Local Culture_ Popular Culture and Cultural Landscape - UMdrive

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					        Chapter 4
Local Culture, Popular Culture,
  and Cultural Landscapes
Woman with Oxcart,
                     McDonald‘s, Tokyo, Japan
                 Some Basic terms:

                                •   Neo-localism
•   Culture                     •   Ethnic neighborhoods
•   Folk culture                •   Commodification
•   Popular culture             •   Authenticity
•   Local culture               •   Distance decay
•   Non-material culture        •   Time-space compression
•   Hierarchical of diffusion   •   Placelessness
•   Hearth                      •   Glocalization
•   Assimilate                  •   Folk housing regions
•   Custom                      •   Diffusion routes
•   Cultural appropriation
  Key Question:

What are Local and
Popular Cultures?
    What is Local culture/Folk Culture?
Local Culture: (text bk)
  A group of people in a particular place who see themselves as a collective or
  a community, who share experiences, customs, and traits, and who work to
  preserve those traits and customs in order to claim uniqueness and to
  distinguish themselves from others.

•   Common notion:
     1. Traditional practice by small group
     2. Usually a rural community living in relative isolation
     3. Homogenous: Stable and close knit
     4. Cohesive : Tradition control and Order maintained through religion or family
     5. Resistance to change
     6. Buildings erected without architect or blueprint using locally available building materials
     7. anonymous origins, diffuses slowly through migration. Develops over time.
     8. Clustered distributions: isolation/lack of interaction breed uniqueness and ties to physical
  Hutterite Colonies                          • In developed countries like
  in North America                              United States, where folk culture
                                                exists, it is regarded as characteristic
                                                only of socially or geographically
                                                 isolated groups
                                                E.g. - Amish
                                                       - Native American communities
                                                       - Mountain folk of Appalachia

Prevailing Notion:
• Artifacts, belief & practices
    a. Reminders of the past
    b. Touristic curiosities
                                  Are the Hutterites
                                  an example of a
                                  local culture?
                       Popular Culture:
Definition: (Txt bk)
  A wide-ranging group of heterogeneous people, who stretch across
   identities and across the world, and who embrace cultural traits such as
   music, dance, clothing, and food preference that change frequently and are
   ubiquitous on the cultural landscape.

• Common characteristics:
   – Large societies
   – heterogeneous society
   – sharing certain habits (despite differences in personal characteristics).
   – wide distribution
   – small regional variations (over time)—limited variations in choice
   – Examples: franchises, cargo planes, internet, alcohol and snacks.
   – Popular culture is product of industrialization & urbanization (began
     in Europe & US) – now expression of globalization
                Popular Culture
Clothing: Jeans and have become valuable status symbols in
  many regions including Asia and Russia despite
  longstanding folk traditions.
Marlboro Man in Egypt
            A Mental Map of Hip Hop

This mental map places major hip hop performers near other similar performers and in the
           portion of the country where they performed.
How do cultural traits
from local cultures
become part of popular

Madonna wearing a
red string Kabbalah
 People everywhere
  tend to discard or alter
  their folk culture when
  confronted with the
  attractions of modernity
 Few remain to practice
  their folk culture
How do cultural
traits diffuse?

Hearth: the point of
origin of a cultural trait.

Contagious diffusion

Hierarchical diffusion
Key Question: How are Local Cultures Sustained?
•Local cultures are sustained by maintaining customs.

                                       a practice
                                       that a group
                                       of people
Folk Culture – rapidly changing and/or disappearing
  throughout much of the world.

                                                      Guatemalan Market

  Portuguese Fishing Boat

                                       Turkish Camel Market
        Folk Culture: Material and
           Nonmaterial Culture
Material Culture               Nonmaterial Culture
(tangible elements)            (intangible elements)
The things a group of people   The beliefs, practices,
   construct, such as art,        aesthetics, and values of a
   houses, clothing, sports,      group of people.
   dance, and food.
LittleSweden, USA (Lindsborg, Kansas): Is the Swedish Dala horse part of
material or nonmaterial culture?
 In an age of globalization, where popular culture diffuses
quickly, what do local cultures do to maintain their customs?

