Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Introduction Reflection

Posted by katemilner9 on January 25, 2017

The assigned reading reminded me of a discussion I had in a cultural geography course in high school. When learning about the ways aspects of culture can diffuse throughout regions and socioeconomic groups, the conversation shifted to explore what the spread of modern media would be called, using the terms in the models presented in our, admittedly outdated, textbook. I wish I had read this chapter back when because it explains this new diffusion in a way that simply makes sense.

We covered mostly a hierarchical type of diffusionthen, where a select and elite tier is able to call the shots, and, in an attempt to be like them, people in tiers further down will imitate their trends (think Meryl Streep’s monologue coming for Anne Hathaway over her cerulean sweater in The Devil Wears Prada). But, this introduction explains an almost contagious kind of viral diffusion. Through this new digital age of “spreadable” and “sticky” media, we no longer have to wait for the cultural ruling class to tell us what’s trending: we’re bombarded with it on every front. It’s in our hands to spread the cultural components, and we’re able to consume so much media in such a short amount of time, that makes the culture rapidly change.

It’s gotten to a point where we hardly stop to think about what we’re spreading, and how it sticks, which is something that’s become very clear with our recent election. This introduction lays out what’s happening in such a clear way, it’s a wonder more people don’t speak out on it. We don’t stop to ask the questions the book claims we do, we don’t think about what we’re sharing anymore, because with just a click of a button, it’s done.

So while the burden of cultural diffusion may be more in our hands, at what cost does that come? What kind of culture are we creating by spreading media so rapidly and nonchalantly?


4 Responses to “Introduction Reflection”

  1. emilyjones232 said

    The allusion to the movie The Devil Wears Prada gives an image of the spreading of media that is mentioned in the introduction of the book. However, that has changed with the emergence of social media and the Internet but the same main principle is the same.

  2. adusheck said

    I like the closing questions asked because those are questions that we should probably ask ourselves more often before we post something absentmindedly. I think that this is something that is now being implemented in schools especially middle and high schools now more than ever due to cyberbullying. Like everything that is new/different we will eventually become adjusted as a society.

  3. Sean Hull said

    This is an interesting perspective, I’ve not found myself compulsively sharing before. I suppose that I just don’t realize how prolific sharing things digitally is.

  4. vene131 said

    I love the question at the end. Like the idea of us just spreading whatever we feel in the moment truly influences everything around us. And I think that people should be more careful about what the spread, but at the same time I think that kind of takes away from social media. Like you shouldn’t spread hate or anything but I don’t think you should have to think “will this post hurt my Republican cousin’s feelings” because that kind of takes away the purpose of you spreading something if you consider everyone around you.

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