Religious Studies 2812: Religion and Popular Culture. What is Culture?.
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“Pop” Culture - some definitions
Pop Culture: “The opposite of high cultural art forms, such as the opera, historic art, classical music, traditional theater or literature; popular culture includes many forms of cultural communication including newspapers, television, advertising, comics, pop music, radio, cheap novels, movies, jazz, etc. In the beginning of the 20th Century, "high art" was the realm of the wealthy and educated classes while popular culture or "low art" was considered commercial entertainment for the lower classes. In the 1950s and 60s the gulf between high and low art closed with the rise of Pop Art…in which artists incorporated imagery and/or media from popular culture such as advertisements, mass produced objects, movies, and comics.” (www.artsconnected.com)
Theories of Popular Culture:
Aristocratic theory of Mass culture (pop culture = threat to “civilization,” moral degeneracy, undermining true values of religion, art, civilization. )
Socialist Theory of Cultural Industry and Consumer Capitalism: the Masses dominated by elite culture industry, that tells people what to like, what to choose, what to watch… so as to sell products. - Marxist point, who owns the Means of cultural production?
- Fans/consumers as “textual poachers” - “those who appropriate popular texts and reread them in a fashion that serves different interests… fans construct their cultural and social identity through borrowing and inflecting mass culture images, articulating concerns which often go unvoiced within the dominant media.” (Jenkins 1992, p.23)
Pop Culture as Subversive - idea that Pop Culture can challenge mainstream norms, undermine political hegemonies, etc.
Dixie Chicks political protest - subversive?
New verb - to be “dixie chicked”?
Conspiracy theories… were the Dixie chicks ever blacklisted?