Category Archives: Popular Culture

Network Marketing.

Kyra Binaxas

Human culture has always been distributed across the globe in different ways. A new element of human culture that seems to be having a great impact on human society at a now global scale is network marketing. Network marketing is a fairly new type of industry that has been said to be the business of the twenty-first century.

The concept is that a product gets recognized and sold due to word of mouth from ordinary people in every day life versus utilizing celebrities, adds, and in store sales. By using this method average people are able to create residual income based on how many individuals they recruit to buy, utilize, and promote the product themselves. Many motivational speakers such as Robert Kiyosaki back this industry one hundred percent!

It has, in fact, been proven to create more millionaires than any other industry out there! Different cultures have different perspectives on this concept of network marketing. When promotion for making money in this way is passed on to many of the eastern cultures- people of that area is not as consumed with financial issues as those of the western world. Value to them lies more so in family assets and traditional culture than becoming the next billionaire. As a result this service is not as popular. Also it does take money to start up in this industry so it would not be able to work in the more poverty stricken areas of the world. With any industry great risk is involved, but especially with network marketing because not all companies involved in this industry are ethical. Whatever business people choose to enter I can only hope that they have done their research, know that it is the right choice for them, and always continue to remain passionate!

Works cited

  1. . N.p.. Web. 9 Dec 2013. <;.
  2. . N.p.. Web. 9 Dec 2013. <;.

Edited by:

Jacob Standafer, Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist


Kyra Binaxas

            The novel Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup is an excellent rendition of slavery in antebellum society and greatly exemplifies how politics effected views on African Americans, as well as how it dictated their religion and literacy.

This novel tells the story of one free mans true account of his being captured and sold into slavery, subjected to its brutality for over a decade of his life. The propaganda and explanation for holding the slave population captive was directly the result of political influence. It was for the best of the southern economy and was successful in convincing much of the white population that African Americans in fact enjoyed their lifestyle and were unable to comprehend the idea of what it was to be a free man. The religious stories told to the slave population were those of obedience and reform. The way religion was utilized was political itself, although still providing a form of salvation, was not spoken of or taught in much of the same way that it would be exercised it today. The novel not only depicts this usage but also the difference in literacy of that of the free man and the slave. Human beings born into slavery were purposefully not taught to be literate specifically for a political agenda. The difference between communication among those born to slavery and those who were not depicted in the novel is truly great.

Works Cited

  1. Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years A Slave . Dover Ed. Auburn, NY: Dover Publications, 2000. Print.
  2. Rubenstein, James. The Cultural Landscape. 11th ed. Pearson Education, Print.

Edited by:

Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist, Jacob Standofer

Youtube’s Influence on Pop Culture.

Since 2005, the year of its creation, Youtube has enabled anyone with the will to host any video they would like. Of course such a premise has been abused with copyright infringements and the like, but it continues to be an outlet. People from across the planet can share their home videos, creative videos, and anything else, in 1080p quality. This phenomenon has also been used by politicians. Dramatically decreasing the cost to run for an office by the virtue of how many people access this website daily. Undoubtedly, Youtube has had a significant impact on pop culture, over the years.

Thanks to Youtube, the dead art of the music video saw a revival since 2005. In the 1980s-1990s music videos were a key component of Pop Music. Thus how the television channel “MTV” produced a culture unto its self. However, during the later part of the 90s there was a steady decline in both interest and production of music videos. By 2000, this decline had led to an almost flat-line in the art. With the launch of Youtube in 2005, and its near over-night popularity, the music video became accessible to the mainstream consumer again (Berlatsky pgr 1,2,3).

In addition to the effects Youtube had on the music video, it has undeniable implications as a political tool. President Barak Obama declared his intent to pursue re-election in 2012 via Youtube video. To which his competitor, Mitt Romney, responded using the social media site Twitter (Glen pgr. 2,3,8). These practices have been viewed, largely, as positive. By relying on a social media site to spread their message, political candidates are no longer limited by the exponential sums of money required to deliver a message to their supporters. While this method does not cover their entire supporter base, it does deliver a message, quickly, to a large number of them.

Youtube, as well as several other social media and hosting web sites, have brought about a faster and more cost effective means of delivering media to a massive amount of people. In comparison to more traditional means (i.e. books, television, radio, etc.) the rate at which it does so is staggering. This is further validated by the fact that some of the most powerful people in the USA are now using them for their own political messages. Youtube has been, and will most likely continue to be, a powerful influence on popular culture.

