Essay on The Jansport Bag : An Artifact Of Popular Culture

Essay on The Jansport Bag : An Artifact Of Popular Culture

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Popular culture according to Browne & Browne is “the system of attitudes, behavioural patterns, belief customs and tastes that define people of any society” (2005, p.3). An artefact of popular culture from my daily life is the JanSport bag. This essay will describe the JanSport bag and explain why it is part of my experience with popular culture by using the ideas of mass culture, global culture and hegemony to support.

An artefact of popular culture from my daily is the JanSport bag. The JanSport bag was created in 1967 along with a range of outdoor gear that was totally new and alternative to anything on the existing market, primarily because the design went against the traditional top loading hiking bag and opted for a front panel design, a design that is still thriving and popular forty years on (JanSport, 2015). JanSport bags today come in different shapes, sizes and patterns but the company still pride themselves on their durability and functionality and their bags come with a lifetime guarantee.

The first reason why the JanSport bag is part of my experience of popular culture is mass culture. According to Storey “the invention of popular culture as mass culture was in part response to middle-class fears engendered by industrialisation, urbanisation and the development of an urban-industrial working class” (2003, p. 5). The industrial boom that came out of the 1920-30s resulted in mass production and mass consumption of products on a whole. The days of individualistic hand crafted goods disappeared. Mass culture created “cultural materialism” (Milner, 1991, p.32) and took away the ideals of communities working together in agreed values that is seen in folk culture, it “integrates the masses into a debased form of high c...


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...g to be televised, which makes the consumer want what they have, and fortunately with JanSport being so cheap, we can afford them, “the shaping and packaging of most urban popular culture…results from sophisticated celebrity and product marketing” (Storey, 2005, p. 54) In some was hegemony “reduces culture to material goods” (Storey, 2005, p.111) as the product becomes a symbol that stands for culture, like JanSport bags became a symbol of being popular. Being the elite and best selling bag in the world, I bought one because it was popular; convenient and I wanted to have the same top product that I saw on the television.

In conclusion, through the theories of mass culture, global culture and hegemony, I have explained why the JanSport bag has impacted my experience with popular culture. I believe it will continue to be a popular product for years to come.









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