Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Thinking Transnationally, Pt.2

Posted by tristendenney14 on April 24, 2017

As we once again near the end of a class discussion topic, this one pertaining to Thinking Transnationally, we are also nearing the end of our popular culture class. Though the main idea of this section refers to how and why media spreads the way it does transnationally, there are also many different ideas we have learned throughout the semester apparent in this section as well. For example, my three favorite subsections from this assigned reading were “The Virtue of Impure Culture”, “Diverting Entertainment”, and “The World Is Not Flat” because I felt these three sections possessed a large amount of information relating to how and why media spreads the way it does transnationally today. First, “The Virtue of Impure Culture” was interesting to me in relation to the Kenyan superhero Makmende. Makmende to me truly represents the definition of “spreadable media”, as well as a transnational icon. From the Chuck Norris jokes, to the jokes with “Kenyan flair”, Makmende is a great example of how media can bring different countries around the world together through media. Second, “Diverting Entertainment” not only opened my eyes to how media cannot succeed in one place, but be “diverted” to another and become a “cult success”, but it also helped me understand how different types of media affect the economy. Arjun Appadurai in particular was interesting to me because he has also written a book about commodity cultures and gift economies like our professor Sam Ford, but his idea that cultural economies can be seen through different media “landscapes” truly helped me understand the overall idea of this subsection. Though we all may differ culturally or economically, we can understand each other through the use of different types of media. Finally, “The World Is Not Flat” was the last subsection that stood out to me, specifically referring to the discussion of the introduction of the internet and PC. Though the Internet and PC have allowed many people to share and interact through different media platforms for many years now, we must find a way to evenly distribute media access around the world. Therefore, until we level the playing field for media production and interaction, media will never reach its highest “spreadable” value.


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