Sociology Final.docx

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Jill Bakehorn

1. According to lecture, what are the four main ways sociologists define popular culture? Popular culture is defined as being well known, well liked, mass cultural, and democratic. Mass culture means it's average and common, sometimes even inferior, it's not elite. Democratic means it's by the people and of the people. It's authentic. 2. What kinds of questions to sociologists ask about popular culture? How is it produced and consumed? How is it read and understood? How does it intersect with other aspects of cultural, political, and economic life? What are its sociological effects and implications? 3. What is the difference between mass culture and popular culture? Mass culture is the tests objects, and relations of cultural industries; popular culture is what people make of those texts, objects, and relations. Mass culture is the noun and pop culture is the adjective/verb. We are active in the pop culture project, which means the lines are blurred between producer and consumer. Meaning is given, not simply inherited. 4. According to lecture, what does Paul Willis argue about popular culture and meaning? Willis argues that just because something is mass produced, it does not devalue it. His theory is symbolic work, which means the work people do in creating meaning out of the cultural phenomena. This is necessary because human beings are fundamentally expressive and communicative creatures. Symbolic creativity is the transformation of raw materials of culture into specific forms of identity and meaning; these raw materials often come from mass culture. Willis also argues that there is too much emphasis on production, not consumption. He says this isn’t true because its society that gives meaning to things. Meaning is not inherent in a cultural text or object; it’s a negotiation between the user and the text, leaving consumers to be the site of meaning-making. Interpretive communities, therefore, are consumers whose common social identities and cultural backgrounds inform their shared understandings of culture in patterned ways. 5. According to lecture, George Lipsitz argued that Congressional hip-hop hearings detached rap from the context that gave birth to it. What is this context? In the 1994 Congressional Black Caucus Hearings, opponents of hip-hop argued that it was misogynistic and violent. However the social context of hip-hop was deindustrialization, economic restructuring, urban planning, backlash against civil rights advancements, low wage labor, high unemployment, and crime. 6. What does George Lipsitz argue about the criticisms of hip-hop? He says that debates about rap suppress social memory and that censorship hides the social causes and consequences of the things that have happened in the past.Afocus on rap allows politicians to avoid their own responsibility; they can blame the cultural response rather than what gave rise to it. The blame is on the social situations; also hip-hop is important for social memory and for expression of feeling and where those feelings came from. 7. What is the burden of representation? How does it apply to hip-hop? Ella Shohat and Robert Stam argue that there is a burden of representation on minorities. People of color are not in control of media representations; there are too many white monopoles. There are so few images of people of color that any one image carries a lot of weight. 8. According to lecture, how did changes in the recording industry make it more likely that record companies and executives would not be blamed for problems with hip-hop? The partnering of large companies with boutique labels gave more people access to black music and profits soared. Therefore this lead to massive changes in the record industry - production and distribution became highly concentrated in the hands of a few companies. Four companies control 86% of the music market and 10 companies control 66% of the radio companies (production and distribution rights). Therefore these implications are decisions about music selection made by a small group of program directors. It’s hard to hold program directors accountable; it’s easier to blame individual rappers than a multinational corporation. Because of this, individual rappers or even black culture become the scapegoats for politicians and cultural critics, rather than social conditions. 9. Drawing on Jefferies, what are the stereotypes of the white man hip-hop fan? Some stereotypes are: they are posers and can’t possibly relate to the music; that they derive pleasure from racist representations of black masculinity; that they want the cool factor without having to face the consequences of being a black man in our culture; that they aren’t invested in the hip-hop culture. 10. Overall, what does hip-hop mean to both black and white fans? Give examples. Black and white fans tend to relate more to the culture, lifestyle and expressions of the music. Both fans say that hip-hop gives everyone a voice and is a mark of self expression. 11. How did white and black hip-hop fans differ? In what ways are collective identities constructed? Give examples. Collective identities are individuals cognitive, moral, and emotional connection with a broader community, category, practice, or institution. White fans, for example, don’t connect to the race, but they do connect to the suffering described - sometimes it’s class, not just race.Also they didn’t focus on the content of the lyrics as much as the beat. 12. According to Harkness, what is the racial hierarchy within the hip-hop community around the use of the n-word? Black people are at the top of the list, with latinos, specifically Puerto Ricans, coming next. Then whites tend to be last. 13. Why can Latinos use the word? They have a relatively close experience in the social history of the US; their group didn’t enslave blacks so they’re not oppressive. Latinos were also integral to the creation of hip-hop, and race is often used as a sign of authenticity.Also as long as they don’t use it to insult, it is acceptable due to context and history. 14. Why would using the n-word be inauthentic for white rappers? For white rappers, using the n-word is not a part of their day-to-day use; it’s insincere. Whites are often seen as privileged; this is an intersection of race and class. 15. How does mainstream hip hop define masculinity? Why and how has that particular definition emerged according to the film? Masculinity is about domination and control; you have to be invulnerable and be a pimp and have a lot of women.Also you have to reject femininity and homosexuality; there is a hegemonic masculinity - a real man is straight. There is a policing of masculinity among the hip-hop community. “Fag” is used as a put-down, just like “pussy” and “chump.” Manhood therefore, is maintained as strong, tough, rich, dominant, etc. This comes from a lack of cultural reflection - these ideas come from the mainstream. There is a lack of power so you can use your body to construct respect. 