Essay about Popular Culture

Submitted By isabellaecooper
Words: 785
Pages: 4

January 29th, 2014
Popular Culture:
Lecture 3

Key SOC perspectives:
-cultures organize themselves and the central organizing feature to modern culture is a capitalist economic system
-cultures organize themselves around this key principle
-capitalism is known as being a social truth
-meaning, we live in a world where capitalism is understood, demanded, expected, “normal”
-recognized, demand and right to make money
How does society work?
-functionalism (via Emile Durkheim)
-society is stable, orderly, governed by consensus for example: family, gov’t, education, capitalism
-conflict (via Karl Marx)
-society is amidst conflict, battle, competition
-some are privileged in a manner many are not
-central feature of society is inequality
-some members of society have a greater privilege, not many social or economic obstacles put in place
Marx Weber
-for Weber, Marx was too “top down”. That is, too straightforward and lacking context. -for Weber, inequality is a 3 part system
1. class: socio-economic position (re. Marx)
2. status: social prestige (popularity)
3. power: political influence
Ideology
-a group of ideas made normal and natural by the dominant class
-dominant culture: those in power, for example, the mainstream, hollywood, capitalism, nationalism, the wealthy, the powerful
-for Marx, ideology becomes natural enough to the point of invisibility, a manipulation conducted by dominant culture

Hegemony
-draws connections between culture, power and ideology (via Antonio
Gramsci)
-hegemony employs a system of coercion and consent in order to create a passivity in the people
-we then become complicit, participatory within dominant culture and dominant ideology
-negotiated tension
Culture, politics and media
-CBC Television (CAN) publicly owned, Fox News Chanel (USA) privately owned -why study media?
1. its pervasive, news is everywhere at all times
2. it is influential, powerful, convincing
3. it is ideology
Left/Right
-left: progressive, democrat, NDP, Clinton, Trudeau, Obama, CBC
-right: conservative, Bush, FOX, Mayor Ford
-with this binary in place it is then up to the reader/viewer to decode media messages Two schools of thought
-we understand media as operating from one of two sides left: regards media as carries of “objectionable ideologies,” right: regards media as contributing to “a continued moral decay”
-that is, both left and the right have “a problem” with mainstream media outlets
Stuart Hall
-encoding/decoding:
-for Hall, language is operative within a framework of power, institutions and control -the viewer then is responsible for “decoding” the message in effort to discover the meaning, found between the sender and the receiver
-we do so by way of the following: dominant: we accept, agree with the message reject: we are in opposition to the message negotiate: we accept the primary argument but adjust or reject a part of the message as well

Polysemy
-a text is capable of containing multiple meanings
-that is, the meaning of the text is fluid wherein it can see its meaning shift depending on who is interpreting the text
-Denotative: literal meaning
-Connotative: social associations assigned to the text or image
Section 3:
Media and social control
-How does media seek to:
-influence
-threaten
-convince
-seduce
-it does so via a two part system…