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Popular culture or pop culture is generally recognized as a set of practices, beliefs, and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time. Popular culture also encompasses the activities and feelings produced as a result of interaction with these dominant objects. Heavily influenced by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of the society. Therefore, popular culture has a way of influencing an individual's attitudes towards certain topics.[1] However, there are various ways to define pop culture.[2] Because of this, popular culture is considered to be an empty conceptual category, or something that can be defined in a variety of conflicting ways by different people across different contexts.[3] It is generally defined in contrast to other forms of culture such as mass culture, folk culture, working-class culture, or high culture and also through different theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, structuralism, postmodernism, and more. The most common pop culture categories are: entertainment (such as movies, music, television, and video games), sports, news (as in people/places in news), politics, fashion/clothes, technology, and slang.[4] Popular culture is sometimes viewed as being trivial and "dumbed down" in order to find consensual acceptance throughout the mainstream. As a result, it comes under heavy criticism from various non-mainstream sources (most notably religious groups and countercultural groups) which deem it superficial, consumerist, sensationalist, or corrupt.[5][6][7][8][9]

Contents

1 History and definitions

1.1 Folklore

2 Entertainment

2.1 Television
Television
programs 2.2 Music

3 Sport 4 Corporate branding 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

History and definitions[edit] See also: Cultural history The term "popular culture" was coined in the 19th century or earlier.[10] Traditionally, popular culture was associated with poor education and the lower classes,[11] as opposed to the "official culture" and higher education of the upper classes.[12][13] The stress in the distinction from "official culture" became more pronounced towards the end of the 19th century,[14][need quotation to verify] a usage that became established by the interbellum period.[15][need quotation to verify] From the end of World War II, following major cultural and social changes brought by mass media innovations, the meaning of popular culture began to overlap with those of mass culture, media culture, image culture, consumer culture, and culture for mass consumption.[16] Social and cultural changes in the United States
United States
were a pioneer in this with respect to other western countries. The abbreviated form "pop" for popular, as in pop music, dates from the late 1950s.[17] Although terms "pop" and "popular" are in some cases used interchangeably, and their meaning partially overlap, the term "pop" is narrower. Pop is specific of something containing qualities of mass appeal, while "popular" refers to what has gained popularity, regardless of its style.[18][19] According to author John Storey, there are six definitions of popular culture.[20] The quantitative definition of culture has the problem that much "high culture" (e.g., television dramatizations of Jane Austen) is also "popular." "Pop culture" is also defined as the culture that is "left over" when we have decided what high culture is. However, many works straddle the boundaries, e.g., William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. A third definition equates pop culture with "mass culture" and ideas. This is seen as a commercial culture, mass-produced for mass consumption by mass media.[21] From a Western European perspective, this may be compared to American culture.[clarification needed] Alternatively, "pop culture" can be defined as an "authentic" culture of the people, but this can be problematic as there are many ways of defining the "people."[page needed] Storey argued that there is a political dimension to popular culture; neo-Gramscian hegemony theory "... sees popular culture as a site of struggle between the 'resistance' of subordinate groups in society and the forces of 'incorporation' operating in the interests of dominant groups in society." A postmodernist approach to popular culture would "no longer recognize the distinction between high and popular culture." Storey claims that popular culture emerged from the urbanization of the Industrial Revolution. Studies of Shakespeare
Shakespeare
(by Weimann, Barber, or Bristol, for example) locate much of the characteristic vitality of his drama in its participation in Renaissance
Renaissance
popular culture, while contemporary practitioners like Dario Fo
Dario Fo
and John McGrath use popular culture in its Gramscian sense that includes ancient folk traditions (the commedia dell'arte for example).[22][23][need quotation to verify] Popular culture is constantly evolving and occurs uniquely in place and time. It forms currents and eddies, and represents a complex of mutually interdependent perspectives and values that influence society and its institutions in various ways. For example, certain currents of pop culture may originate from, (or diverge into) a subculture, representing perspectives with which the mainstream popular culture has only limited familiarity. Items of popular culture most typically appeal to a broad spectrum of the public. Important contemporary contributions for understanding what popular culture means have been given by the German researcher Ronald Daus, who studies the impact of extra-European cultures in North America, Asia, and especially in Latin America. Folklore[edit] Adaptations based on traditional folklore provide a source of popular culture.[24] This early layer of cultural mainstream still persists today, in a form separate from mass-produced popular culture, propagating by word of mouth rather than via mass media, e.g. in the form of jokes or urban legend. With the widespread use of the Internet from the 1990s, the distinction between mass media and word-of-mouth has become blurred. Although the folkloric element of popular culture engages heavily with the commercial element, the public has its own tastes and it may not always embrace every cultural or subculture item sold. Moreover, beliefs and opinions about the products of commercial culture spread by word-of-mouth, and become modified in the process and in the same manner that folklore evolves. Entertainment[edit] Television
Television
programs[edit] Main article: Television
Television
program A television program is a segment of content intended for broadcast on over-the-air, cable television, or Internet
Internet
television, other than a commercial, trailer, or any other segment of content not serving as attraction for viewership. Television
Television
programs may be fictional (as in comedies and dramas), or non-fictional (as in documentary, news, and reality television). It may be topical (as in the case of a local newscast and some made-for-television movies), or historical (as in the case of many documentaries and fictional series). They could be primarily instructional or educational, or entertaining as is the case in situation comedy and game shows.[citation needed] Music[edit] Main article: Popular music Popular music
Popular music
is music with wide appeal[25][26] that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.[25] It stands in contrast to both art music[27][28] and traditional or "folk" music. Art music
Art music
was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.[27] Sport[edit] Main article: Sport Sport
Sport
includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which,[29] through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators.[30] Corporate branding[edit] Main article: Corporate branding Corporate branding refers to the practice of promoting the brand name of a corporate entity, as opposed to specific products or services.[31] See also[edit]

