Essay about Popular Culture 's Theory Of Mass Culture

Essay about Popular Culture 's Theory Of Mass 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 available on the market; adding most android phones tend to be able to perform the same. However apple iPhone’s are the leading trend amongst the people despite complications surrounding the brand such as them breaking easily people continue to buy iPhones. This indicates that people are actively making a conscious decision about what they buy therefore fuelling what becomes popular cultures (Chan, V. 2014).

Fiske’s theory argues that there are two markets: The monetary economy which is interested in the commodity and how much money it can make; and the cultural economy where the audience buys the commodity to gain and pleasure from the product. 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 po...

... middle of paper ... 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 bottom.

Fiske, J. & John, F., 1989. Understanding popular culture 1st ed., United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
Macdonald D. (2005). A Theory of mass culture. In: Guins, R. Cruz, OZ. Popular Culture A Reader. London. Sage Publication Ltd, pp. 39-46
Strinati, D. 1995. An introduction to theories of popular culture, United Kingdom: London : Routledge, 1995. Fiske, J (1996) Understanding Popular Culture. London. Routledge
Chan, V. (2014). By the Numbers: iPhone vs. Android. Available: Last accessed 3/3/2015.

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