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FOLK CULTURE & POPULAR CULTURE

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FOLK CULTURE & POPULAR CULTURE TWO POLES OF A CONTINUUM FOLK CULTURE Transmitted interpersonally Stable, conservative, traditionalist Based on idea of community (shared experience and mutual obligations) Clear-cut social roles, M/F division of labor Adapted to a particular environment

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folk culture popular culture

FOLK CULTURE & POPULAR CULTURE

TWO POLES OF A CONTINUUM

slide3
FOLK CULTURE

Transmitted interpersonally

Stable, conservative, traditionalist

Based on idea of community (shared experience and mutual obligations)

Clear-cut social roles, M/F division of labor

Adapted to a particular environment

POPULAR CULTURE

Transmitted by media such as books & TV

Constantly changing and innovating

Based on idea of society (specialized roles and interdependence, impersonal coordination)

Flexible and vague social roles

Not adapted to any particular environment

slide4
Persistent elements of folk culture (slowly disappearing)

Architecture

Vernacular regions

Traditional medicine

Music

Vanishing elements of folk culture (quickly disappearing)

Fences

Barns

Agricultural techniques

Dance

slide5
“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”
    • Michel de Montaigne
slide7

A vernacular region is a shared, traditional way of ordering experience, therefore, it is part of folk culture…

…an especially interesting part for geographers.

slide8
Folk Culture includes traditional medicine. What are some ways folk culture medicine gets incorporated into popular culture?
    • pharmaceutical companies “discover” and patent a compound
    • a substance becomes popular for “recreational” use
    • A technique like acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine gains mainstream acceptance
diffusion of the rodeo
Diffusion of the Rodeo

Who started it?

Receptivity of : Mexicans, Canadians, Mormons?

diffusion of agricultural fairs
Diffusion of agricultural fairs

What types of diffusion are operating here?

slide11

How is this vernacular architecture (folk architecture) suited to its environment? (house from Orchid Island, near Taiwan)

  • readily available materials
  • form responds to climate and weather patterns
slide15

What kinds of environmental adaptation can you identify?

How else could you build a house to do the same thing?

slide17

What elements of the Quebec farmhouse respond to climate?

Do any elements seem to respond more to social factors?

slide20

Pueblo Architecture

Northern New Mexico

Pre-Columbian “condo”

Suited to dry climate with cold, sunny winters

strong diurnal temp swings

“horno” bread oven

popular culture26
POPULAR CULTURE
  • Transmitted by media such as books & TV
  • Constantly changing and innovating
  • Based on idea of society (specialized roles and interdependence, impersonal coordination)
  • Flexible and vague social roles
  • Not adapted to any particular environment
you are what you consume
You are what you consume!

Aside from income and the need/desire to be “fashionable,” what else differs between the light and dark regions on this map?

stars fans
Stars & Fans

Fans from US and Japan hold a candlelight vigil outside Neverland Ranch, Thursday, April 29, 2004, in Los Olivos, Calif. the night before Michael Jackson is scheduled to appear at the Santa Maria court for arraignment on child molestation charges

the most popular show on earth
the most popular show on earth

seen in 140 countries

32 languages

part of $60 bill. export market

understood as representative of Americans and American culture

popular with teens

changing attitudes about women s bodies
changing attitudes about women’s bodies…

…also suggest changing attitudes about men’s self-control…

… and about desire itself!

what s wrong with this picture
What’s wrong with this picture?
  • “We have allowed this thing which will mark the country with sin for a long time…”

(Phra Thep Dilok, Head of National Center for Buddhism Promotion in Thailand)

morality in thailand
There are approximately 130,000 prostitutes in Thailand

about 12,000 are children

prostitution is legal

prostitution in Thailand is described as early as the 16th century

prostitution is part of the local culture (many brothels cater specifically to locals and Asians)

Morality in Thailand
religious desecration
Religious Desecration
  • What was the problem with the beauty pageant?
  • The Buddhist Temple of Dawn is in the background
  • Photographing of Miss Universe contestants in front of this sacred place was seen as a desecration of the site and a sign of disrespect to Buddhism
slide41

Don’t forget sports!

which seems closer to folk culture: participatory or spectator sports?

popular or folk culture
Popular or folk culture?
  • it’s always a matter of degree
  • a point on the continuum
  • popular culture challenges folk culture
  • popular culture undermines folk culture
  • popular culture appropriates elements of folk culture
  • popular culture markets elements of folk culture
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