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[English 2017] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 59 pages long Study Guide!


Department
English
Course Code
English 2017
Professor
Riley Mc Donald
Study Guide
Final

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Western
English 2017
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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September 21, 2016
Lecture 4 – The History of Popular Culture (continued)
Culture clash
- Popular culture is not a one-way transmission, but a crowded field of multiple actors and groups
negotiating and renegotiating the terrain
- Popular culture is a process, one that emerges over time (and changes throughout the duration)
rather than a single, stable final product
- The use of studying the history of popular culture is that it, even if the content of the cultural
product change, we are able to grasp the form of how popular culture operates
oThe forms of power that get articulated through culture
Ideology : Masking the Historical Process
- Central to all analysis of culture that you will come across
- Ideology as a fundamental aspect of how we look at culture
- Ideology is the way in which ideas that have history to them are presented as being natural facts
of existence
- “ideology in each case is the system of ideas appropriate to that class” – Raymond Williams,
“Ideology”
- Ideology presents historical notions to people as though they were natural
- “ideology represent the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of
experience” – Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”
- Google definition: “a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic
or political theory and policy.”
- Toby Keith – Trucks That Are Building America Ford Commercial
oIdeal of America
oAmerican identity tied to notions of individualism of masculine, white American
construction
oTrying to sell Ford trucks as being quintessentially American and selling America as a
place of individual liberty; working class life; wife, kids, house, etc.
- Everybody has an ideological approach to the world
- Ideology: the way in which you imagine the world would operate best – your idea of the natural
state of a functioning world influenced by your history (gender, class, etc.)
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- Not solely tied to ideas of politics, economics, abstract social structures, etc. – any kind of
debate or issue that comes up in popular culture and cultural studies can be thought of as
presenting an ideological representation
- Stranger Things Clip: satirical about gender, she looks fine before and once they dress her up in
frilly dress and wig she stand out more than before, perspective of young boys who think in very
binary terms of boy and girl, referred to as “pretty” once she has been put in her dress and wig
(disguise), Eleven doesn’t fit natural characteristics expected of female so she must be made to
fit  ideological understanding of how gender is: males are this, females are that
Hegemony, or the Power of Cultural Persuasion
- From the ancient Greek meaning “authority, rule, political supremacy” (OED)
- “The ability of dominant groups in society to exercise control over weaker groups, not by means
of force or domination but by gaining their consent, so that the unequal distribution of power
appears both legitimate and natural” – O’Brien & Szeman 49
- Distinction between propaganda and hegemony: propaganda is overt, hegemonic aspects of
culture act in a less obvious way
- Example: They Live clip
oDepicts working class character who is moving from job to job, doesn’t have much
power – discovers magic sunglasses and can instantly see through the way culture
disseminates a message
oCan look past the manifest content of things into what they’re saying behind:
“Consume”, “obey”, “do not question authority”, etc.
oHow hegemony can function, more subtler – subliminal suggestion; persuaded to think
these things i.e. See a woman on a beach and think I want to go there, don’t see “marry
and reproduce” which is being suggested
- Bombarded with signs wherever you go, telling you to conform in certain ways, do certain
things, etc. and perform a cumulative affect – persuasive
Class Consciousness
- Class occurs when “a result of common experiences (inherited and shared), feel and articulate
the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against [others] whose interests
are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs. The class experience is largely determined by
the productive relations into which men are born – or enter involuntarily. Class-consciousness is
the way in which these experiences are handled in cultural terms: embodied in traditions, value-
systems, ideas, and institutional forms” – E.P. Thompson, qtd. In O’Brien & Szeman 40
- Group movements that act together towards a specific goal – have consequences and can affect
change – subordinated class can push back against unjust cultural setups towards change ex.
Occupy wall street
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