What are examples of popular culture

Pop culture and media

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2. General consideration
2.1 Role of technology in popular culture
2.2 Culture on TV

3. Cultural theoretical considerations
3.1 Entertainment as a maxim
3.2 Culture as a commodity
3.3 Development towards a mass man
3.4 "Leisure passivity"

4. Pop culture = dissolution of national cultures? - A conclusion

5. Bibliography

1 Introduction

When looking for a definition of mass culture, pop culture, popular or popular culture, pop art culture or just pop, and the certainty of an existing classification of "higher" and "lower", I would intuitively attribute pop culture to the lower . But what is it actually about when we talk about pop culture? Walter Nutz equates the term popular culture with folk culture because, from his point of view, all cultural goods that a society produces can be combined under this label. “People and the acceptance of 'their' cultural goods, ie what they and their fellow human beings' accept ', create their culture so that it can also be measured as' mass', as' popular', especially when the popular offers' are accepted en masse and not just produced. "[1]

Roger Behrens, on the other hand, leaves more or less open in his work what exactly he means by the term pop culture. “The definition of pop consists in the definition of the problem of definition: that pop cannot be clearly conceptualized because it is not a clear phenomenon; the fact that pop cannot be defined is itself pop = definition of pop. "[2]

Even if the approach of the two is fundamentally different, one common aspect can be found in their works that is important for the drafting of a theory of pop culture: the mass media. The technologies underlying the mass media and the new processing of information are considered to be the basic prerequisites for the constitution of modern pop culture.

The treatment written here concentrates particularly on the pop-cultural phenomenon of “television” in democratically constituted societies, against the background of social tendencies in the second half of the 20th century, in which the free flow of information is not prevented by state institutions or other rigid coercive measures . In this paper I try to show the social relevance as well as the special cultural reference of this medium to today's modern, differentiated societies. The contrary interpretative approaches and different definitions show up concretely in the “discussion about television and its influence on people and culture”. While state institutions assign television an educational mandate and refer to it as a “cultural forum” that looks beyond national borders, critics see it as the downfall of national cultures.

2. General consideration

2.1 Role of technology in popular culture

In its relatively short history, television developed into the most important leading medium in western industrialized societies. Almost 100 percent of all households in the Federal Republic of Germany own one or more television sets. The particular importance of this popular cultural leisure activity is expressed in the fact that television has become an integral part of the everyday activity of almost all population groups. Constant availability and a popular aesthetic that consciously sets itself apart from the forms of established culture and aesthetics have made it an indispensable leading medium, the qualitative and quantitative significance of which has grown steadily in recent years.

The successful era of this medium began in the Federal Republic in the 1950s with the only television program to date, today's ARD. In the sixties, the second German television (ZDF) and later the so-called third programs expanded the radio offer.

By fulfilling legal and technical basics (cabling, satellite television), television differentiated itself in the mid-1980s into public and private commercial program providers that are in competition with one another.

At the beginning of the nineties one could see the growing quantitative importance, based on the up to 30 receivable channels in the cable network as well as the temporal structural changes. While at the beginning of the eighties a “holey” program was offered, today almost all channels broadcast around the clock.

In the course of the nineties, a differentiation of the range of programs also began. A "trend towards specific target group television for defined market areas" developed.[3] The music channels VIVA and MTV, the sports channels DSF and Eurosport, the various home shopping channels, as well as the diverse range of programs offered by the pay-TV channel Premiere underline the social approval of this trend that began in the mid-1990s and is currently ongoing.

2.2 Culture on TV

Cultural studies are paying increasing attention to the complex of media, since since the beginning of the 19th century new forms of media have been developing that have shaped people's everyday lives. "The everyday life in which the media intervene, which they have a say, in which they are present in every moment, which they change daily and in which they constantly affect everyone."[4] Culture is therefore inconceivable without the media, but how is culture represented in the media?

The State Treaty on Broadcasting in the Unified Germany of August 31, 1990 sees broadcasting programs as a technical possibility, within the framework of which cultural and educational programs, alongside informative and entertaining programs, should be an integral part.[5]


[1] NUTZ, Walter (1999): Trivial literature and popular culture, p.298

[2] BEHRENS, Roger (2003): The Dictatorship of the Adapted - Texts on the Critical Theory of Pop Culture p.37

[3] MIKOS, Lothar (1994): Television in the experience of the audience p.10

[4] NEITZEL, Britta (1999): Course book for media culture, p.197

[5] Cf. WEIß, Hans-Jürgen (1992): Cultural and educational programs in German television - discussion of terms and program analysis p.3

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