Week 11 Lecture Guide 2010 UPDATE.docx

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12 Apr 2012
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Week 11
Alternative, Mainstream, and Globalisation
MASS CULTURE
largest possible audience
material content is produced for big numbers
dominant (audiences and ideology)
beliefs of the largest groups
profit motive
consumers first
people who can be defined by economic capital
SUBCULTURES
Deviate from social norms
Universal, common sense, “normal”
Fringe or underground
Defining marker
People living below the radar
Create spaces outside society, creating the margins
Challenge norms of culture
Subcultures change things culturally and socially, but it is not intended
Subcultures challenge the norms
Examples:
Napoleon Dynamite: nerds, outcasts, they aren’t part of the dominant group.
Rave: there’s a lot of drugs involved, less mainstream music,
Hip-hop beyond beats and rhymes: men who like to dress as women, men taking
on different identities,
Ashley Madison: people usually get married to stay together, marriage is
monogamous, creating a new identity,
COUNTERCULTURES
Challenge and contradict mainstream culture
Political statements or messages
Different groups create different meanings about the same social phenomenon
They contest the dominant meanings
Change is the goal
Change the social world, in terms of changing peoples’ practices and changing the
way they think
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Examples:
Peta: they might want people to change their eating habits
Independent record labels: we aren’t here just to make profit
Marijuana party of Canda: legalizing marijuana
Models: in a Spain fashion show, they refused to allow models who’s BMI was
under average, they declined 30% of the models that would usually be at the
fashion show
Slow food: support local farmers and the natural growing of food, think less about
fast-food
Freeganism: when people go into dumpsters and find food that is still edible, in
order to reduce consumption.
Buy nothing day: literally not buying anything for an entire day, reducing
consumption for a whole day
FROM SUB. AND COUNTER CULTURE TO MAINSTREAM CULTURE
Subcultures and countercultures sometimes become mainstream, everyday culture
Examples:
Computer usage, file sharing
Eco-friendly, environmentalism
Portable music devices
Dieting, health and wellness
Hip-hop culture
tattoo
CULTURE JAMMING
Reversing the common meaning of a sign
the meaning that is usually associated to something
Drawing attention to political issues
Uses humour
Influences us to think about social inequalities (gender, ethnic, economic, etc.)
Has a beef with big business and corporations
Adbusters
iPod: flaws in the music business, illegal downloading, the fact that a lot of
people who own iPods don’t pay for their music, turning into pity criminals,
Apple going along with it.
Esso: they’re in it for the money
Tiger Woods: “Just do it”, he is a product of Nike, he is being commodified by
Nike.
McDonald’s: the food is unhealthy, the message is saying they’re producing
grease
Calvin Klein: models are obsessed with themselves, men are obsessed with
looking at their private part
Absolut vodka: obsessive alcohol consumption results in impotence
Consumption vs Recycling
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