Function of Popular Culture
Although many people believe that popular culture is negatively effecting our and our children's lives, because it is saturated with meaningless information and dumbing us down to drones which sit in front of televisions or computers, it is actually a very important aspect of our lives which allows our society to function more smoothly and easily. Before we get into this we should first define popular culture. Popular is defined as “of, pertaining to, or consisting of the common people, or the people as a whole as distinguished from any particular class; constituted or carried on by the people.” Culture is defined as “the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.”1 As these definitions confirm popular culture is an all encompassing thing that nobody can get away from, despite how much they may want to, but this may actually prove to be a good thing as it also serves many useful functions for our society. These functions include creating societal norms, separating our identity categories from other people, advancing technology, propelling social change, and despite popular opinion even making everyone smarter.
One of the most important functions of popular culture in today’s society is the creation of societal norms. As we consume images and words that hear through any mode of mass media we process this information and use it as a basis for our lives. This well exemplified in the world of fashion which allows for the production of any type of clothing, so how do we know what to where and when to where it? The fashion industry determines this for us by producing clothes and advertising the type of situations in which you might wear that particular clothing. These norms are also then reinforced by television shows and movie on which we see actors wearing this clothing in the appropriate settings. The production of norms by...
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