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Pop Culture, Trends, and Personal Decision Making

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What is culture? What is popular culture?

What are three major trends in popular American culture?

How does popular American culture affect personal decision making?

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According the Banks, J.A, Banks, and Mcgee (1989) "Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies." This means that culture is usually defined by how members of a society share the same values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives. It is not necessarily material objects that define culture, but rather how a particular group in a society defines these material objects and share the same ideas and behaviors concerning them. A good example of this is the difference between city and rural living situations. People who live out in the country have a much different culture than those who live in the city. They enjoy a lot of space in between houses (which also leads to isolation). There are no stop lights, usually one main strip of a town, and lots of wildlife and nature to be found running loose everywhere. The city, on the other hand, is surrounded by concrete, asphalt, and lots of traffic and people. Isolation is almost impossible. There is little space in between homes or high rise buildings, and almost no nature or wild life is found (with the exception of pets and an occasional pigeon). A city resident rides trains to get from one place to another, and country resident rides a bike cycle or hikes up mountains on foot. As you can see, the cultural differences are vast between the two!

Pop Culture is much of the same except it centers more on what people read, wear, speak, watch on television, buy in the store, etc. Some examples include popular music that is trending on the Internet or found on the Billboard Top 100 for the week, bestselling books and popular films, interaction through social networking, fashion trends, etc. Defined, pop culture is "...the knowledge of current, or up-to-date events. It can refer to music, television, film, sports, and anything else in the public domain" (Reference.com).

What are three major trends in popular American culture?

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses pop culture, trends, and how it affects decision making.