Works Cited

Johnson, Glen. “Social Media Allow Political Candidates to Bypass Traditional Media.” Politics and the Media. Ed. Debra A. Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Social Media Let Candidates Bypass Traditional Media.” 2011.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

“Introduction to The Music Industry: Opposing Viewpoints.” The Music Industry. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

Reviewed by:

Jacob Standafer
Oren Paisner

Jennah Reiman

Does Migrating Change People?

Susana Gallegos
Alex Bullen
Human Geography
December 2, 2013
            Does Migrating Change People?
            I was fifteen when my father got a job on the other side of the border, the United States. I was very comfortable living in Agua Prieta, Sonora Mexico. I never really realized that moving to another country was going to impact my life as much as it has done. Migrating changed my lifestyle: culture and way of thinking. Migration has an impact on an individual, but would it impact an individual enough to change her life? In this essay I will explain my personal migration impact.
            The text book The Cultural Landscape, describes interregional migration as “The movement from one region of a country to another…Main type of interregional migration has been from rural to urban areas in search of jobs”. My father obtained a job as a Presbyterian pastor in South Carolina. I was still in high school in Agua Prieta. When my mother and father told me we were moving, I never thought of all the changes I was going to go through, not even when I was saying good bye to my friends.
            When I started high school in Greenville, SC I realized how different education was. First of all, throughout public schools in Mexico all the way through high school, students are required to wear uniforms. I knew before that in American high school you did not have to wear uniforms. Being able to wear “regular clothes” to school was fun, until I realized how much money my parents have to spend buying clothes for me to wear to school, more than they used to it in Mexico. According to Stacy Zeiger, in her article “Statistics in School Uniform” the author explains that wearing uniform has academic, behavioral, emotional and financial effects. Looking at the financial effects Stacy Zeigers mentions that uniforms can be expensive. I agree with the author. Yes uniforms can be expensive, but one can buy two and can last a year or longer, it ends up being more economic.
            Culture was shocking, especially moving to the South of the USA. Southerners seem to have their own kind of language, especially African-American people. The food was different, personally some of them were tasteless, but after a while I got use to some of it. Mexican food is rich in flavor, so it took some time to get use to the flavors of Southern food, which I learn to really enjoy it and to avoid grits.
            I have been in the United States for eight years now. I have got use to the language and the ways of living. I still celebrate the special holidays that are typically from Mexico, as well as the Americans. I still know who I am, but I am grateful to live in the United States. I miss my family and friends from Mexico, even thou they sometimes make fun of me because I am “Americanized” It does not matter. In a way I am a little more cultured in the border subject, and I am happy with that.
Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” Cultural Landscape.                                                      Harlow:Pearson Education Limited, 2014. Print.
Stacy Zeiger. “Statistics on School Uniforms.” LoveToKnow. N.p., n.d.                              Web. 02 Dec. 2013

Anime and Manga.

Jason Miller

Human Geography

Final Paper

Alex Bullen

Anime and Manga

Anime and Manga are a  worldwide cultural phenomena. Anime means animation, while manga means “whimsical pictures”, the native Japanese word for comic books. Although Japanese, these two products are beautiful proof of how goods and ideas spread from one place to another.

Manga was founded by Osamu Tezuka in the 1950’s. Tezuka was inspired by old European cartoons and Walt Disney’s early works, such as Betty Boop, Bambi, and Mickey Mouse. Tezuka’s first public creation, Astro Boy, was astronomically successful. Its adaption into anime was the first of its kind to be broadcast into America during the 1960s. Although Tezuka spent part of his career in anime, he returned to drawing manga sometime before his death. Despite his passing, anime and manga would only become more popular as time went on.

Today, the anime and manga industries rake in billions of dollars for Japan, also allowing job opportunities in other countries for the subtitling or voice over dubbing of anime into English, Spanish, and other languages, as well as the translation of the manga books for foreign readers. Anime and manga’s art style has also influenced the work of artists here in the United States. The Nickelodeon shows Avatar the Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra have beautiful anime inspired art styles. Noticeable anime characteristics are large, expressive eyes for youthful characters (like Bambi), narrow eyes for sinister characters, triangular hair, vibrant colors for anime, and very expressive line work and numerous gray tones and patters for manga. A big difference between anime and manga is color. Anime, being shown on TV, is very colorful, using base colors, highlights, and shadows. Manga, however, is hand drawn and can have 20-40 pages a chapter (they are usually serialized, a new chapter published in a magazine at least once every month, sometimes twice), so it is not colored, but done in black, white, and gray tones to save time. They are both very wonderful to look at.

