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COMM 2P20 Lecture 2.doc

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Department
Communication Studies
Course
COMM 2P20
Professor
Baxter Moore
Semester
Fall

Description
COMM2P20 Lecture2 September19th,2012 PopularCulturecan be defined as the communicative texts, practices and experiences of everyday life" Characteristics of popular culture: - Consists of both texts (artifacts) and practices/ experiences - it is also about what we do (traveling, going to sports games, etc. becomes popular culture) - Popular culture is generic; that is, it is organized around recognizable formulas (films have generic attributes that allow us to determine whether or not we are going to like the film or not - example horror or comedy) - It is highly self-reflexive (much of it is 'about' other pop culture texts, experiences, practices) - a lot of pop culture texts are about pop culture TheoriesofMassCulture The Politics of Popular Culture - John Street (n Politics and Popular Culture) - 4 political/ ideological perspectives on pop culture 1. Conservative elitist - oppose social change/ view pop culture as inferior to high or elite culture 2. Radical elitist - support social change/ view pop culture as inferior to high culture or elite culture 3. Conservative populist - oppose social change/ view pop culture as equivalent to high culture or are insensitive to culture in any form 4. Radical populist - support social change/ view pop culture as equivalent to high culture or are insensitive to culture in any form MassCultureTheorists:TwoSchoolsofThought 1. Conservative elitists: also called "the culture and civilization tradition" - Matthew Arnold - Culture & Anarchy, Cecil Sharp - folkorist, Frank Raymond and Queenie Dorothy - Leavis, literary critics, Jose Ortega y Gasset - The Revolt of the Masses, Dwight Macdonald - A Theory of Mass Culture, Allan Bloom - The Closing of the American Mind 2. Radical Elitists: associated with "The Frankfurt School" - esp. Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno, "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception, Herbert Marcuse -"one-dimensional man" Key Similarities & Differences of these Schools - Conservative Elitists & Radical Elitists 1. Both conservative elitists & radical elitists are critical of popular culture, but differ with respect to: their attitudes to social change & the way they see the relaionship between popular culture & social change 2. Conservative Elitists: want to preserve the existing social order, but see mass/ popular culture as a threat to social order 3. Radical Elitists: want the existing social order (capitalism) but see popular culture as propping up that social order Great Big Sea - "It's The End of the World as we Know it" The Culture and Civilization Tradition: Key Points - Culture is "the best that has been thought and said in the world" (Arnold) - Culture also meant having knowledge about those texts - A cultured person is someone who knows about
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