16. What are the consequences of defining masculinity this way? Defining masculinity this way opens the door for violence because there is a masculine violent identity and a gun is the paraphilia of masculinity. 17. Ayoung white woman explains that interest in hip hop, “appeals to our sense of learning about other cultures,” but that it also reinforces stereotypes aboutAfricanAmericans. What are the implications when a musical genre serves to represent an entire community? Everything in hip-hop becomes exaggerated because there is a burden of representation. Also it reinforces symbolic boundaries.Also hip-hop is a reflection of social problems, however its sociological context is often done away with. 18. How are women portrayed in hip-hop videos and lyrics? Women are extremely objectified in hip-hop; they become just eye-candy. This is because misogamy and sexism are not immediate issues, therefore phrases like “hoes” and “bitches” become desensitized. Calling someone a pussy or sissy becomes an insult because you are doubting their masculinity. 19. How is homosexuality portrayed? There is a lot of homophobia in hip-hop, because homosexuality is often linked to femininity, which is obviously anti-masculine. Therefore hip-hop glorifies the male-sex while doing away with anything feminine. It’s both homophobic and homoerotic. 20. Why was Orenstein worried about having a daughter? Orenstein had built a career on raising girls and she didn’t want to be a failure. She doesn’t want her daughter to face the pressures of culture; also she now has to take on the role of role model. 21. Even though Orenstein tried to keep her daughter away from princesses, Daisy nonetheless become enthralled with them. How does this demonstrate that power of social facts? Daisy was exposed to princesses from her peers at school, as well as from television and stores and adult compliments. Everyone around her was engaged in the princess culture, so it was difficult to shield her away from all aspects of society. 22. What does princess culture tell girls about what it means to be a girl? The princess culture tells girls that pink has to be their favorite color, as well as they have to be physically perfect. Also it creates gender boundaries, in that it maintains the stereotypes of women subservience in order to gain the male prince. 23. What does research tell us about the impact of princess culture on young girls? Give examples. Princess culture is really psychologically damaging.As research from theAPA has shown, girls exposed to this will have higher rates of depression, eating disorders, as well as unsafe-sex. Furthermore there’s a lot of self-objectification, in that appearance and feeling become connected. By looking good, you begin to feel good. 24. When and how did the marketing concept of the Disney Princesses emerge? How big has the industry become? Aguy by the name ofAndy Mooney ignited the culture of princess marketing in the year 2000 when he realized that girls were wearing homemade outfits of princess costumes.After this, Disney began marketing the princesses without the release of a film, which had never been done before. Within a year, sales had become $300 million, and by 2009, they were at $4 billion. 25. Why does Orenstein argue that we shouldn’t see young girl's desire for princesses as simply expressing their own desires? Put another way, why shouldn’t we see toy companies as just giving kids what they want? There’s a fine line between want and coercion. Many of these companies have literally forced the princess culture unto girls, especially the color pink. It’s quite sickening, actually. 26. Why is Orenstein unconvinced by Mooney’s assertion that princess culture is just a phase with no long-lasting negative effects? The more mainstream media girls consume, the more importance they place on being pretty and sexy. Girls who have more traditional views of femininity are less ambitious and more likely to be depressed. Less likely to enjoy sex or insist on partners using condoms. These side-effects stem much further than a simple phase. 27. What does research show about girls and mainstream media consumption? How do stereotypes about girls impact their educational achievement? Girls who had seen stereotyped ads were less interested in math and science related careers.After two ads: People scored higher on math test after trying on sweatshirt than bathing suit. Really, there is a psychological stigma from the mainstream girl culture. 28. Why are girls struggling with perfection? What does it mean to be perfect? ·Get straight As, be student body president, editor of newspaper, captain of swim suit, be kind and caring, please everyone, dress nice, be thin. Contradiction: struggling to fulfill new expectations and old ones. Aggressive and agreeable, smart and stunning. Number of girls fretting about appearance and weight rose between 2000-2006. Rates of depression and suicide rose between 2000-2006. The more girls achieve, the more obsessed they become with their appearance. 29. How do the mothers Orenstein talked with discuss the problem of princesses? Why is Orenstein critical of this? Wanted daughter to have strong identity as a girl and feel pretty. Girls: “You’re so pretty” Boys: “You’re so smart.” Daughters don’t know the actual story, just the costumes. Romance, love, being rescued by a prince. Promoted that a man could take care of you - about being admired and getting special treatment 30. Why haven’t Mulan and Pocahontas been integrated into the princess line to the same extent as some of the others? Mulan and Pocahontas are technically princesses, however there is less merchandize to be derived from them. Mulan, specifically, is never marketed in the warrior gear, but rather her kimono that she hated. 31. What messages do theAmerican Doll series send to girls? Forge bond between mothers and daughters. Morally inspiring vision of girlhood. Homespun values. Heroines confront racism, sexism and tragedy but overcome with ingenuity. Girls were independent. Girls actions more important than what she looked like or what she owned. 32. According to lecture, how did Disney incite outrage in many parents and others over Brave’s lead character, Merida? Disney outraged many parents over Merida because they decided to alter her image by sexualizing her image (pretty curly hair, sexy dress, open shoulders) so that more marketable princess clothing/products can be made. 33. According to lecture, what did Emily Kane find when she interviewed parents about gender
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