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What Is Popular Culture And Why Is It Such A Big Part Of Life In The Uk?

1233 words - 5 pages

Popular culture, as an indispensable part of people's life, is becoming an increasingly concerned topic. However, the situation is quite different long time ago. For a long period of time, popular culture was regarded as relatively low one, which was for the poor to enjoy themselves. Since popular culture grew rapidly especially in the 1900s, more and more people began to accept and spread it. Popular culture includes almost every aspect in social life and has a close relationship with mass media. Meanwhile, it is motivated by profit-seeking business, usually liked by young people, and ever-changing. According to Christopher (1999), 1950s is a changing era in every dimensions of UK society, especially for culture. This essay will give the definition of popular culture by examining each of key factors above and explain the reason why it plays a key role in the UK by exploring historical and realistic reasons.Popular culture could be defined as sets of values, beliefs, trends or modes of symbolic expression readily available to and acknowledged by 'the masses' (McCluskey, 2006). Popular culture is opposite from high culture which is widely accepted by high class and usually considered of great value and does not attempt to appeal the crowd's attention. On the contrary, popular culture is wildly liked and propagated by the public, with the aim of attracting public's attention and making profits. As Williams (1976) expounded, 'popular means being seen from the point of view of the people rather than from those seeking favour or power over them'. In addition, popular culture is different from folk culture which is more ethnic and traditional while popular culture usually has nothing to do with 'outmoded' and it only deals with what is 'in fashion'.Popular culture was spread by commercial need. The products from popular culture such as films, magazines and fashionable dress are all goods merchants use for profit-making. From this point of view, commercial destination is a distinct from other forms of culture among popular culture's identities.Since popular culture was born, an indispensable friend of it which is so-called mass media has been accompanying with it, including newspapers, television, radio and internet. Obviously, people have to use, at least one kind of mass media when they feel like learning news, searching something in the latest fad and keeping in touch with others. It infers that mass media is something like ligament and support of popular culture.Another characteristic of popular culture is that it is often adopted by young people, almost the monopoly of the youth. Consequently expressions of popular culture in everyday life are always exciting and fashionable, such as Hip-hop and Bungee jumping. Also, most enthusiasts of fast food, short text message and rock 'n' music are youth. Young people enjoy themselves in popular culture with no doubts.Moving on to the reason why popular culture occupies the big part in contemporary Britain,...

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