be divided three sections. The first section of the course will review
important sociological issues and cover a basic introductory perspective of popular
culture. The second section of the course directly addresses the theme of popular culture
as driven by the force of mass consumption and the interests of industrial capitalists. In
the mass culture model, people are viewed largely as 'massified', opiated spectators who
consume that which corporations choose to offer us. Corporate elites are 'all-powerful' in
determining the shape of popular (mainstream) culture. Popular culture is really a 'mass
culture' brought to us by the 'mass media' which reinforces the dominant values of
consumer capitalism, materialism, patriarchy, racism, etc. The last section will examine
John Fiske's model of popular culture. Fiske disagrees with the mass cultural view which
tends to be promoted by Himmelstein, preferring to view popular culture as something
distinct from 'mass culture.' Fiske argues that, while the force of commodification is
great, many people still choose to make their own entertainment - and to make their own
expressions of cultural identity - rather than merely consume an instant, prefabricated or
ready-made culture manufactured on some 'assembly line' by corporations interested mainly
in making money and reinforcing the dominant ideologies that support their system. Fiske
explores peoples' everyday efforts as creative participants (as opposed to 'opiated
spectators') in what he considers the truly 'popular' culture.
Korean Popular Culture -
East Asian Studies 300 Syllabus - Lecturer: Inkyu Kang - Course Description: This
course aims to introduce students to Korean popular culture and its roots. Rather than
present a compilation of factual information, the course will seek to develop an
understanding of modern Korea by making an interdisciplinary approach to cultural, social,
and political issues of Korean society.