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Lecture

PCUL 1F92 Lecture Notes - Dwight Macdonald, Reggie Watts, F. R. Leavis


Department
Popular Culture
Course Code
PCUL 1F92
Professor
Scott Henderson

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PCUL1F92 Section 1: Thursday, October-06-11
Professor Henderson began the class by reminding us of our upcoming Précis, and
later, our Ethnography Report.
Idea of Précis – basically writing in your own words what you perceive the article
to be saying. Not doing a paragraph by paragraph summary. Summarize key
points of the article: 1) Explanation of overall big argument. 2) How does he go
about arguing this? 3) What examples does he use to argue this? 4) Conclusion –
therefore this shows what he was writing. Meant to be writing practice. Must be in
our own words. We don’t want a point form overview of the article. Typed,
approximately 250 words. Include title page (with a title in the centre), including
name, student number, date, name of T.A., seminar number, course code (bottom
right corner). Due at the very beginning of lecture on October 13, 2011. Mark of
zero if not handed in. Any missed course components result in a zero in the course.
Remember to attach copy of academic misconduct form (as found in Syllabus).
Ethnography Report – should be thinking about what site you want to look at.
* * Continued from previous lecture’s slideshow presentation.
Atomized Individual
Essentially the idea that changing social conditions (emerging in 19th century
in urban areas with industrialization) began to leave people more isolated.
Led to the development of the ‘individual consumer’.
Less reliant on social and cultural institutions (religion, community
organizations, etc.). These institutions provided a sense of belonging,
community and civic engagement.
This allowed people to create their own culture from the array of options sold
to them. People can now be individual consumers.
Therefore, without those stronger institutions people could be more easily
exploited by mass culture.
On both sides of the political spectrum it may be argued that mass culture
takes away desire for high culture, yet at the same time can exploit them
from having their own culture.
Outdated?
We might perceive of these ideas as out-dated.
However, Arnold through Leavis and followers represents over a century of
influence on attitudes towards popular culture. Arguably, these exact same
attitudes still exist.
Popular Attitudes
Ideas of elitism still define much reaction to popular culture. – e.g. Jersey
Shore
A show which is criticized for being very shallow, not complex
like more sophisticated forms of culture.
Moral Panics
Fears regarding the influence of popular culture on the masses still exist. –
e.g. Grand Theft Auto
Criticized for teaching and encouraging kids to go out “jacking
cars and shooting everybody” (Henderson).

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PCUL1F92 Section 1: Thursday, October-06-11
U.S. survey ranked the intelligence of people compared to their musical
interests.
Does the music determine a person’s intelligence? Or are people of
certain intelligences already drawn to certain music genres?
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