Globalisation and Popular culture

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  • Mass media, Globalisation and Popular culture
    • Popular Culture
      • sometimes called mass culture/low culture
      • Highly commercialised - mass produced, standardised and short-lived products - often trivial content seen by many as of no lasting artistic value
      • Products designed to be sold on global mass market to make profit for the large 'cultural industry' corporations that produce them
      • aimed at popular tastes - 'easy-to-understand entertainment' - e.g Soaps, The Sun, heat, pop music
      • Postmodernist View
        • inhabit a world shaped by the media - media imagery and representations become our reality - RPG i.e World of Warcraft - our view of reality formed through media imagery rather than personal experience
        • Baudarillard - live in a media saturated society - distorted view of the world due to media imagery - 'hyperreality'
        • Garrod (2004) - Reality TV shows (TOWIE, MIC) are blurring the distinction between 'reality' and 'hyperreality'
        • Strinati (1995) - emphasises the importance and power of the mass media in shaping consumer choice
    • Globalisation
      • The way cultures in different countries have become more alike, sharing increasingly similar consumer products and ways of life - undermined national and local cultures
      • Flew (2002) - new media technologies has played an important role in the development of a global popular culture
      • Companies like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Sony are symbols that can be recognised across the world
      • Ritzer (2008)
        • McDonald's is now a worldwide business - 26,500 restaurants in more than 119 countries (in 2007); Pizza hut and KFC in 100 countries, Subway in 72 countries
          • TV companies sell their programmes as well - Big Brother, X Factor etc. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (106 countries)
            • US and UK singers known globally e.g Adele, Michael Jackson etc
              • English dominant second language gloabally
    • Pluralist view
      • No such thing as popular/mass culture.
      • Internet, TV etc give consumers diversity of cultural choice and opportunity to create own media products
      • Consumers have more choice and knowledge available to them now
    • Marxist View
      • argues maintains ideological hegemony and power of dominant social class - because lulled into uncritical, undemanding passivity - less likely to challenge dominant ideas
      • Fenton (1999) - global rarely means universal - more like process of cultural imperialism - films, music, shows have led to the Westernatisaion of cultures - especially American media - Disneyfication


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