From their inception, these art forms were destined to popularity. These Japanese art forms were inspired by European and America cartoons, and today have returned the favor by inspiring cartoons and comics here in the USA! They both spread ideas about Japanese culture, such as cuisine (sushi, ramen, rice balls, and dumplings), and popular words like kawaii (cute) and baka (idiot). Today, manga and anime have entertained, spread culture, and inspired many to pursue their own artistic endeavors, which is something only the great art forms in the course of history can truly brag about.

ImageOsamu Tezuka

ImageWalt Disney and Mickey Mouse

Image Astro Boy

ImageNaruto Vol. 1 Cover (One of the most popular manga in the world, Naruto began 14 years ago and has over sixty volumes and counting!)

ImageAang from Avatar: The Last Airbender


Altschuler, David Skorton and Glenn. “America’s Foreign Language Deficit.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2013.

“Astro Boy.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2013. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.

“Graph.” Byte Level, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

“Naruto.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2013. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.

N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

“Osamu Tezuka.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 June 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

“Picture.” WordPress, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

“Research.” Little Pim. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.

“The Walt Disney Company Turns 90! 7 Things to Know About the House of Mouse.” Babble RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.

Pop Culture: The Manna of Capitalism.

Oren Paisner


Alex Bullen

Human Geography

Pop Culture: The Manna of Capitalism

            Since the invention of the Television, explosions and high stakes shoot outs have been reaching the masses. But even before television pop culture had been distributed by means of radio, newspaper, silent films, etc. Since then, popular culture has taken on new forms and has reached a whole new audience with the emergence of social media. Popular Culture has many ways of spreading its ideas and goods from one place to another.

One good example of how Pop Culture operates is to examine popular clothing styles. In most countries the clothes you wear is usually determined by your occupation or income. (Rubenstein, 116) A lawyer will usually have more stylish clothes then a toll booth operator in Baltimore, Maryland off of I-95. In the case of women’s clothing, (which is a very static complicated dynamic) the popular trend seems to change every year and whoever has more of a disposable income will be able to update their wardrobe accordingly. With the aid of advertising in magazines, television, and social media popular clothing finds its way to the consumer that can afford it.


Taking a closer look into television one may notice that it is the major highway for diffusion of popular culture in the world. So much that many undeveloped countries and countries with totalitarian rule will censor a good amount of the television that is primarily produced by countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. (Rubenstein, 130) Since a lot of these countries’ popular culture television programming is contradictory to many people’s folk culture values, the substitution for the blocked and censored programs would be ones that reinforce the folk culture values. Through the different values of other countries, we understand the limits of popular cultures diffusion through television.


With the emergence of social media in the past decade, we see a whole new method for advertisers to reach their market and a whole new vehicle for popular culture to get to where it’s going.  Social media is unique in the way that it gives steam to the underdog. In other words, smaller businesses can better advertise what they are offering through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Linked In.( Beyond social media extending to the rest of the internet, even more steam is given to the underdog when small and medium size businesses can set up shop in the internet and reach customers from all over the world.


Popular culture will continue to explode and consume a larger following of people than ever before. In return we will see a subtler presence of folk culture which I believe will truly never completely vanish. It is good to embrace change but at the same time we must preserve the traditions of the past.

Works Cited

Rubenstein, James M. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. _____Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.

Edited by:  Jacob, Shae and Kishan

Chinese Cuisine.

Shae Kovalchick

Geo 106

    Food, eating, it’s something we all deal with on a daily basis. Food has a strong link to its surroundings though, certain things can’t be found to eat in certain places. It’s interesting to note then how more local cuisine finds its way across the globe. How exactly does foreign food spread to different countries? More specifically to narrow it down to one type of food, how has Chinese food spread from one location to another?

