Chapter 2 – The History of Popular Culture
Popular Recreation Before 1830
Around the 1830’s popular recreation underwent rapid changes from the forms that had existed since the Middle
Ages. Recreation was closely tied to work, in form of holidays/festivals associated with particular times in the
agriculture calendar. Recreations were public and anyone could join in and took place on land owned by the
The Bonds of Community
The ritualized form of popular culture reflected an organized society in which leisure and work displayed clear
distinctions between laborers and landowners. Wealthy landowners facilitated/tolerated recreational activities of
their workers. This occasional relaxation of social discipline made it less likely that the workers would challenge the
ruling class’s authority.
Capitalism and the Industrial Industry
The industrial revolution brought a new culture, with new pleasures, identities, and brutality. A key condition for
contemporary popular culture is Capitalism.
Redefining Cultural Spaces
The 1835 ban of football in the streets was a minor event in a line of restrictions of communal space. The most far-