Bread and circuses Cultural icon Culture
Culture
industry Fads Hip hop Journal of Popular Culture Low culture MTV Generation Pop art Pop icon Popular culture studies Speculative fiction

Notes[edit]

^ McGaha, Julie. "Popular Culture
Culture
& Globalization." Multicultural Education
Education
23.1 (2015): 32-37. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 5 Aug. 2016. ^ Strinati, D. (2004). An introduction to theories of popular culture. Routledge. ^ Storey, J. (2018). Cultural theory and popular culture: An introduction. Routledge. ^ "What Is Pop Culture? By Gary West".  ^ Darrell L. Bock and Daniel B. Nixon. "Rebecca's Reads - Darrell L. Bock & Daniel B. Wallace - Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture's Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ". Rebeccasreads.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  ^ "Calvin College: Calvin News". Calvin.edu. 2001-03-15. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  ^ "7 Things From Pop Culture
Culture
That Apparently Piss Jesus Off". Cracked.com. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  ^ "Book Review- Jesus Made in America – Irish Calvinist". Irishcalvinist.com. 2008-10-14. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  ^ "Japan's increasingly superficial pop culture? Bateszi Anime Blog". Bateszi.animeuknews.net. 2007-01-18. Archived from the original on 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  ^ Although the Oxford English Dictionary lists the first use as 1854, it appears in an address by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
in 1818: Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (1818). The Address of Pestalozzi to the British Public. I see that it is impossible to attain this end without founding the means of popular culture and instruction upon a basis which cannot be got at otherwise than in a profound examination of Man himself; without such an investigation and such a basis all is darkness.  ^ Per Adam Siljeström (sv), The educational institutions of the United States, their character and organization, J. Chapman, 1853, p. 243: "Influence of European emigration on the state of civilization in the United States: Statistics of popular culture in America". John Morley presented an address On Popular Culture
Culture
at the Birmingham Town Hall in 1876, dealing with the education of the lower classes. ^ Rabelais and Bakhtin: Popular Culture
Culture
in "Gargantua and Pantagruel" p.13 ^ Rabelais's Radical Farce p.9 ^ "Learning is dishonored when she stoops to attract," cited in a section "Popular Culture
Culture
and True Education" in University extension, Issue 4, The American society for the extension of university teaching, 1894. ^ e.g. "the making of popular culture plays [in post-revolutionary Russian theater]", Huntly Carter, The new spirit in the Russian theatre, 1917-28: And a sketch of the Russian kinema and radio, 1919-28, showing the new communal relationship between the three, Ayer Publishing, 1929, p. 166. ^ "one look at the sheer mass and volume of what we euphemistically call our popular culture suffices", from Winthrop Sargeant, 'In Defense of the High-Brow', an article from LIFE
LIFE
magazine, 11 April 1949, p. 102. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, volume 15, p.85 entry Pop music ^ Steinem, Gloria. Outs of pop culture, in LIFE
LIFE
magazine, 20 August 1965, p. 73 quotation:

Pop Culture-although big, mercurial, and slippery to define-is really an umbrella term that covers anything currently in fashion, all or most of whose ingredients are familiar to the public-at-large. The new dances are a perfect example... Pop Art itself may mean little to the average man, but its vocabulary...is always familiar.

^ Bill Lamb, "What Is Pop Music? A Definition", About.com, retrieved 8 March 2012 quotation:

It is tempting to confuse pop music with popular music. The New Grove Dictionary Of Music and Musicians, the musicologist's ultimate reference resource, identifies popular music as the music since industrialization in the 1800s that is most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class. This would include an extremely wide range of music from vaudeville and minstrel shows to heavy metal. Pop music, on the other hand, has primarily come into usage to describe music that evolved out of the rock 'n roll revolution of the mid-1950s and continues in a definable path to today.

