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What is Pop Culture?. popular culture. noun cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people. Also called pop culture. . POP CULTURE: The Way We Were.

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popular culture

popular culture


cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people.

Also called pop culture.

pop culture the way we were

POP CULTURE: The Way We Were

Pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time.

In essence, pop culture is a self-portrait created through purchasing power.

1960 s

In 1960, nearly half of America's population is under 18 years old. It's a young society, and the most affluent generation in U.S. history.

American teenagers have $22 billion a year at their disposal (a sum equivalent to $140 billion in 2005 dollars).

1960 s1


The best-selling books often reflect a society's most pressing concerns.

Definitive reads of the decade include To Kill a Mockingbirdand Valley of the Dolls.

But evenings spent with a good book are on the way out: TV is the new centerpiece.

Colour TV arrives in the early '60s and is embraced far more rapidly than the old black-and-white sets. By the end of the decade, 95 percent of homes have at least one TV.

1960 s2


The Beatles are heard everywhere: pocket-sized transistor radios,

eight-track stereos in cars, and

portable record players.

Everyone with a radio can sing along

to the thrilling quality of stereo FM broadcasts.

Although Elvis works hard to keep up, music is changing for good.

The brightest stars are linked to the British Invasion, and the

Motown and San Francisco


1960 s3


The advent of colour TV has a direct and immediate impact on drive-in movie theaters. In '62, there are 6,000 drive-ins in the U.S.; a year later there are 3,550.

Walk-in theaters also feel the change as more people choose to stay

home and watch the three

networks fight for ratings.

The movie industry peaks in 1964 with the release of 502 films. Box office sales will continue to increase with ticket prices, but the selection of films is never again so varied.

1960 s4


Mainstream religion is on the wane, except in growing evangelicalism and the new kind of relaxed non-denominational churches.

In '66, the TIME cover story will actually ask "Is God Dead?"

By the end of the decade, nearly 60 million people-a third of the population-have moved out of cities and into suburbs in search of a brighter, cleaner world.