Understanding Popular Culture


Understanding Popular Culture Essay, Research Paper

Travis Strachota

Professor Cooper

English 205

23 February 2000

“Understanding Popular Culture”

The phenomenon of what John Fiske defines in the first chapter of his book Reading the Popular as “understanding Popular Culture” is that culture is the constant process of producing meanings of and from our social experience, and such meanings necessarily produce a social identity for the people involved. Popular culture is something that has not yet been accepted as part of the dominant culture.

In this essay I will talk about the evolution of popular culture as Fiske defines it. Its different forms, the strategies it what adopts, against kind of culture it responds and the necessity for there coming into existence something called popular culture, and the meanings created by it. I will use Fiske’s definitions and ideas as well as my own definitions and ideas. I will cite quotes from Fiske’s Reading the Popular and from another source yet to be determined.

We are ruled by a dominant, patriarchal, predominantly white, capitalist society. This is the first stage in the beginning of a popular culture. Popular culture is created from the dominant culture that restrains it. It is made from the people that the dominant culture feels are inferior.

“Popular culture is made by various formations of subordinated or disempowered people out of the resources, both discursive and materiel, that are provided by the social system that disempowers them” (Fiske 2).

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