Textbook Notes (369,054)
Canada (162,364)
Sociology (561)
SOC 202 (82)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 [textbook notes].pdf

6 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 202
Professor
Rebecca Lock

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Chapter 1: What is culture?  Capital C culture: High-end creative productions (opera, ballet and Shakespeare). Artistic pursuits enjoyed by elite minor. These over time (they are often associated with the past) assumed an especially privileged place in the collection of ideas and artifacts that comprise a cultural tradition.  Whole way of life of a society or a distinct subsection of society: along with art, it encompasses everyday rituals such as meals, work, religious observances, sports, sex, family, and friendship. When we go on vacation to experience other cultures, it is this sense of culture that we are making reference to: a glimpse into a different way of life organized according to its own principles and around its own unique practices.  Mass media falls outside the definitions of culture centered around elite artistic production or the practices of ordinary everyday life; they also are frequently cited as the thing that threatens to destroy culture in both these senses. Other study objects: Key Concepts in Communication and Cultural Studies, describes culture as “the social production and reproduction of sense, meaning and consciousness. The sphere of meaning, which unifies the spheres of production (economics) and social relations (politics)”. What/Who is Popular?  it becomes obvious that it has to do with more than numbers—that the words “popular” and “the people” don’t refer to absolutely everyone, but to a particular group to whom a certain quality or value is attached. What is Popular Culture?  Folk culture refers to those cultural products and practices that have developed over time within a particular community or socially identifiable group and that are communicated from generation to generation and among people who tend to be known to one another.  Mass culture, on the other hand, is produced for an unknown, different audience. While the transmission of folk culture is generally technologically simple (e.g., face-to-face, oral communication), mass culture depends on electronic (or mechanical) media to convey its message to the largest possible audience in order to secure maximum profit, which is its ultimate goal. The attempt to maintain a strict division is not just tricky in a practical sense but also, arguably, somewhat suspect ideologically. The culture of everyday: “the communicative practices of everyday life” (where “communicative practices” comprises all those activities concerned with the production of meaning: talking, writing, social rituals such as eating, shopping, dancing, music, visual culture, sports, fashion, etc.) that are shared among many members of a society, including and especially those who aren’t particularly socially, economically, or politically powerful. Power Relationships: Stuart Hall puts it, not as “a mere descriptive inventory—which may have the negative effect of freezing popular culture into some timeless descriptive mould—but [as] the relations of power which are constantly punctuating and dividing the domain of culture into its preferred and its residual categories”. John Fiske, has claimed, “Popular culture is the culture of the subordinated and disempowered” Cultural studies: “a term of convenience for a fairly dispersed array of theoretical and political positions which, however widely divergent they might be in other respects, share a commitment to examining cultural practices from the point of view of their intrication with, and within, relations of power”. The study of popular culture might be described in one sense as the study of the interrelationships among what were once seen as discrete fields of existence.
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