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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - The History of Popular Culture.docx

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SOC 202
Stephen Muzzatti

Chapter 2 –THE HISTORY OF POPULAR CULTURE POPULAR RECREATION BEFORE 1830 - In the 1830, a primarily farming economy, recreation was closely tied to work in the form of holidays and festivals associated with the particular times in the agricultural calendar, and everyday social interaction occurred as part of farm labour - In comparison with popular culture today and the 1830’s was the traditional recreation was mostly homemade, consisting of games, dancing and sports - It was popular culture through the “rosy haze of nostalgia” (less commercialized – (television and games), and more wholesome and community-minded) - Fun was mostly free and there was a strong attachment to the natural world and the good connection among the people - The negative side was that the emphasized social solidarity over individual pleasure or inclination o Example: there are alternative for men or women who weren’t interested in heterosexual coupling CAPITALISM AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - The industrial revolution brought new identities and pleasures and also new kinds of brutality (cruelty) - Capitalism: throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was dramatically altered and intensified by a series of events that came to be described as the industrial revolution o it changes the relationship work and play and reconfiguring the sense of community o it involved enclosing open spaces with fences  There was restrictions on the different kinds of recreation that could take place  There was the severing of a vital link between agricultural work and recreation  There was changes with the way people related to one another - Urbanization: reduction of open space available for recreation was expropriated (replaced)for the building of industrial infrastructure o There are no space for sports, festivals, and any form of public gathering o The obvious change was the movement for country to city (rural to urban) o There was a huge separated between the upper and middle-class enclaves o There was new sciences of hygiene and public health o The community space was considered to be a pub, and beer was safer than drinking water - Industrialism: “Industrial Revolution”: It the period from the mid eighteenth to the mid- nineteenth century, from the transaction from the agricultural to one based on organized mechanical production o The word “industry” means to the factory production, and it was used to increase capitalization, organization, and mechanization  It requires a large trained workforce, change the mode of production and the relations of production or division of labour  The workers received only a small hourly wage and their activity is focused on one single fragment of the final product - New Modes of Production: o The key part of the new production process is known as Fordism (a form of assembly line labour)  Fordism worked on the principle of mechanization (a process that aimed to turn every facet of the economy, including human society itself, into the equivalent of an efficiently run machine - The Production of the Working Class o One of the dominant mythologies in contemporary society is the idea that individual effort is always ultimately rewarded with economic and social success  The economic system designed to produce a surplus requires that the majority of labourers are paid less than what their labour is actually worth o Thompson’s definition is important in emphasizing that “the material relationship to the wealth generating structures of society; distinguishes btw the capital owners and labours, and one’s class position has a determining influence on one’s identity and social orientation Ideology – refers to the process by which the set of values and beliefs that bind individuals together in a society together in a society become naturalized. The belief and value system of any given society are the outcome of history; that is, of collective human activity that gives shape to the characteristic feature of a society Working-Class Consciousness - It was expressed in distinct cultural forms, like songs, sketches and poetry, as well as a richly interwoven set of practises including sports, games, conversation, eating, and drinking that took place in private homes and in working men’s clubs Workplace Reform - There were laws restricting working hours and the establishment of Saturday half-holidays and also it created new possibilities for popular culture was a gradual increase in wages o Capitalism become more efficient at producing goods, more consumers were required, therefore more wages o The distinction between spheres of work and home played a big part on establishing the almost sacred significance of the nuclear family, a development that had a particular impact on women  Women assumed a new and arguably more difficult role as symbolic guardian of the families moral and spiritual health POPULAR RECREATION AND RESISTENCE Rational Recreation - Many towns established new laws, new police forces, new regulations against blood sports, street games and arresting people for trespassing, vagrancy and desecration o The social control reflected a new cultural complexity that was developed in the shadow of the industrial revolution o The call for individual freedom was an important part of the middle class - The primary aim was to keep low class people out of the pub and that middle class people got together to promote what they called “rational recreation” o Also there was aim to provide forms of public recreation in which people of different classes could mingle, with the poor benefiting from the good influence of their better - The efforts of rational recreationists was accompanied by Matthew Arnold o His definition of Culture: “it’s can’t be measured by precise criteria, but those of discriminating tastes” Ambivalence, Appropriation, Resistance - Rational recreation was meant to bring different classes together with the aim of cultivating a community defined by middle class tastes and morals o They were achieved by promotion of sports, and leisur
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