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.
http://cln647.wordpress.com/(Pop culture icons)
(http://www.inkingrey.com/article/1016/development-of-folk-culture-and-folk-lore): Example of folk culture
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