Pop culture is the acculturation retrospective that most people enjoy, referring to the study of cultural studies. The meaning of pop culture is mass culture, consumed by the general public to practice the media in broadcasting hits of culture. Pop culture is a culture that is present in the community through exposure to mass media. It means that culture is an imported culture that certain community groups imitate and use so that a community is born, which people often know as a fan base. Pop culture included many things, including singers or music groups who have become popular icons in the entertainment world at home and abroad. A company or apparatus often uses the fame they have to boost the value of a product to increase the sales they want to get.
The value that superstars have is not cheap. However, attaching their fame effect, especially to groups with a large fan base, will give birth to a new market share. Later, it will boost sales so that the cooperation built with each other becomes a symbiosis of mutualism. Popular culture refers to a particular society’s material culture and traditions. It refers to cultural products such as radio, internet, film, literature, and art that a large part of the population consumes in the modern West. Although coined in the middle of the 19th century, the term refers to the people’s cultural traditions in contrast to the traditional culture of the class and the ruling state. It is often considered a lower or superficial type of artistic expression in qualitative terms in broad usage.
Society and a Form of Expression
Despite having different meanings depending on who defines the context, society now recognizes popular culture as the dominant societal vernacular. It involves aspects of social life in which the public involves most actively. Like folklore or ancestors, the interaction between humans in daily activities determined the term. The activities can include food, greeting rituals, use of language, or style. In addition, the mass media also plays a vital role in popular culture. In general, several elements can comprise popular culture. It covers the most contemporary aspects of people’s lives, and the aspects often undergo rapid changes, especially in a highly technological world.
The retrospective media will always bring people, and pop culture reflects commonly held belief acculturation. Because of such similarities, it affects people’s daily life. Brands can also achieve an iconic pop status. However, iconic brands can go down and up as another aspect of popular culture. It becomes a form of expression, identity, and product with properties often widely accepted by paying attention to such fundamentalism. It allows a large mass of heterogeneity to identify collectively. In serving the inclusive role of society, consuming pop culture items often increases the individual’s prestige within the peer group. Along with forging an individual’s identity into the larger society, it allows the individual to change prevailing sentiments.
Before pop culture, folk culture functioned analogously to the acculturation culture of retrospective in the past. Traditionally, popular culture has often been associated with the lower classes instead of traditional culture and upper-class higher education. Britain underwent a social change with the Industrial Revolution in the 18th to 19th centuries, resulting in an increasing literacy rate. With the advent of industrialization, people started spending more money on entertainment. The emphasis on distinction from official culture became more evident towards the end of the 19th century, a usage which became well established in such interbellum. Since World War II, it has followed the significant cultural and social changes that mass media innovation brought about.
The meaning of popular culture begins to overlap with the cultural connotations of mass consumption, consumers, images, and media, to the masses. The abbreviated form “pop” for “popular.” As in “pop music,” it dates back to the late 1950s. Although the terms are used interchangeably, the terms are more narrow in some instances. Pop is unique for something that contains the quality of mass appeal. On the other hand, “popular” refers to what has gained popularity regardless of the style. According to John Storey, there are various definitions of popular culture. The quantitative definition of culture has the problem that many high cultures are also popular. It is also defined as the culture that remains when society has decided what high culture is. However, many works go beyond the limits, such as George Orwell and William Shakespeare.
Variety Definitions and Examples of Pop Culture
Storey also offers a variety of different definitions of popular culture:
- It serves as a status marker and is inferior.
- The elites used to take advantage of the masses as a tool.
- It is authentic as opposed to commercial.
- Dominants can create culture, but subordinates decide what they discard.
- Users can accept the content produced, change it for use, or reject it entirely and create their own.
Examples of popular culture come from various genres, including television music, entertainment, sports, and popular music. Members of all social classes can watch or play sports. However, the masses are responsible for the immense popularity of the sport.
The NBA, Premier League, and major sporting events in general, the world’s people always consume. Sport is pervasive in most societies and represents a significant part of many people’s lives. It shows that loyalty to the team as a means of self-identification is expected behavior. Furthermore, it encourages sports teams is away each individual can be a part of popular culture. Television, especially a globally popular series, gives people an interesting perspective on television. People have always distinguished popular culture from folk culture and high culture. Folk culture is similar to pop culture. In contrast, it is because mass participation also plays an important role. On the other hand, folk culture, however, represents the traditional way of doing things. As a result, it is immutable to change and much more static than contemporary culture.
