SOC202 – September 16, 2013
Popular Culture: Historical Overview
Culture as Folk Culture - Created by the people
Culture as Mass Culture - Mediated to large audiences
Culture as Mass Consumption - What we buy, listen to, and eat
Culture as the Everyday - What we do
Hegemony: (Gramsci, 1981)
We are not brainwashed. We are not passive.
o He believed the audience had the ability to think for themselves
The communication and interpretation of cultural messages involves acceptance and consent.
o Force/Violence (Batons)
o Use of Ideology in major civil institutions. (Thoughts or ways of thinking of the media)
Thus, Hegemony is subordinate groups accept to be dominated by dominators.
E.g. Defining the popular as what makes profit (Box office scores)
E.g. Social justice movements (99% vs 1%)
Interpellation: (Althusser, 1971)
What cultural texts do
o Call out to emotions and identities; thus creating connections with us
Conditioning (the creation of subjects)
o Recommends how we should behave, what we should like and value.
E.g. Your favorite television show or cultural product
E.g. “HEY YOU!” example. Creating a connection with this.
Culture is class and capital: A look at Bourdieu (1984)
o Class as a determining factor
Determines the choices of consumption that we make.
The class we are born into will determine the Economic, Social, and Cultural capital we
o Capital: Economic, Social, and Cultural
Economic – Financial power (Money)
Social – Networks/Connections, used to advance in life (Facebook)
Cultural – Tastes and judgments of what is valuable (Knowledge of society’s definition of
Media and Cultural Effects
Theories are concerned with two different issues:
1. Effects of Content – How are our values influences by popular culture? What is the influence of what is
being communicated? What do we do with messages?
2. Audience interpretation – What