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The Business of Popular Culture: Part 1

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Popular Culture
Scott Henderson

PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-1-11 Gender & Discourse Monkeying Around with Friends Roland Barthes • Meanings “are partial to the values and belief systems of the society from whence they came”. • Careful analysis can reveal to us these values. Discourse • Michel Foucault • Defined it as the way in which speech and writing work to shape social reality. o “How the world is told to us” (Professor Henderson). • We can include media forms and their methods of communication. • Plus other non-mediated communication. Knowledge and Power • Knowledge is constituted through relations of power. • What counts as knowledge is dictated by those in power. • We might think to debates over the role of a University education. o Should it skills based or should it generate thinkers? • For our concerns with “Friends” we can ask ‘Does something like a TV show have power?”. o How do we understand our culture – it’s values, beliefs, etc.? TV: Which way does most of the power flow? Media Ownership Styles, genres, programming, advertising, etc. PVR, online viewing, independent production, uploading material etc. Audience Power • Control through access, technology, economics (who has the most money), and regulation. • Allows those with control and power to shape how we see and understand the world. • All of this, then, becomes a form of knowledge. • Can we equate popular culture with science, medicine or law? PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-1-11 Discour
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