Structural Functionalism views the world as a structure that is made up of parts that are interrelated and constantly affecting each other to some extent. The purpose of celebrity gossip and the related realms of pop culture are to generate revenue, as is essentially everything under capitalism. However, the function that this part has within the whole of society is much more powerful than just a profit generator; pop culture can shape the worldview of those who consume it quite significantly. It influences people with materialistic desires as they see their favorite celebrities with luxurious things and wish that life for themselves. It provides information to many on what they should seek in life. By generating a plethora of relatively meaningless information, it keeps people occupied with worshipping those in a higher social status and leaving them with little to no ability left to follow more significant news stories that may actually be impacting the world on a much higher level. On People Magazine, a popular source of celebrity news, there were easily 100 news stories posted today and the vast majority of them followed a similar theme to: “Gwyneth Paltrow Celebrates Her 44th Birthday in a Sexy Biki...
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...A story was written, “Justin Theroux Is Still Mortified Over That Infamous Jog He Took Wearing Very Revealing Sweatpants”, which is a follow up story about a time a celebrity named Justin Theroux wore sweatpants while jogging. While he intended to simply go for a job, the media has turned his casual activity into a symbolic spectacle around the ethics of wearing sweatpants. The impact that can resonate from something like this could have unpredictable significance on both his life and even potentially society as a whole.
Celebrity news and pop culture are forms that direct society in many ways. While it is also a reflection of society back onto itself, all 3 of these sociological viewpoints show the ways in which it attempts to shape our society. It does so often in the most reactionary manner possible as these media systems have a vested interest in the status quo.
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