How Pop Culture Shapes Us and the Environment

Topics: Popular culture, Culture, High culture Pages: 4 (1490 words) Published: April 12, 2011
November 2010
how popular culture shapes us and the environment

The term popular culture, or pop culture, often refers to the ideas, values and goods that arise from mass media. This mass media includes books, magazines, movies, and television. In American popular culture two themes are prevalent: a materialistic one and a simplistic one. The materialistic one, that is popular in times of prosperity, stresses that happiness comes out of material goods, while the simplistic one says that happiness comes out of modesty and spirituality. While researching popular culture however this and certain other trends become apparent.

One form of popular culture is fast food. Fast food has totally changed the face of this nation. In Erik Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation , he talks about how deeply fast food has changed America. In the book, Schlosser talks about how the invention of the automobile and the highway system helped bring about a revolutionary change in the eating habits of the typical American. This has to be considered Popular Culture because it was what the average American is eating.

The McDonald brothers moved from New Hampshire during the Great Depression to try and make a living in southern California. They saved up money working as set builders on a movie lot and bought a movie theater. The theater did not do very well and they bought a small drive in restaurant trying to cash in on the craze. After limited success they grew tired of the constant problems of a restaurant and in 1948 they closed it and installed larger grills and applied the idea of an assembly line to the kitchen. This is where the McDonalds, the popular culture giant, we all know today was born.

Ray Kroc was the driving force behind the new and improved McDonalds franchise system. He saw the massive success the McDonald brothers were having first hand and approached them asking to have the right to franchise McDonalds nationwide. Kroc would sell the franchise while the...
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