Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The double standard of Pop Culture

For my post I wanted to focus on a section of the Sellnow reading. At the end of page six and the start of page seven Sellnow talks about why we study popular culture. The opening sentence of this section says "Because popular culture consists of everyday objects, actions, and events, people sometimes fail to see the rationale for studying it." That however is the exact reason that we should be studying it. If it is a part of our everyday life we should be concentrating on it. What reinforces this is the next section of this text. Popular culture can persuade us even when we are not expecting it to. The reason then seems obvious to study popular culture. If we can be persuaded by something and it is something we encounter daily it would seem obvious there is a need to study it. However, the most interesting part to me is the double standard that we have for popular culture. I love the comic that is in the Sellnow text book. Figure 1.1 Editorial Cartoon depicts a couple watching Sex and the City with a graphic saying, "70% of Americans say they fear that TV, Movies and pop music are lowering American morals, yet Hollywood has no lack of customers for its products..." Then the couple says, "Well, it's not our morals we're worried about..." and "It's all those other people!"

This brings me to my question that I wanted to ask. Do you think that even though you are studying pop culture and I am guess that most of us already view pop culture critically but even then do you think that you are affected by all the different things you consume daily. Also do you think that because you study pop culture does that make you or us immune?

To try and answer my own question I think that we are still affected and we do think that we are not. I think the only time we would say that we are affected is in a situation like this. For example, if confronted we will admit that we are not immune however, I think that subconsciously we think that we are immune. However, please let me know if you agree or disagree.


  1. Hi Brett!

    I think that studying pop culture creates an awareness and not an immunity. Being a critical listening and viewer is a good thing because at least we can develop a bit of a filter. However, even the best filters are designed to let some things through. :)

  2. I think that pop culture can only affect us to the degree that we are conscious or unconscious of the messages it is sending us. For example, If I watch movies and t.v. shows that portray women as always being a kitchen and never having a voice or a say in things then it is very possible that I will unconsciously or subconsciously internalize the belief that this is how a woman should behave. This will depend on whether or not my belief about women is a taken for granted assumption or a "that's just the way things are" type of unconscious belief. If however, I question that a woman's place is really in the kitchen then when I see a pop culture artifact that normalizes this kind of behavior I will be more likely to question it and see it for what it is, a portrayal made by t.v. or movie producers rather than a reflection of real life or of how things ought to be. So the question is not whether something like pop culture is affecting us. Media, advertisements and everyone around us are sending us messages about how we should think and act all day every day. The question is whether or not we are are conscious of the messages they are sending us. Are we thinking critically about the messages we are being bombarded with or are we simply letting them reinforce our taken for granted assumptions and believes?

  3. Hello Brett!

    You pose such a great question. Before taking the Pop Culture class, I don't think I realized how much pop culture affects my daily life. I feel that if I was to take technology out of the equation, I could go a day maybe without someone talking to me about a related topic of pop culture. I have gone of social media "fasts" before where when I am done, I feel so out of the loop! I don't know that pop culture really affects my actions and attitudes in the way it can affect others, but I do see that I have learned certain beliefs or behaviors from pop culture through out my life.