Popular American Culture Paper Soc 105

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Popular American Culture Paper

Popular American Culture Paper
According to Merriam-Webster, Inc. (2011), culture is defined as “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” (para. 5b). Popular culture involves the most current and modern elements in our lives that can often change rapidly in the modern world of technology. “Because of its commonality, popular culture both reflects and influences people’s way of life; because it is linked to a specific time and place, pop culture is transitory, subject to change, and often an initiator of change” (Petracca &  Sorapure, 2007, p. 4). These effects are often constant in our daily environment as a result of the ever-present mass media. One major trend in popular culture in the U.S. is that of the popular novels and movies. For example, the Harry Potter novels were written by J.K. Rowling, who is thus far the only known billionaire author. The story is about Harry Potter, an adolescent wizard, and his close friends and their adventures as they attend a school of Wizardry. The main plot involves how Harry is a special wizard that has a purpose in defeating his nemesis, a dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, who wants to take over the wizard world. Rowling sold the movie rights to Warner Brothers which resulted in the series of Harry Potter block buster movies. Harry Potter popularity opened a vast market of merchandise to its fans. Warner Brothers has an Internet site, wbshop.com, where people can order their favorite Harry Potter “official” merchandise ranging from coffee mugs, t-shirts, wands, wizard hats, posters, necklaces, sculptures, ring tones, etc. (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2011). The Harry Potter hype also caused controversial views, such as beliefs from some Christian groups that the stories were causing children to indulge in practicing witchcraft. Some also believe that the stories teach adults and children to have over-glorified...
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