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Popular culture, values & the electronic media

- Assess the impact of electronic media advertising on consumerism and cultural values.
o Briefly describe the roles that music, radio, television, and the motion pictures have played in the development of American popular culture.
o Identify at least three trends propagated by the electronic media. Evaluate the impact of these trends on your views or attitudes concerning the following topics:
- Consumerism
- Work
- Social responsibility
- Happiness
- The human body
- Justice, law, and order

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Popular Culture

Communication is central in the development of culture. What is culture? Culture in Latin refers to 'the cultivation or growth' of a set of traditions, principles, ideologies, beliefs --- factors that emerge in a complex socialization process involving a particular group of people; these very set of factors inform & influence the way these group of people see themselves and are seen by others making it a huge part of who they are, their identity. Culture happens within the social dynamics of group interaction. It is in this interaction that discourse happens and meanings and group standards are established. Dependent upon the type of group - primary (as in families and small intimate groups), secondary (massive formal and informal groups like organizations and communities) or referential (clubs, hobby groups, etc.), the culture that 'happens' can be shared by a few making the practices rare/unique or a huge number making the practices commonplace in a particular social group (i.e. practices by an ethnic group, practices by a corporate entity). American culture has been cultivated from various influences throughout history. Social networks are dynamic; everything is always on the move to influence & be influenced. Not one particular social situation stays put just the way it is. Culture is also situated chronologically, with each generation assimilating from the one before but developing a particular interpretation of their own according to the prevalent trends of their time in all aspects of their lives: politics, religion science, technology, education, cuisine, etc. Our time is that of a digital & globalized world. Information flows through expert mediums; the internet, the television, mobile phones, publications (printed materials including magazines and newspapers) and the radio. Now, when we talk of popular culture, we talk of traditions, practices and social elements that have come into our attention via their manifestation across the social landscape, practiced or adopted by a number of people due to pervasive display via the media and other means of social interaction. New trends are always introduced or permeate via expert mediums and people who identify or adapt them in their lives find said trends appealing and entertaining in a way that they identify with a trend/practice and make it a part of their own lives - influencing the way they live and the way they view things. Take for example the popular sub cultural lifestyle of the 'Goths' - some identify with the philosophy and the views of Goths - of celebrating death and dying. Others however identify with another element to the trend - that of fashion and 'looks'. It is this side of the trend that makes it appeal to so many sparking a 'Goth fashion movement' worldwide and leading to the creation of varied products that promote the 'Goth' look ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,858-word essay that assesses the impact of media, pop culture and advertising on the development, proliferation and continuance of certain cultural values as well as consumer tendencies. Trends as samples of impact are identified especially in relation to consumerism, work, idea of justice and the law, happiness as well as social responsibility. References are listed. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.

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