In simple terms, folk culture represents a simpler lifestyle. It generally often characterizes rural life as independent and conservative. Radical innovations are generally not advocated by group members in conforming to society’s traditional modes of behavior. Folk culture is locally oriented and non-commercial. In short, it promises stability. On the other hand, popular culture is generally looking for something fresh. Therefore, popular culture is often an infiltration of folk culture. On the other hand, folk culture rarely interferes with popular culture. There are times when some aspects of folk culture enter the pop world. Generally, when popular culture takes over the goods of folk culture, the goods gradually lose their original form.
The essential characteristic of popular culture is its accessibility to the masses. After all, it is the culture of the people. On the other hand, mass production does not mean high culture or mass consumption. Its rights belong to the social elite. High cultural items often require reflection, training, or broad experience for society to value, and such acculturation rarely crosses over into the pop culture retrospective. As a result, people generally view popular culture as superficial if they compare it with high cultural sophistication. It does not mean that social elites do not participate in popular culture—the dogmatic forms of tradition influence the masses, which local folk culture dictates. Throughout most of human history, people began to move around rural areas and small towns. With the beginning of the industrial era, rural masses began to migrate to cities, leading to the urbanization of Western society.
The Marxist theorists of the Frankfurt School during the twentieth century analyzed the dangers of the culture industry. As Adorno said, capitalist popular culture is not native to the people. Instead, it is a standardized system of products produced to serve capitalist domination by the elite. Industry capitalists such as Hollywood and the elite influence consumer demand for pop songs and movies. They decide which commodities the media will promote, including television and print journalism. According to Adorno, the industry is bowing to its rigged vote. Elites act as commodification, assessing and critiquing narrow ideologies. Connoisseurs of popular culture may become accustomed to such formula conventions, making intellectual contemplation impossible.
In short, Adorno’s work has a new significance in the digital era, namely pop hegemony. In pop hegemony, mascots or superstars dominate the media. They wield the economic power of the tycoons. They are more monolithic than ever before, with giants like Google and Facebook leading unprecedented monopolies. There is much research on how the Western entertainment industry strengthens transnational capitalism. Therefore, global media companies artificially strengthen commercial entertainment. The mass commercialization of the company became a commodity of the popular culture industry. That is because homogeneous obeys standard conventions. The media then influence children’s tastes, such as the diversity agenda in modern films of all ages, and sets the standard of exception. It becomes a phenomenon meaning commodity in which the group must determine what constitutes a phenomenon within a hegemonic.
In essence, urbanization is the main ingredient in shaping popular culture. People who have lived in small, homogeneous villages will find enormous cultural diversity when they find themselves in crowded cities. These diverse people will see themselves as collectivities due to standard forms of expression. Thus, many scholars trace the beginning of the phenomenon of popular culture to the middle class’s emergence under the Industrial Revolution. Industrialization brought with it mass production, such as locomotives and steamships. Advances in building technology, increased literacy, education, and health are efficient forms of commercial printing.
It became the first step in the formation of the mass media. All the factors contribute to the development of popular culture. In the early twentieth century, the print industry mass-produced illustrated newspapers and magazines. Newspapers serve as the best source of information for the public who are increasingly interested in economic and social affairs. The ideas expressed in print provide a starting point for popular discourse on unlimited topics. The forms of mass media that emerged throughout the twentieth century influenced popular culture, fueled by the growth of technology. Continuous technological growth is one of the critical factors in the formation of popular culture, in addition to mass media and industrialization. It continues to be a factor shaping popular culture.
The Fundamental Rights of Pop Culture
In an intellectual sense, Baudrillard defines the acculturation of pop culture by using the retrospective of The Matrix. He said how the film paints a picture of a monopolistic superpower, as people see it today, and collaborates in its refraction. Its spread on a world scale is tied to the film itself. In this case, the medium is the message, and the film’s message is its spread by non-breeding contamination. In short, he says how the products of capitalist popular culture can only provide illusory rebellion. That is because they are still involved in the system that has the power to control.
In essence, the nature of popular culture is individualistic but contradictory. Urbanization not only provides common ground for the masses. However, it has also inspired the aspirations of the people. The fundamental rights of individuals make up a society; there are no limits to what an individual can achieve. An individual may choose to participate in all that is popular for popularity. Once others adopt a unique style, such style is no longer unique. It became popular, a professional entity that provides information to the public. It provides a starting point for public discourse, allowing viewers to express their own opinions and, at the final point, share them with the public.
- Delaney, T. (2007). Pop culture: An overview. Philosophy Now, 64, 6-7.
- McGrath, J. F. (2010). The desert of the real: christianity, buddhism & Baudrillard in The Matrix films and popular culture. In Visions of the Human in Science Fiction and Cyberpunk (pp. 161-172). Brill.
- Witkin, R. W. (2003). Adorno on popular culture. Routledge.