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Texts and Analysis: Part 1

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Popular Culture
Scott Henderson

PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, October-18-11 * Continued from last lecture… Politics and Ideology • Stuart Hall (in 1981) considers popular culture as constructed within the opposition between the power bloc and the people. • He sees it as a point of resistance and perhaps at the same time a point of enforcing some sort of conformity. e.g. Through graffiti we see the clash between individual expression and private property. Power Bloc • Forces of control in society. • Come under the categories of: political (Monarchy or Democracy)/legal/moral(Church)/economic(Aristocrats)/aesthetic (Dominant forms of representation, how is the world perceived?). * * Image of space ship pictorial representation of earth. Aesthetics of ideal bodies and fashion do not remain the same. The People • A far more diverse group – different backgrounds, issues, senses of identity. • We are constantly forming and reforming our allegiances. • Can depend on situation, location, etc. • We have multiple ‘identities’ to which we belong. Homogenity vs. Heterogenity Homogeneity in Action Microsoft Advertisement North American Ad Polish Ad Is it simply a reflection of the homogeneity of polish culture and a lack of diversity? - Through this, Microsoft is imposing/creating their idea of the Polish community would want to see in an advertisement. The Power Bloc wants us to retain a certain similarity – shared values, fit into the culture opposed on us. We respond in diverse ways. PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, October-18-11 * * Image of criminal in guillotine Means of enforcing cultural conformity and power of ruling class were once far more direct and violent. Now it’s imposed in less direct ways ** Image of Mom/Dad/Kid watching television. One way of doing this is through Surveillance and Discipline th th • Michael Foucault suggests that rise of capitalism in 17 and 18 century led to new ways of imposing power. • In this way, social control is more indirect. The Panopticon Like those in the Panopticon style of jail, we feel as if people are watching us, and out of fear of punishment we choose to behave. Royal Saltworks
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