Popular and Academic Culture

Topics: Popular culture, High culture, Culture Pages: 12 (3805 words) Published: September 26, 2006
Popular and Academic Culture

Research Report

Background and introduction
Since we have been in the era of information, we are exposed to and absorb many various information resources. The ubiquity of information has made people feel it is hard to see the differences between popular and academic culture. Hence, the accuracy of the definitions of the two cultures has been hard to distinguish. This study is going to talk about two issues—popular and academic culture. The purpose of this paper is to show some of the differentiations between popular and academic culture, and how these work in the processing and evaluation of information. Moreover, this paper will focus on using analysis tools—purpose, audience, evidence, style & language—to elaborate the characteristics of popular culture and academic culture, and to evaluate how accurately we can differentiate examples of the two cultures.

This paper will use some examples to help us to understand what kinds of products belong to popular culture and what kinds of products belong to academic culture. Magazines and advertising are typical examples of popular culture while lecture notes, textbooks and dictionaries represent academic culture.

This paper will use Storey's work on popular culture (1998) to provide definitions of popular and high culture. We also refer to Gibbs' explanation of different learning styles (1992) to explain the relationships between surface & deep learning and how it might succeed to popular & academic culture. Also this paper will apply Shermer's study of what kind of information leads us to wrong thinking (1997), providing us tools to analyze the reliability of information in both popular and academic culture.

So, these sources help us to identify relevant examples for analysis. The specific analysis of these sources emphasizes the importance of reliable analysis, and the definitions of both popular and academic culture present a clear boundary to discriminate their characteristics. Moreover, based on these sources, we might discover how much objective information can be found in both popular and academic culture.

Definition of popular and academic culture
Popular culture:
Popular culture is produced for the mass of people and is motivated to make money. The product of popular culture has low quality and is easy to create (Storey, 1998). Definitely, in our society, we can see many products of popular culture in the form of advertising, magazines, internet chat, clothes shows and soccer match, among others.

Popular culture is designed for a mass audience: for example, advertising for a new car will attract people who want to buy a new car. These people may be drawn from all areas of the population: teachers, workers, doctors and business men and women. So, it is not only for a special group. We meet different advertising every day and every where on the buses or on TV, through flyers and so on. Advertising is designed to reach and appeal to a mass audience that covers the whole population. (Storey, 1998)

Also, popular culture is designed to make money. Advertising motivates the audience to spend money to own a new car. Hence, the primary purpose of popular culture can be treated as making profit. People will be stimulated to buy clothes seen in fashion shows may not really fit them as well as people pay to watch live sports performances such as soccer. (Storey, 1998)

Furthermore, products of popular culture are usually related to people's daily life with low quality (easy to create). For example, advertising for a new movie, the contents of advertising will only pick some of movie pictures and performance. So this advertising has not any creative information and does not take so much time to produce it. However, what were picked are the most wonderful effects for the movie, therefore, people will strongly look forward to watching it. (Storey, 1998)

Popular culture is a cultural battlefield between "elite" power...
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