may choose either mass cultural theory H u m a n i t i e s
Analyze: Theories of Popular Culture
Evaluation Title: Theories of Popular Culture
For this assignment you will provide a detailed discussion of a theory of pop culture and provide critical discussion of this theory. The purpose of this assignment is to help you hone your critical thinking skills. You will provide exposition and criticism of a theory of pop culture. You may choose either Mass Cultural Theory or Critical Theory.
Your essay should include some discussion of the following questions:
1. What or who determines popular culture? Where does popular culture come from? Does it emerge from the people themselves as an autonomous expression of their interests and modes of experience, or is it imposed from above by those in positions of power as a type of social control?
2. Describe how commercialization and industrialization influences popular culture. Does reducing culture to commodity mean that the criteria of profitability and marketability take precedence over quality, artistry, integrity and intellectual challenge? Or does it result in a universal market where what is popular actually corresponds to what people want and think is valuable? Does marketability and profitability actually produce quality art or does it only benefit business interests?
3. Is popular culture used to control and indoctrinate the people? Is it used to get people to accept and adhere to ideas and values which will ensure the continued dominance of a particular elite and allow them to exercise power over them? Or is popular culture about rebellion and opposition to the prevailing social order? Is pop cultural a spontaneous genuine burst of creativity or is it just a means through which a dominate group exercises control of society?
4. After you provide an accurate account of one of these theories of pop culture, you should then review the strengths and weaknesses of the theory. Can you identify some objections to the theory? You can research objections, but you need to consult reputable sources.