  Local Cultures often have two goals:

        1.      keeping other cultures out.
                (ie. create a boundary around itself)

        2.      keeping their own culture in.
                (ie. avoid cultural appropriation)
    What role does place play in maintaining

By defining a place (a town or a neighborhood) or a
 space for a short amount of time (an annual festival) as
 representing a culture and its values, members of a
 local culture can maintain (or reestablish) its customs
 and reinforce its beliefs.
  Local cultures fight to maintain their customs

• Rural Local Cultures (it is comparatively easier)
   – Migration into rural areas is less frequent.
   – Can better separate their culture from others
     and from popular culture.
   – Can define their own space.
   – Daily life my be defined by a shared economic
  Makah (Neah Bay, Washington)
Why did the Makah reinstate the whale hunt?
 To reinvigorate the local culture.
  Little Sweden, USA (Lindsborg, KS)
Why did the residents of Lindsborg define it as a
 Swedish place?
 neolocalism: seeking out
 the regional culture and
 reinvigorating it in
 response to the
 uncertainty of the
 modern world.
            Urban Local Cultures
• Can create ethnic neighborhoods within cities.
• Creates a space to practice customs.
• Can cluster businesses, houses of worship, schools to support
  local culture.
• Migration into ethnic neighborhoods can quickly change an
  ethnic neighborhood.

For example:
  Williamsburg, NY, North End (Boston), MA
Runners of the NYC Marathon run through Williamsburg, (Brooklyn), NY

How are aspects of local culture (material, non-material, place) commodified?

                                            what is commodified?
                                            who commodifies it?


                                             Claims of authenticity abound – how
                                             do consumers determine what
                                             experience/place is “authentic” and
                                             what is not?
  Problems with the Globalization of Culture

                                        Often Destroys Folk
                                          Culture – or preserves
                                          traditions as museum pieces or
                                          tourism gimmicks.
                                                 Mexican Mariachis;
                                                   Polynesian Navigators;
                                                   Cruise Line
                                                 Change in Traditional
                                                   Roles and Values;
                                                   Polynesian weight

Satellite Television, Baja California
                     Irish Pub Company Pubs
Right picture: Irish Pub Company and Guinness Brewing Company created 5
   models of pubs and export them around the world.
Left Picture: Little Bridge Pub in Dingle, Ireland (not an Irish Pub Company Pub)
    Key Question:

 How is Popular
Culture Diffused?
        How are hearths of
 popular culture traits established?

• Typically begins with an idea/good and contagious

• Companies can create/manufacture popular
  culture. (ie. MTV)

• Individuals can create/manufacture popular
  culture. (ie. Tony Hawk)
        Diffusion of TV, 1954–1999

Television has diffused widely since the 1950s, but some areas still have low
            numbers of TVs per population.
Hearth of Popular culture
•Example: Phish Music band
          see-fig 4.12
Hip-Hop –from NY diffused to
          France & Germany

Two important concepts:

Distance Decay: the likelihood of
diffusion decreases as time and distance
from the hearth increases.

Time-Space Compression: the likelihood
of diffusion depends upon the
connectedness among places.
Why are popular culture
traits usually diffused

How is fashion in popular
culture an example of
hierarchical diffusion?

Actress Lindsay Lohan
Key Question: How can Local and Popular Cultures be
          seen in the Cultural Landscape?

                   Cultural Landscape

         The visible human imprint on the landscape.

-   How have people changed the landscape?
-   What buildings, statues, and so forth have they erected?
-   How do landscapes reflect the values of a culture?
                Popular Culture
Effects on Landscape: breeds homogenous,
  ―placeless‖ (Relph, 1976), landscape
       Complex network of roads and highways
       Commercial Structures tend towards ‗boxes‘
      • Planned and Gated Communities more and more
Disconnect with landscape: indoor swimming pools,
  desert surfing.
Placelessness: the loss of uniqueness in a cultural
    landscape – one place looks like the next.
                        McDonald’s, Tokyo, Japan

 Swimming Pool, West
Edmonton Mall, Canada        McDonald’s, Jerusalem
Convergence of Cultural Landscapes:
• Diffusion of architectural forms and planning
  ideas around the world. (Skyscrapers diffusion)
 Convergence of Cultural Landscapes:
• Borrowing of idealized
landscape images blurs
place distinctiveness.
                          House Types
• Kniffen‘s traditional
American house types:
    Think of other folk housing
• Kraal in South Africa
• Uighur yurt in China
• Maasai manyatta
• Extended family compound of bambara of Mali