Popular Culture

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By definition, popular culture is associated with the everyday, the mainstream and that which is commonly accessible: in short, culture produced for mass consumption. If there's one thing people like to consume more than almost anything else, it's popular culture. Television, music, movies. Every year it seems, the popular culture goes a little bit further, louder and faster, more action, bigger explosions. Is it good or bad? Popular culture is hard to ignore. It affects nearly everyone's daily lives, acting as a social glue for society, allowing individuals to consider difficult subject matter and provides a strong economic engine as it encourages new purchases. Popular culture is the primary conversation starter for people at work, school or during their everyday lives. It forms a unifying foundation that pervades individual differences and allows those conversations to extend from a point of unity. A shared appreciation for a new television show or popular new movie can create a context for mutual understanding and a basis for friendship building. Additionally, it is a social icebreaker, allowing individuals to overcome their shyness and engage in group conversations without the fear of isolation. Theorists have often questioned the value of culture produced for the masses, and, for that matter, the value of something that is ultimately created for commercial gain. We would argue that this is exactly why the scholarly exploration of popular culture is so important, because popular culture exudes such great influence, impacting on everything from fashion to food packaging, and because as a phenomena it is intimately connected with education, mass communication, production and a society’s ability to access knowledge. It is approaching a new dawn of greatness. We have never seen, in the history of mankind, an outpouring of material writing, acting, programming and number of media and things produced as we're seeing today, and it is very...
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