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SOC 202 (82)

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SOC 202
Stephen Muzzatti

Chapter 1 introducing popular culture What/Who defines the Popular?  Agency: the ability of individuals to act as self-conscious, willful social actors, and to exert their will through involvement in social practices, relationships, and decision making. What is Popular Culture?  Consumption: it refers to the things we buy, watch, and or listen  The kind of culture produced by the commercial media is often seen as threatening the culture of everyday life by diverting people’s desire for fulfillment-a desire that can ultimately be satisfied only by productive activity-into habits of passive consumption Folk Culture and Mass Culture  Folk Culture: refers to those cultural products and practices that have been developed over time within a particular community or socially identifiable group, and that are communicated from generation to generation and amongst people who tend to be known to one another, it tends to be seen as the direct expression of the life experiences shared by its creators and their audience  Mass culture: on the other hand, is produced for an unknown, disparate audience. While the transmission of folk culture is generally technologically simple (face-to-face) mass culture depends on electronic media to convey its message to the largest possible audience in order to secure maximum profit, which is its ultimate goal.  Rap music is now a multi-billion dollar industry, emerged relatively recently from African- American street culture of the South Bronx. In each of these cases it is difficult to identify the precise moment when folk culture metamorphosed into mass culture.  Ideology: Refers to the process by which the set of values and beliefs that bind individuals together in society becomes “naturalized”  Materialistic  Authenticity: A positive quality of genuineness and originality attributed to objects, practices, or ideas, often in order to demonstrate the extent to which an initially authentic phenomenon has been compromised or drained of its value, the notion of authenticity has been critiqued for its ideological grounding in nostalgic vision of a more “real” cultural past now sullied by rank commercialism. The politics of popular culture  Capitalism: is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and distribution, and geared toward the generation of profit.  Over tendency today is to these features of capitalism as not only positive but also natural-the products of human nature rather than consciously worked out ideas-makes it harder to its less desirable aspects, such as social fragmentation, the unequal distribution of wealth, and the conversion of everything into something can be bought and sold  Colonialism: the historical process through which dominant groups have assimilated, dominated, and subjugated less powerful ones. Distinct from imperialism, which can also be used to describe non-territorial kinds of control, colonialism involved physical settlement along with the military, political, and economic conquest of a people.  Capitalist economies: the means of creating, distributing and exchanging wealth lie mainly in the hands of individuals and corporations  Postmodern  Monopolistic: An economic situation in which a single supplier controls the market for a particular product or service.  Privatized: The process through which ownership of a public enterprise or the responsibility to enact a state function is transferred from government or community control into the private corporate sector and run to generate profit. Sneaking in through the back door  Industrialization: The movement within a culture or economic system toward and increased emphasis on large-scale/mechanized industry rather than agricultural/small-scale commercial activity.  Class Mobility: A characteristic of societies in which it is possible for and individual or a family to move from one social class to another, and thus alter their social status and economic standing. For example, modern Western societies have greater class mobility and the rigid aristocratic society that proceeded the, which had firmly defined and immobile class boundaries. The idea of class mobility can also act as an ideology that paradoxically maintains the status quo. Even in Western societies, it remains difficult for the majority of people to change their class standing.  Commodities: Objects and services produced for consumption or exchange by someone other than their producers. The Democratization of Culture  Marxism: Marxist approaches to society and culture emphasize the primacy of economic relation and structures in determining all other social activity. In particular, Marxism emphasizes the exploitative foundations of capitalist systems of economics. The Americanization of Popular Culture  Cold war: A phrase that popularly refers to the tense, hostile relationship between the communist (U.S.S.R) and the capitalist (U.S) superpowers and their respective allies from the end of the Second World War until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Although marked by bitter animosities fuelled by ideological differ
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