An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture Second Edition Dominic Strinati LONDON AND NEW YORK First published by Routledge Second edition. Dominic Strinati provides a critical assessment of the ways in which these theories have tried to understand and evaluate popular culture in modern societies. Read the full-text online edition of An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture ( ). to Theories of Popular Culture. By Dominic Strinati. No cover image.

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Standardisation means that popular songs are becoming more alike and their parts, verses and choruses more interchangeable. First, we can note that industrialisation and urbanisation gave rise to an atomised and anonymous mass ripe for manipulation, a mass market for the mass media best catered for by mass culture.

The idea here is that popular songs come to sound more and more like each other. But it seems to have become more significant and more contentious after As Americanisation came to be associated with increased consumerism on the part of the young and the working class, America itself came to be an object of consumption.

This is a clear and comprehensive guide to the major theories of popular culture. We can illustrate some of these ideas by looking at the example of popular music. The emergence of mass society and mass culture means it lacks the intellectual and moral resources to do otherwise. Poetry and criticism are not read by culturs common reader; the drama, in ot far as it ever overlapped literature, is dead, and the novel is the only branch of letters which is now generally supported.

Alfred Hitchcock made commercial films within the Hollywood system but has since been defined as an auteur, an original and creative genius.

Mass culture is therefore a culture which lacks intellectual challenge and stimulation, providing instead the undemanding ease of fantasy and escapism. This also indicates how mass culture theory can be understood as a response to the industrialisation and commercialisation of popular culture on a grand scale which began to gather momentum in the s and s.

So much mass culture comes intfoduction America that if it is a threat then Americanisation is a threat as well. The first problem which this suggests concerns the privilege conferred upon those positions from which popular or mass culture can be understood and interpreted. It attributes to mass culture qualities which are culturally equated with the feminine, such as consumption, passivity and sentiment or emotion, and contrasts these with qualities such as production, activity and intellect, which are culturally equated with the masculine, and defined as art or high culture.


This means that the details must confer on the listener a sense of this suppressed individuality. Other arguments indicate that the issues involved are more complex than a simple decline of standards. Each chapter includes a guide to dominiic texts for further reading and there is also a comprehensive bibliography.

A mass society consists of people who can only relate to each other like atoms in a physical or chemical compound. Writing in the early s in an interesting study of the book market, the English literary and social critic, Q.

An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture

In particular, three related themes can be found in the work referred to above which, while not being exhaustive, have been central to theories of popular culture ever since.

He notes that plays are now produced mainly to sell the movie rights, with many being directly financed by the film companies.

Elitism describes the way Adorno assumes that other kinds of music can be judged and found wanting by the standards of western classical music.

Art, for example, cannot be produced in this way. This is not to say that the debate over mass culture represents something totally new. Publication date ISBN pbk. What role if any can they play in the era of mass culture? Alternatively, if a specific variant of the theory complains about the rise of political and cultural democracy because they appear to work, and uses elitist criteria of taste and discrimination to criticise mass culture, then it is the power of the mass, and not its lack, which is emphasised.

According to MacDonald, mass culture is a threat because it is a homogeneous culture which levels down or debases all culture. Log In Sign Up. It shapes the tastes and preferences of the masses, thereby moulding their consciousness by instilling the desire for false needs.

However, mass society theory does not necessarily have a democratic theory of power, and if it does it does not think that it is a good thing.

It is therefore preferable not to have a strict and exclusive definition, so the straightforward definition just mentioned will do for the purposes of this book.

Dominic Strinati An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture | sry wahyuningsi –

Home About Help Search. In putting forward a feminist critique, Modleski a; cf. It is so effective in doing this that people do not realise what is going on.


Lists with This Book. Popular culture does not necessarily hide reality from people; nor are they directly duped or tricked by populqr.

It therefore tends to simplify the real world and gloss over its problems. Just as the mass or the population at large began to be regarded as the main influence upon government and political decisions because of ot extension of political citizenship rights, so the expansion of this trend in culture, combined with the effects of universal elementary education, is seen to result in the popular determination ingroduction the culture of mass societies.

The concept of mass society has formed one important perspective on the role of mass media and mass culture in modern capitalist societies. Equally, elitism, like mass culture theory, tends to ignore the range and diversity of popular culture, and the tensions and contradictions within it. An introduction to theories cjlture popular culture.

In addition, the theories and perspectives which are theorles in the following chapters are assessed by their adequacy as sociological theories of popular culture. In the discussion of Americanisation, we saw how working-class evaluations of mass culture have, at times, been strikingly different from those made by mass culture critics.

An introduction to theories of popular culture

It is thus worth considering the work of the English literary and social critic F. He argues that Adorno would probably regard it as evidence of continuity rather than change, of how the inevitable standardisation of popular music has been neatly masked by the transient novelty of style. This argument is associated with a specific idea of the audience for mass culture, the mass public which consumes mass-produced cultural products.

But it is probably its coverage and readability which have led to a second edition of this book being published. Of late there have seemed to me to be certain signs, especially in America, of a revolt of the mob against our literary masters.