There area various way to define popular culture.
What people understand about popularculture is the widespread culture elements in society. For example, fashion, food,music and more. The question is, what are the definitions of popular culturecoined by scholars? The word “popular” is the contemporary context of people’sconcern and culture is the practice of everyday life. The basis for allsocieties of popular culture provides shared experiences and creates the socialsolidarity (cited in Fedorak, 2009: p.3). The common definition of popularculture is widely favoured or well-likedby many people (Storey, 2009:p.5). It examines the numbers such as a number ofviewers, sales of CDs (ibid).
It can also be examined by the attendance recordsof festivals, events, concerts and more (ibid). Popular culture can becommunicated in many ways, but most often it is the perpetuated through massmedia like television, radio, movies, and books that make it become popular(Forbes and Mahan, 2017: p.3). There are more aspects of popular culture todiscuss such as hegemony, postmodernism, andlow culture. The exercise leads to theexercise of intellectual and moral leadership does not merely rule a societybut it refer the concept of hegemony used by Gramsci (2009)which a condition of process in a dominant classthat alliance with other classes or class fractions (cited in Storey,2009: p.80)Popular culture can also be defined as postmodernism. Postmodern not only implies the knowledge of the modern that beensurpassed by a new age, it also refusesthe sense of modernism (Appignanesi et al.
, 2004). Reinterpretation of genderroles and the differences traditionally applied to postmodernism which is aperspective that tends to reject many of the accepted values of modernism (UKEssay, 2017). However it in detail, to understand folk culture and mass culture will be discussed in this essay.Firstly, popular culture can be definedas folk culture which “can be seen asa structure comprised of various organizational entitles (Borsos, 2017: p.
13).”Folk”is the strata that stand in a very effective complementary relationship tovarious social formations and their special conditions. It should be lookedupon as a socially differentiated mass of the working classes (Jacobeit, 1991:p.68).
According to Jacobeit (1991), the peasant strata, artisans, land-poor orlandless plebeian groupings, proletarian strata, workers, and petit bourgeois,among others are thus made up from “folk”. Folk culture is similar to popularculture because both involve massparticipation. Folk culture is much more static than popular culture and not asamenable to change as it represents the traditional way of doing things(Delaney and Madigan, 2016:p.2).
Folk music, folk art, folk tales, folk dance,folk costumes, local humor, oral literature and history, and superstitionsconsist as the traditional cultural expression of the public in folk culture(Martin and Steuter,2010:p.60).The oral communications are roughly limited tothe immediate family, community or other local regional groups because folkculture is often transmitted orally and informally such as family recipes,local legend, and regional marriage customs, and it only has a limited audience(Forbes and Mahan, 2017: p.3). According to Covington (2008), folk culture was the little changes that passeddown through generations. For example, Chinese cannot sweep the floor duringChinese New Year because according to their traditions, sweeping the floorduring Chinese New Year means sweeping away wealth.
This shows that folkculture is practiced by a large number of people and ultimately becomes part ofpopular culture. Popular culture is also considered the broad way of people’slives that has existed since the most primitive times (Forbes and Mahan, 2017:p.4). For example, people dance during festivals or parties as entertainment inthe past and present.
Folk and popular culture are sometimes merged and hard todifferentiate in earlier time periods (ibid). Folk culture is a heritage from the past and ispreserved by the society through different events or daily living. Folk cultureincludes folk costumes worn during festivals. During the Soviet era, folkcostumes were the symbols of national pride, and now, Estonians will only weartheir traditional outfits during special occasions such as national holidays,graduations and cultural festivals (Visit Estonia, 2017). Folk outfits can be orderedspecially from craftsmen, but are costly and take months to prepare. Somepeople still make the pieces themselves and handicraft courses are, but this isa long process requiring skill and patience.
Furthermore, it is also decided bythe intellectual to keep or to change the folk culture. “Folklore” or”folk song” are recognized by the collector of such materials as asign of society to be examined in making up the ideal type of what we concernedabout because it was not completely independent of cities (Redfield, 2013).Besides that, popular culture can alsobe defined as mass culture. According to Strinati (2004:p.11), mass culturerefers to popular culture which is marketed for profit to a mass public ofconsumers and produced by the industrial techniques of mass production. Theevolving of technology made possible the cheap production of books, music,pictures and more.
To satisfy the market that found a profitable market in thecultural demands of newly awakened masses by the business enterprise sufficientquantities were ensured (MacDonald, 1953).Mass culture is also known as a commonculture experienced by a large number of people. For example, Korean popularculture (K-Pop) as known as the Korean Wave in Asia, includes Korean pop music,dramas, movies and more. The Korean Wave enjoys a broad popularity outside ofKorea that spread primarily through the mass media (UK Essay, 2013). To appealto specific demographic categories, mass culture has come into wide use as aterm to devaluate the value ofcommercially marketed arts and entertainment (Kurt & Gladys, 2009). Mediamanagers are paying little attention to people’s vital needs or capacities fordevelopment but inclined to be conscious of their audiences as a statisticalmass (ibid).
For example, the trend for teenagers now is the K-Pop Music, more companiesthat are training more idols are emerging. Similar to folk culture, theauthenticity of its product that has to be produced by the integrated communitywhich knows what it is doing can be guaranteed (Strinati, 2004, p.11). Theculture of the masses is the most common,general and the culture that shared by most people most of the time.In the well-known essay by DwightMacDonald, “A Theory of Mass Culture” said that the folk art, highart, and popular art can define themselves that the mass art serves both as athreat and as a kind of foil (cited in Naremore, 1991).
Folk art is a creativeskill that is made by an individual to convey their own cultural identity;while mass culture conveys the community culture through modern communicationand shares it with individuals. Besides that, mass culture has beenAmericanized because the American culture has been spread out to all around theworld. For example, prom night is originally a western practice but now inAsia, prom night is one of the celebrations for the student especially for highschool graduates, because it is a kind of a farewellfor them. Furthermore, prom is also now a sign for the youth as growing up asan adult. The construction of prom is animportant cultural event relies upon dominant definitions of adolescence as adistinct stage in the life course (Best, 2013). Prom has made a wider cultureof not only adults but students. In conclusion, popular culture is one ofthe important parts of a community. The word “popular culture” haslargely replaced the culture from the past.
Popular culture is our lifestyle.Denesi (2012) points out that all the corners of American society and to otherparts of the world was spread by popular culture by the1930s. Since the RoaringTwenties, popular culture has been the primary driving force behind socialevolution. The ongoing relationship between art, entertainment, aesthetics andtrue culture are triggering an unprecedented society-wide and worldwide debate atthe same time (ibid).There are more wayto explain what popular culture really means. Through the different way, peoplecan get to know more about popular culture.