Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

I’ve Got Good Culture in “Low” Places

Posted by radionightowl on November 3, 2016

It’s interesting to me how soap opera fans and wrestling fans share a sort of relationship with society that doesn’t necessarily cross over to more traditional and “high-brow” culture. Soap opera fans are scorned because of the longer nature of shows, their ever changing cast of characters, and the small budget with which the shows are made. However wrestling  fans are not so well off, with people even calling violence and examining other seemingly aggressive actions that transpired. What even determines how culture is classified? Obviously people in power try to mold and shape those ideals so that more people will be apt to fall under the spell of the hierarchy of cultures. However, since wrestling itself and soap opera ARE part of “popular culture,” I think it’s unfair to automatically classify them as “low” culture because they obviously mean a great deal to a ton of people. The health problems reminds me of the sort of behind the scenes things that people miss outside of the main spectacle that is the wrestling match. It’s kid of like horse jockeys that diet, fast, binge and purge to keep their weight down so that they will be able to ride horses more efficiently. The carnival roots of wrestling also fascinated me. Tests of strength (strong men, etc) were popular with the circus and traveling shows, and the fact that the jargon was used so frequently in those shows is interesting because it provides an outlet for people to interact and engage on a more intimate level as a community rather than being placed outside the fandom. Wrestling has never been something I completely understood, but it’s popularity is a testament to the values and interests in our culture, and hopefully, shows that some of the “high brow” and “low brow” method of thinking is dying out because it shouldn’t be representative of how we view someone’s hobby.

5 Responses to “I’ve Got Good Culture in “Low” Places”

  1. wilscott1 said

    That was a very smart post, radionightowl. First off, the title is very clever. 10/10. Also, I agree with your idea that we shouldn’t judge other people’s hobbies. If everyone just treated others with the same respect they would like in return, the world would be a much better place.

    • radionightowl said

      It’s always hard to break away from the standards that have been engrained into our brains ever since we were little, but it seems like people naturally gravitate to what they are interested in no matter what sort of relationship it bears to the hierarchal side of culture. Either way, culture is culture and it should all be celebrated because it makes us unique and different people!

  2. ccpadfield said

    You’re right about the whole “high brow”/”low brow” thing. I think wrestling being associated with being “low brow” is the audience it brings. Fans are active and engaging, you don’t often see fans of soap operas screaming at a television screen. I think there are a lot more details to why the two are seen differently but it’s a very interesting point to discuss!

  3. alexiskurtz1 said

    I agree with your comment on them being classified as popular culture even though they are not called that. Popular culture are things that are popular and even though they seem to be uninteresting to others. A big group of individuals still like it so it should be considered popular.

  4. prestonperkins91 said

    I never would never have guessed how related “pro wrestling” and the carnival scene were until reading this! Now it all makes sense now! In fact i wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a wrestling ring at the next SOKY fair!
    Also I can’t believe how comparable WWE wrestling is to soap operas! It’s legit real time and the audience grows up with the characters, something we don’t see a lot in shows today

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