What is popular culture?
Popular culture this way is the (authentic) culture of the people, such us folk culture. But also creates problems. Who qualifies for inclusion in the category ‘the people’ and it evades the commercial nature of much of the resources from which the culture is made. (Storey, 1998, p. 8) “A fifth definition of popular culture, is one which draws on the political analysis of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci , issue the term ‘hegemony’ to refer to the way in which dominant groups in society, through a process of ‘intellectual and moral leadership’ seek to win the consent of the subordinate groups in society.
The balance between the incorporation, higher groups in our society which force the subordinate groups and the resistance of the last, is popular culture. This works in what Gramsci calls ‘compromise equilibrium’. As Bannet explains:”the field of popular culture is structured by the attempt of ruling class to win hegemony and by forms of opposition to the endeavour’. In neo-Gramscian theory, there is one more approach of popular culture, which suggests that theory of popular culture is “contested site for political constructions of ‘the people’ and their relation to the ‘power bloc'”.
‘The people are explained as a variety of social groups from various classes, which are distinguished by the economically and politically powerful groups. Because this is to make popular culture sound too much political we can consider Fiske’s argument that “popular culture is what people make from the products of the culture industries”. (Storey, 1998, p. 11-12) A sixth definition of popular culture is post-modern culture, which no longer recognizes the distinction between high culture and popular culture.
For some, this provides a reason to celebrate the end of the elite view built on arbitrary distinctions of culture (high culture as trashy and worthless). In this respect all cultures are equally worth. For others, it is a reason to despair at the final victor of commerce over culture, as authentic culture becomes co modified and commercialized. Popular culture is connected to urbanization and industrialization.
It’s connected to a capitalist market economy and involved a separation between the classes based on economies (who controls the culture industries and who gives them the economic power). Popular culture is hard to pine down or define. When we talk about popular culture, what we are defining is in relation to mass culture, working class culture, folk culture etc. popular culture should be considered as part of culture in general, and it should not be looked upon as inferior.