Analysis Of John Fiske Popular Culture

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The purpose of this essay is to firstly explain what John Fiske means by ‘popular culture lies not in the production of commodities so much as the productive use of industrial commodities’ (Fiske, J. 1990 p.28). Secondly this essay will go on to compare Fiske’s interpretation of popular culture to MacDonald’s theory of mass culture. The quotation given in the title proposes popular culture is not governed by those responsible for the production of commodities but by the people. One could say in order for any commodity to be a part of popular culture relies on the people as they hold the power to decide what commodities they buy into making popular. For a modern day example Individuals in society can readily access all information about phones…show more content…
It could be argued that the people and the producers of commodities is one of need since their relationship is more than buying and selling. Fiske claimed that popular culture can never be described as buying and selling since it is a culturally active process of creating meaning and pleasure. Fiske held an optimistic outlook on the formation of popular culture and believed that the people self-determine what they want, which in return goes on to creating wealth for the producers and pleasure for consumers. He also proposed that the product is at the discretion of the audience, therefore the people are in control of the culture industry (Fiske, J.…show more content…
“The average family is bombarded with 1,100 advertisements per day … people only remembered three or four of them”. Fiske’s uses an example of kids singing Razzmatazz a jingle for brand of tights at a woman in a mini skirt. This displayed to the reader that people are not mindless consumers; they modify the commodity for their use. He rejects that the audiences are helpless subjects of unconscious consumerism. In contrast to McDonald’s, Fiske’s quoted “they were using the ads for their own cheeky resistive subculture” he added. He believed that instead of being submissive they twisted the ad into their own take on popular culture (Fiske, 1989, p. 31) In conclusion to this essay it apparent that these two theories clashed. Fiske arguing for the people rejecting that culture can be critiqued allowing the people to feel responsible for their actions. As for McDonald leaving the audience feeling gloomy depressed with the fact that they like what they. McDonald makes it clear that if people are not choosing high culture they are halfwits. However Fiske argument is impartial leaving audience with the notion that they are determining culture since they are creating the popular culture chain even though they are at the
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