    The Chinese take great pride in their cooking, and it’s part of the reason their food has spread all over the globe. They have a unique style that dates back to ancient traditions, and they’ve been trying out different recipes and combinations for centuries. Some of their ingredients may seem bizarre, but it’s just due to the fact that they would utilize things that would otherwise just go to waste. That being said what most people perceive as “Chinese” food is only the tip of the iceberg. They have so many different ways to prepare and some many different things they use in their cooking that only a small portion of that makes up what people commonly refer to as Chinese food.

    Another big reason the food has so easily spread is just due to the food itself. The ingredients themselves are generally quite cheap, and when cooked correctly they stay fresh for quite some time. When you factor this in when considering that a lot of people really enjoy the food you can easily see why the food has spread to the locations it has touched down upon. The main way it’s actually sprung up in different locations is just the Chinese people themselves. As they’ve taken to spreading across the globe they’ve more or less just brought their cuisine with them. The first major location outside of China that adopted its cuisine was the Philippines. This was around the 16th century and when a large number of Chinese immigrated there. It’s also evident when you look at locations dubbed “Chinatown” the Asian culture and cuisine in such locations is everywhere.

   Despite these central hubs being where the cuisine is most prevalent, it’s overall appeal and cheap price is what helped it spread even further beyond these locations. It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese restaurant pretty much anywhere in the United States, and that fact rings true for a great majority of the world. It may have originated in China, but the Chinese way of cooking has truly become a global cuisine.




Work Cited:
Wiradji, Sudibyo M. “Chinese Cuisine Has Spread around the World.” Home. The Jakarta Post, 4 May 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

Wu, David Y. H., and Sidney C. H. Cheung. The Globalization of Chinese Food. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi, 2002. Print.


Edited by:
Nathan Lee
Kyra Binaxas
Jennah Reiman

The Korean Wave.

Shae Kovalchick

Geo 106

Popular Culture is an interesting topic, just due to how it spreads across the planet. Worldwide appeal is hard to come by, because of the diversity of the world and the people living in it. Despite this, there is some leakage from one country or culture to another and how it goes about going from one place to another is fascinating. I plan on looking at Korea, and how its popular culture has spread across the globe.

   Korean pop culture has become so big and has expanded so quickly there is actually a term for the phenomenon. That term is “Hallyu” or the Korean Wave; it was coined over ten years ago by a Chinese journalist. The way it’s actually spread is by use of media, now in more recent years that media being the internet.

   Everything from Blogs to YouTube have helped the Korean sensation spread. For quite some time the Hallyu was basically just hitting parts of Asia, but in more much more recent years it’s gone global. It’s really just a combination of people enjoying it, and having access to it. Ease of access is extremely important in regards to helping not only Korean but, all pop culture spread from one place to another.

    It also helps that the South Korean government really embraces this movement. They see it as an extremely profitable device, and have put a lot of money into helping it grow and spread. Not only do they see it as profitable, but it’s a good device to use to help combat any Anti-Korean sentiments that people may have. If there culture is more accepted everywhere the bias against them may begin to fade away. The South Koreans also hope that by spreading their culture it might eventually help in reuniting the two Koreas back together.

So in conclusion there are multiple reasons for the Korean culture spreading everywhere. The primary being just due to its overall appeal, and the ease of access people have to it. It’s also very helpful that its government is behind the movement and doing what it can to help its popular culture spread across the globe.





Work Cited:
Farrar, Lara. “‘Korean Wave’ of Pop Culture Sweeps across Asia.” CNN. Cable News Network, 31 Dec. 2010. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.
Anjaiah, Veramalla. “Korean Culture Spreads across Globe.” Home. The Jakarta Post, 18 July 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.


Edited by:
Samuel Oliver
Jacob Standafer
Oren Paisner

60 years of stardom: The global spread of an Israeli staple.


          Since its invention in 14th century China, the firearm has seen a long and intensive evolutionary process.  Various countries and settlements have vied for the best technology and design.  One particular offering, the Israeli-designed UZI submachine gun, stands out from many others for both its superior design and reliability.  While the UZI enjoyed its status as a military staple in its country of origin, it soon made an impact far beyond its Israeli borders, permeating military, law-enforcement, and security markets across the world.

