Popular culture involves many themes and I would think that more detail would be needed in terms of clarifying the topic area. One of the primary theme is the sense of immediacy. Technology has helped in this process, but speed is the critical element in how popular culture perceives its own reality. With blogs and online medium, tweets and friending on facebook there is a sense of the instant that preoccupies and is present in much of popular culture. Individual voice being heard and acknowledged is another theme of popular culture. There is a sense of individuals having a voice and that voice being validated is a part of the popular culture that is present at this time. Finally, I would say that another theme of popular culture is seeking to create a realm where the distinction of public/ private realms is not as apparent. The notion of everything being public, being posted, being uploaded for all to see is of vital importance in popular culture right now.
Pop-culture today encompasses nearly everything that is going on right now in our culture. Tack on to this the idea that "nothing is new under the sun" and well, you can see how huge this question really is.
Because pop-culture is basically the things within a culture that are deemed "popular," meaning, most-liked by the most people, it is often considered a "dumbing down" of things that could be truly great. This may be because pop-culture is largely media driven.
- Pop-culture in music as driven by American Idol or America's Got Talent. Many would say, as a result of pop-culture, the music world is settling as anyone and everyone has the chance to be talented.
- Pop-culture in TV as driven by Reality TV. Many would again argue that as a result of pop-culture, celebrity life is no longer limited to the most beautiful. No, even fat, stupid or easy people can be stars, thanks to shows like "The Biggest Loser," "Jersey Shore," and "The Bachelor."
- Pop-culture in fashion as driven by Bravo. (Project Runway, What Not to Wear, etc.) The message sent here might suggest that well dressed men interested in fashion are most likely gay.
- Pop-culture in food as driven by The Food Network. And now, if you can cook, you also deserve your own talk show, right Rachel?
Do you get the idea that there are almost endless possibilities here? We've only covered, what, 5 channels?
Pop culture is not something that is new, at least in my opinion. Sure, it definitely has emerged more and more in the past few decades, but if you think about it, it has always been there.
- Fashion designers, what's in and what's out for fashion, being judged on how you look, that has been around for centuries
- Music, what sounds good, what doesn't, critics, buying, selling, concerts, that's been around too
- Technology, who has the newest inventions, are they good, are they bad, you always have to have the latest and greatest thing
Pop-culture is an umbrella term that covers anything in current society that is popular and/or media driven. In many quiz bowl tournaments, there is a Pop-culture category which team members affectionately call " trash " because it literally has no other use. For example:
-Athlete trivia: sports players, game scores, championship results
-Music: Pop stars, Billboard 100 songs, gossip and / or scandal
-Fashion: designers, trends