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Popular Culture and Consumption, Review

Popular Culture
Course Code
Scott Henderson

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PCUL1F92 Section 1: Thursday, November-24-11
** Exam question between consumption and identity – you can
use Pokémon as an example. ** Other examples: music, sports.
From last class…
Quantitative vs. Qualitative
Quantiative approaches assume that we can count or measure
Assumes a direct line between intentions of producers and their uptake
by audiences.
Qualitative ask us to consider the factors that shape those
representations and their reception.
Address the nature of sign systems.
Analysis supported by research. – Key to 2nd term essays.
Pokémon TV Show
How is the reception structured?
We can’t overlook the wider aspects that contribute to agency: the
educational aspects (reading, mapping, logic, etc.)
At the same time, what is deemed educationally valuable is itself
something that is culturally produced.
oe.g. Other cultures don’t necessarily value the same skills.
Repetition and Formula
The show is highly repetitive and formulaic.
Relates back to what Fiske described about a subject position in
o“Such reliability helps to reaffirm the subject position and
validate it in the way Fiske suggests” (Lecture)
oConstant reassurance of agency and identity through
Lack of complexity is also evident in the show’s animation style.
Show Structure
** Image of Ash, Misty and Brock walking – a recurring image **
Ash, Misty and Brock on a quest.
Episodic structure.
Works this way in both the TV show and in the games.
oEverything is ritualized.
Makes it both straightforward and complex at the same time.
This helps to shut out adult culture, who don’t have time to invest in it.
Quite literally elemental – types are tied to elements (e.g. Fire, water,
grass, etc.)

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PCUL1F92 Section 1: Thursday, November-24-11
oReally it’s like rock-paper-scissors. If I’m playing a rock type I
play this, etc.
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