The Social Context Shapes Popular Culture Essay

The Social Context Shapes Popular Culture Essay

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This chapter focuses on how the immediate social context shapes popular culture. This includes artists, animators, television writers/actors, and musicians (to name a few) who actually create popular culture and how the context of their work doesn’t always govern what they produce. Within popular culture, there are three realities to consider: the technological constraints, the organizational apparatus, and the legal system. With technological constraints, it deals with the production and manufacturing of popular culture. The organizational apparatus consists of the structure of which popular culture is promoted and sold. The legal system relates to how the whole process is regulated. Examples of the legal system can be seen with copyright laws and how they impact the content of music albums, which is why albums nowadays don’t have free samples of other songs. With the organizational apparatus, what the people receive is mostly a reflection of audience preference since it presents what people want. The preferences of the people differ from generation to generation – as can be seen with Bruce Springsteen’s music. The shifts in preference from one generation to another then shapes what music looks and sounds like. Technological constrains were mostly a thing in the past. Most records could only hold about three minutes of audio before having to flip or restart it, which limited the songs that were produced. Since that was what was known and traditional, even though it is possible to extend recording times, we continue to stick to the normal song length of about 3 minutes; in a sense, this specific trait exhibits survival even in today’s society. The reading goes on to discuss cultural conventions that are assumptions t...


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...nd actor and most of the time the way we produce content is collectively. However, there are many time that I am seeing more and more people try to become more individual in their creation of content when I don’t thin such an act is really possible in today’s society.
4: Questions/comments for class discussion
1) Could it be argued that a reason for keeping the length of songs the way they have always been is an appeal to tradition? It is also possible that the norm is stuck to because of fear and loss of profit?
2) If you have the ability to produce popular culture that is highly influential, does that impact your social status? Does it give you any more power than those who cannot?
3) What are the cultural conventions for lyrics in songs, if there are any at all? I’m wondering this because the content of some music in today’s culture can be extremely vulgar.

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