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Popular Culture and the City. Yeah, We’re Studying Fun Stuff!. The Sociological Purpose of Music. Ornamentation Example: Weddings The Sacred and the Profane Makes religious ceremonies special Business

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Popular Culture and the City

Yeah, We’re Studying Fun Stuff!


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The Sociological Purpose of Music

  • Ornamentation

    • Example: Weddings

  • The Sacred and the Profane

    • Makes religious ceremonies special

  • Business

    • Because a lot of money is involved in the music industry, Marxists would argue that race and class comes into play


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Music and Space

  • Production of music is inherently locality-relevant

    • Local success; band needs to be geographically close

  • Musical taste is locality-relevant

    • Historically constructed, racial and cultural heritages, even laws and regulation


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Music and Socioeconomic Status

  • Tastes are marked by race and SES

  • This has everything to do with residential segregation

  • Example: Rap Music

  • In short: community and pop characteristics interact to create regional musical tastes


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Punk Rock and Regional Differences

  • England in the 1970s

  • The National Front

  • High unemployment

  • Very liberal, very aggressive


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Punk Rock

  • New York in the 1970s characterized by art and fashion

  • Many of the musicians were art students and influenced by the English punks

  • Result: more restrained


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Punk Rock

  • Los Angeles punk was just sort of strange

  • Some bastardized combination of the English and New York Styles

  • Result: oddly, fashionably aggressive


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Other Punk Movements

  • Washington, DC

    • Early, progressive, political, hardcore

  • “Cal” Punk

    • Surf pop inspired

  • Minneapolis

    • Indie Rock roots

  • Olympia

    • Politically progressive


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Business Power Elite and Media

  • Photography as a powerful arm of journalism

  • Censorship movements started from photojournalsim’s sensationalistic photographs

  • Howard Stern is a contemporary example

  • Corporations owning media outlets becomes problematic for journalists


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Hollywood and the World System

  • LA is the center of US movie-making

  • US is THE core country

  • In the world system, LA is the capital of moviemaking

  • Hong Kong styles of Kung-Fu were appropriated by LA filmmaking: “expropriation”


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TV and Stereotypes

  • 1950s showed idyllic suburban white family

  • Not accurate of suburban family life, but close enough so that families saw themselves in the shows

  • Showed women as subservient to husbands


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TV and Stereotypes

  • 1960s-1970s portrayed black Americans on TV

  • But some stereotypes were reinforced by these portrayals


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