PowerPoint Presentation - Religion and Popular Culture by 67uWH7


Studies 2812:
Religion and
                                            What is Culture?
                                  • Culture, “High Culture” and
                                  “Pop” Culture - some definitions
•Anthropological definition of Culture: “The system of shared
beliefs, values, customs, behaviours, and artifacts that the members of
society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are
transmitted from generation to generation through learning.” (Bates & Plog, p. 7).
•UN definition of Culture: ”A set of distinctive spiritual, material,
intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group and that
it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living
together, value systems, traditions and
beliefs". (http://www.unesco.org/education/imld_2002/unversal_decla.shtml)]

•Definition of ‘high culture:’ “High culture is often associated with art
forms such as opera, classical music, ballet, literature and fine arts. It is
widely perceived as the work of professional artists, serious in intent,
valuable, and aimed mainly at an elite and educated audience.”

Pop Culture: “The opposite of high cultural art forms, such as
the opera, historic art, classical music, traditional theater or
literature; popular culture includes many forms of cultural
communication including newspapers, television, advertising,
comics, pop music, radio, cheap novels, movies, jazz, etc. In the
beginning of the 20th Century, "high art" was the realm of the
wealthy and educated classes while popular culture or "low art"
was considered commercial entertainment for the lower classes.
In the 1950s and 60s the gulf between high and low art closed
with the rise of Pop Art…in which artists incorporated imagery
and/or media from popular culture such as advertisements, mass
produced objects, movies, and comics.”
            Is Pop culture really pop?

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Theories of Popular Culture:
1. Aristocratic theory of Mass culture (pop culture = threat to “civilization,”
   moral degeneracy, undermining true values of religion, art, civilization. )
2. Socialist Theory of Cultural Industry and Consumer Capitalism: the
   Masses dominated by elite culture industry, that tells people what to like,
   what to choose, what to watch… so as to sell products. - Marxist point,
   who owns the Means of cultural production?
               Corporate Rap?

• Corporate sponsorship
  - ‘Its about the bling,
  not the art…’?
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  pop culture gone
  completely corporate?
                         Where’s the Spoof?

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•  The commercialization of pop culture fads, the
  commercialization of spoofing pop culture fads!
• Terry Tate, Office Linebacker - Superbowl ad makes Reebok
  9th most active website on the web - pop culture = corporate
     Theories of Pop Culture, con’t.
3.   Pop Culture as “dialogic” - Pop Culture as the combination of culture
     industry creations, folkloric elements, “high” culture elements,
     counter-cultural elements, etc. - various communities of discourse
     engaged in production, consumption, counter-production,
     commentary, acceptance, rejection, etc. of cultural products.
         -         Fans/consumers as “textual poachers” - “those who
         appropriate popular texts and reread them in a fashion that serves
         different interests… fans construct their cultural and social
         identity through borrowing and inflecting mass culture images,
         articulating concerns which often go unvoiced within the
         dominant media.” (Jenkins 1992, p.23)
  Consumers/Fans as Textual
                                     • Cross-over pop culture -
                                       cultural products enter
                                       popular consciousness,
                                       become metaphor,
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                                     • Pop culture as “reflexive” -
                                       looking at itself,
                                       reinterpreting itself?
                                     • Nerf Herder (punk/pop) -
                                       Star Wars, Buffy, Trek
      Consumers/Fans as Textual

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• Cultural products as transgressive (het, slash videos,
  fanfic, etc. - ‘if Viacom won’t tell this story, I will…’
     Theories of Pop Culture, con’t.
Pop Culture as Subversive
   - idea that Pop Culture
   can challenge
   mainstream norms,
   undermine political
   hegemonies, etc.
Dixie Chicks political
   protest - subversive?
New verb - to be “dixie
Conspiracy theories…
   were the Dixie chicks
   ever blacklisted?

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