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PCUL 1F92 Lecture Notes - Antonio Gramsci, Moral Panic, Late Capitalism

Popular Culture
Course Code
Scott Henderson

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Economic power:
- Capitalism or late capitalism dominates our current era
- Political systems, moral systems, representational systems may be seen as supporting the
economic aspects
- Homogeneity tied to our construction as consumers
- Pseudo-individualisation recognises heterogeneity
- As defined by Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) it is “Common Sense
Something that we all share, even though it is not all the same in our minds
- Ideals we share but not found upon us all
- Offered up in ways that are internalized
- Popular culture form offer a pleasure but while doing so can reinforce certain values for us
Seems sot fulfill needs that we have
- Will be more evident when we undertake textual analysis of representations
- We accept structures such as school
We accept the uniformity and rules
- But at the same time we celebrate those who rebel
Bart Simpson “eat my shorts, man”
Simpsons and moral panic:
- Seen as a potential threat to dominant culture
Young kids not allowed to watch it
- Early 1990’s critiques and moral panics around Bart and the Simpsons more widely
- Do we find them so subversive now?
- Or is the panic about maintaining social order against a perceived threat?
Moral panics:
- People taking popular culture into their own hands
- Acts outside of existing allowable social paradigm (refer to pg. 80 in textbook)
- Requires (by society) some form of regulation or commercialization to impose control and
- Graffiti is a good example of this, it is both regulated against, and also ‘sold’ as art
(commercialized as street art vs. graffiti)
Graffiti is not done for profit to start, personal touch, offer criticism, seen as being for fun
(violates people sense, it should have some meaning, things should not be just for fun,
society says things should have a purpose, violates the ‘ideals’ of society)
Symbolism of a gang neighbourhood, bad things, social unrest protest
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