          After the Israeli Independence War in 1949, the Israeli Defense Force was in search of an improved standard-issue rifle.  Two separate weapons engineers competed for the winning model, resulting in the first edition of the UZI.  The UZI was designed by Uziel Gal, and the model rapidly became loved for its low assembly cost, small number of parts, and above all, its surprising accuracy.  After extensive field testing, it began to emerge in 1954.  It did not stay exclusive to Israel for long, catching the eye of many international firearms communities.  In the 1960s, the UZI was licensed to be produced by Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal, the largest exporter of  military arms in Europe.

          During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli forces soundly defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, taking control of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.  Under the military brilliance of the Israeli Defense Force, the UZI was solidly put on the map for both the IDF and the world at large.  It was in this war that the UZI first showcased its close-range firepower and its ability to withstand the most adverse of conditions.  From that time on, the world took greater notice of the weapon and its capabilities, and it was eventually exported to 90 separate countries.

           Today, with its 60 plus years in history as one of the most accurate and reliable submachine guns ever seen, the UZI has made its mark far beyond Israel or even Europe, but across the globe at large.  It has been idealized in action movies and created a stir due to its presence at the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.  More importantly, the UZI has remained an international staple from the superiority of its design and performance, continuing to set the bar for what high gun-quality should be.  











Sources Cited:

Israeli Weapons Industries. 2005.

CampCo Inc. 2013.

vBulletin Solutions, Inc. Suarez International USA, Inc. 2013. November 9th, 2009.

The Specialists Ltd. 2011.

McNab, Chris. The UZI Submachine Gun. Osprey Publishing, November 22, 2011.

McManners, Hugh. Ultimate Special Forces. New York, DK Publishing. 2003.



Edited by:


Oren Paisner

Kyra Binaxas


Pop Culture & Globalization.

Araceli Garcia

The vast majority of new innovations and ideas that we encounter today have reached us through media including the internet, radio, television, and films. The groups of people who adapt these fast changing trends are known as the ‘popular culture’. The growing planes of communication and travel have made it possible to share ideas all over the world. The mountains and deserts that once made migrating impossible can no longer keep people from sharing their ideas, which is why we see things like Jeans and Mc Donald’s all over the world.

The advantage of assimilating to the popular culture is having the opportunity to interact and learn from people with different ideas and inspirations. This broadens our perception of the world and gives us a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity surrounding us.Pop culture may change due to influences from industrial technology. But it lacks the determination to preserve society in nature as it originated.

Some customs and values are isolated from the rest of the world and spread only through migration, script, and trade. These groups of people are known to participate in ‘folk culture’, and display a distinct uniqueness in their music, architecture, and language. Folk culture is a concentrated area of traditions and characters inspired by nature’s beauty(Rubenstein).  A drawback of isolation would be the existence of ethnocentrism, in which a group of people look at the world from a single cultural vantage point, leading to the possible belief that they are superior to all other cultures. We have,however, forced folk culture to follow new beliefs and customs through forced migration and diffusion. Slaves for example, were forcefully removed from Africa and taken to Europe, North America, and South America. Their only choice was to follow the ongoing flow of the new culture if they wanted a chance at exchanging and understanding information. Diffusion, whether it be natural or forced can create a ‘shared cultural context’ so that people may identify with each other and actively participate in a group due to shared similarities(Rubenstein).

On the other hand, it may also lead to acculturation. This is when smaller or weaker culture adopts to the customs, beliefs, and language of the dominant culture. We then begin to see a loss of unique languages that are overshadowed by English. Along with that comes the adaptation of habits and influence of different perceptions, therefore changing the cultural norms that were originally imposed.   Pop culture is making its way into new territory as the advancement of the media continues to grow, but may be limited by cultural acceptance as well. There is a ‘permeable barrier’ in place when only pieces of an idea are allowed to spread. The internet for example, is a controversial idea that is strictly censored in other countries such as Turkmenistan and Vietnam. They may not ban the internet as a whole but allow only a few websites to be accessible. These countries for example, closely  monitor emails and control what content is released on blogs(“Top 10”). People in these countries are unable to share their open opinions and thoughts and may be punished for doing so. It gives us a better understanding of the freedoms that we may take for granted in our own culture.

( culture icons)

( Example of folk culture

Work Cited

Rubenstein, James M.. The cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 20011. Print.

“Top 10 Countries that Censor the Internet.” ListVerse. N.p., 2 Oct. 2010. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

Edited by: Pricilla, Jacob, Susana