^ John Storey. Cultural Theory and Popular Culture, pp.4-8 ^ Sérgio Campos Gonçalves, “Cultura e Sociedade de Consumo: um olhar em retrospecto”, InRevista - Núcleo de Produção Científica em Comunicação – UNAERP (Ribeirão Preto), v. 3, pp. 18-28, 2008, ISSN 1980-6418. ^ Robert Weimann (de), Shakespeare
Shakespeare
and the Popular Tradition (1967) ^ Robert Shaughnessy, The Cambridge companion to Shakespeare
Shakespeare
and popular culture (2007) p. 24 ^ On the Ambiguity of the Three Wise Monkeys A. W. Smith Folklore, Vol. 104, No. 1/2 (1993), pp. 144-150 ^ a b Popular Music. (2015). Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia ^ "Definition of "popular music" Collins English Dictionary". www.collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 2015-11-15.  ^ a b Arnold, Denis (1983). The New Oxford Companion Music, Volume 1: A-J. Oxford University Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-19-311316-3.  ^ Tagg, Philip (1982). "Analysing popular music: theory, method and practice". Popular Music. doi:10.1017/S0261143000001227.  ^ "Definition of sport". SportAccord. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011.  ^ Council of Europe. "The Europien sport charter". Retrieved 5 March 2012.  ^ Pop Culture: An Overview 

References[edit]

Ashby, LeRoy. "The Rising of Popular Culture: A Historiographical Sketch," OAH
OAH
Magazine of History, 24 (April 2010), 11–14. Ashby, LeRoy. With Amusement for All: A History of American Popular Culture
Culture
since 1830 (2006). Moritz Baßler (de): Der deutsche Pop-Roman. Die neuen Archivisten (The German Pop-Novel. The new archivists), C.H. Beck, München 2002, ISBN 3-406-47614-7. Bakhtin, M. M. and Michael Holquist, Vadim Liapunov, Kenneth Brostrom (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays (University of Texas Press Slavic Series). Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press. Browne, Ray B. and Pat Browne, eds. The Guide to U.S. Popular Culture (2001), 1010 pages; essays by experts on many topics. Burke, Peter. "Popular Culture
Culture
Reconsidered," Storia della Storiografia 1990, Issue 17, pp 40–49. Freitag, Sandria B. "Popular Culture
Culture
in the Rewriting of History: An Essay in Comparative History and Historiography," Journal of Peasant Studies, 1989, Vol. 16 Issue 3, pp 169–198. Gans, Herbert J. Popular Culture
Culture
and High Culture: an Analysis and Evaluation of Taste. New York: Basic Books, 1974. xii, 179 p. ISBN 0-465-06021-8 Gerson, Stéphane. "'A World of Their Own': Searching for Popular Culture
Culture
in the French Countryside," French Politics, Culture
Culture
and Society, Summer 2009, Vol. 27 Issue 2, pp 94–110 Golby, J. M. and A.W. Purdue, The civilisation of the crowd: popular culture in England, 1750-1900 (1985) online Griffin, Emma. "Popular Culture
Culture
in Industrializing England," Historical Journal, (2002) 45#3 pp 619–35. online, Historiography Hassabian, Anahid (1999). "Popular", Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture, eds.: Horner, Bruce and Swiss, Thomas. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-21263-9. Knight, Robert H. The Age of Consent: the Rise of Relativism and the Corruption of Popular Culture. Dallas, Tex.: Spence Publishing Co., 1998. xxiv, 253, [1] p. ISBN 1-890626-05-8 Ross, Andrew. No Respect: Intellectuals & Popular Culture. New York: Routledge, 1989. ix, 269 p. ISBN 0-415-90037-9 (pbk.) Seabrook, John. NoBrow : the culture of marketing the marketing of culture, New York: A.A. Knopf, 2000. ISBN 0-375-40504-6. Storey, John (2006). Cultural theory and popular culture. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-197068-7. Swirski, Peter (2010). Ars Americana Ars Politica: Partisan Expression in Contemporary American Literature and Culture. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-3766-8. Swirski, Peter (2005). From Lowbrow to Nobrow. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-3019-5. On Religion
Religion
and Popular Culture

Further reading[edit]

Duncan, Barry (1988). Mass Media and Popular Culture. Toronto, Ont.: Harcourt, Brace & Co. Canada. ISBN 0-7747-1262-7 Rosenberg, Bernard, and David Manning White, joint. eds. Mass Culture: the Popular Arts in America. [New York]: Free Press of Glencoe, 1957. Cowen, Tyler, “For Some Developing Countries, America’s Popular Culture
Culture
Is Resistible.” New York Times, 22 February 2007, sec. C, p. 3. Furio, Joanne, “The Significance of MTV and Rap Music in Popular Culture.” The New York Times, 29 December 1991, sec. VI, p. 2.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Popular culture.

The dictionary definition of popular culture at Wiktionary

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