Pulp Fiction - a Sociological Debate

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Sociology 2XX

Critically anlayse a popular culture ‘text’ utlising relevant theories and debates

In sociological theory there are many concepts discussed that are utilized in the analyses of society and culture. Some of the main concepts are Postmodernism, Historical Materialism, Structuralism, Interpretive Sociology and Poststructuralism to name a few. These theories are relevant to the research of understanding certain or specific cultural texts. These concepts provide problems and solutions associated with some of the research approaches fore-mentioned. Analysing the main dimensions will be covered by discussing the appropriate concepts separately and by individually contrasting the classical and modern theories with Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film ‘Pulp Fiction,’ known for its rich, diverse dialogue, ironic combination of humour and violence, a nonlinear storyline told in several differing orders, and a mass amount of cinematic hints and popular culture references.

A classical theory is Historical Materialism; a branch of Marxism that takes the position that the development of history is not determined by the desires or actions of specific human subjects, but is instead shaped by the objective facts of material existence (Buchanan, 2010). Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans collectively produce the necessities of life. The non-economic features of a society are seen as being a product of its economic activity. History unfolds as the attempt by humans to alter their natural environment to suit their own particular needs, this partly explains why technologies developed faster in colder climates as the need to defend the environment was much greater there rather than that in warmer climates. In order to meet their requirements, humans work together and produce not only the specific goods they need but society itself. In doing so, divisions between different groups of people...
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