Section 10: Popular Culture & Local Standards
“Globalization and the “Soft Power” of Culture … “American Cultural Imperialism” and the Film Industry … The Global Marketing of Human Sexuality … The Global Triumph of the Electric Guitar … Making Connections”
- 10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > Globalization and the
- 10. Popular Culture & Local Standards >
- 10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > The Global Marketing of Human Sexuality > Lecture
- 10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > The Global Triumph of the Electric Guitar > Lecture
- 10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > Making Connections > Interview Video
10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > Globalization and the “Soft Power” of Culture > Lecture
- How could automated production destabilize the global market? If you have a situation where machines are doing a lot of the production that large numbers of workers have done, then those workers are going to be thrown out of work.
- The question is whether they are going to be unemployed for the foreseeable future or whether they can be retrained to fill other jobs, possibly higher level jobs, better paid jobs, that are going to replace the ones that have been displaced by technological inventions that allow for very few people to supervise the production of lots and lots of product by machines.
- Why did the leaders of Britain, France, and Germany all announce the failure of multiculturalism in 2010? The leaders of Germany, France, and Britain announced the failure of multiculturalism in 2010.
- How does the perceived failure of multiculturalism affect global labor markets? 50 years ago, Germany invited many foreign workers from the Mediterranean area to come to Germany to help build the so-called economic miracle of the 1960s.
- They assumed that these people were going to work and then go back where they came from.
- 1970s, they decide to turn off the tap, and they are not going to be taking any more immigrant workers.
- So the sense that the integration process is going well or that it is going badly is going to affect the views of politicians and policymakers regarding whether or not to allow additional foreign labor to come into your society.
- You can give it to a machine that has the software to handle it, or you could give it to lower-paid people on the other side of the world who have the skill set and maybe a quarter or a fifth of the salary for doing the same kind of work the junior lawyers would be doing in the United States.
- So legal and practical protections for vulnerable, often low-paid workers, is a social justice issue that is tightly bound to the whole question of the global labor markets.
10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > “American Cultural Imperialism” and the Film Industry > Lecture
- What sort of American content does an American-made film bring to a foreign country in which it is shown? How can we define American content in the first place? Do different-media carrying American content do equally well? And is it perhaps necessary for the producers of films made in the United States to shape their products to appeal to the global cinema market? Concerns about American cultural dominance assume that an American cultural product contains a recognizable American quality that suppresses or displaces the cultural products of other national cultures.
- If American content is as potent as it is often assumed to be, then it ought to be equally potent when conveyed in similar media.
- American television programs are much less influential than American films around the world.
- An American film headed to the global market could be defined in several ways.
- It might refer to any film that is produced in the United States or to any film that is made by an American director or to any film that features so-called American values, such as individualism, entrepreneurialism, optimism, heroism, or the violence and aggression that are an American media staple.
- Neither production in the US nor an American director guarantees an American message.
- Hollywood, built largely by Eastern European Jewish immigrants, has never been an ethnically American culture factory.
- Americans do not have a monopoly on American values, such as individualism or heroism.
- We might also ask how American are styles and behaviors that originated in the United States and then go on to flourish around the world.
- Current trends in global cinema show that the American film hegemony that is one driver of cultural imperialism is in decline in a globalizing world.
- At the same time, some concessions to local tastes are just superficial adjustments of American formulas for making movies or television shows.
- This strategy of targeting local audiences is compatible with and accompanied by a search for universality that has become a financial necessity for American producers.
- Many American films could not be made without sales to the global market.
- This process changes American filmmaking by promoting projects that are expected to be internationally popular and by eliminating proposed films that are thought to be of little or no interest to non-American audiences.
- These include simplified dialogue, visceral emotions, special effects, and what one commentator has called the glitz and gloss, the sex, speed, and violence of American popular culture.
- The American sociologist Todd Gitlin has elaborated on the nature of global appeal.
- If Americans are so good at producing cultural material that appeals to a global sensibility, then how different can the cultural sensibilities of Americans and their global audience actually be? And does a convergence of sensibilities really impose a monoculture on all of us? The economist Tyler Cowen has pointed out that multiplicity can be part of what we think of as a single culture.
- ” Is cultural imperialism at work if non-Americans choose to watch American films, not because they’ve been brainwashed, but because they freely choose this kind of entertainment? Or is free choice in an age of Americanization simply an illusion? The two highest grossing films in history are James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar.
- In other words, the most commercially successful film of all time is an American film promoting an anti-American message that has demonstrated unparalleled global appeal at the box office.
10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > The Global Marketing of Human Sexuality > Lecture
- International dissemination of popular culture forms that include the theme of human sexuality can provoke conflicts between media that present any form of erotic intimacy or nudity and religious conservatives who regard such public displays as immoral.
- The show was based in Dubai and owned not by Western interests, but by a brother-in-law of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
- This sort of cultural conservatism in the Muslim world has been challenged by a Turkish soap opera called Gumus, which features kissing, other mild erotic touches, and the scandalously disordered lives that are familiar to Western soap opera audiences.
- In 2013, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Network found itself in trouble for inadvertently showing indecent and un-Islamic images of female spectators while broadcasting international sports events.
- In the same year, the organizer of the Miss World competition in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority country, announced that the young female contestants in that year’s pageant would not be appearing in bikinis.
- The publication known as Cosmo appears in no fewer than 64 international editions in countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Croatia, South Korea, Indonesia, India, China, and in a regional Middle East Cosmo.
- As in the case of Hollywood films, our principal challenge as cultural analysts is to identify universal themes and local variations that co-exist within a global cultural product.
- Sex is downplayed in the Chinese and Indonesian editions and sometimes treated as passe in the Swedish and French editions.
- In some Middle Eastern countries, dating and premarital sex are against the law.
- The American edition always includes a brief sex manual along with the gossip and fashion.
10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > The Global Triumph of the Electric Guitar > Lecture
- No presentation of global popular culture would be complete without a celebration of the most charismatic and transformative musical instrument of the modern era, the electric guitar.
- The electric guitar embodies the spirit of the most charismatic musical style of our modern era, and that is the rock and roll music that began its global career during the 1950s, and has continued to generate new styles and thrive over more than half a century.
- The triumphant role of the electric guitar in popular music has both technological and sociocultural dimensions.
- In addition to the guitar electrification technology developed during the 1930s and 1940s, the invention of audiotape during the 1940s, the production of unbreakable 45 revolutions per minute plastic records during the 1950s, and television broadcasts of the iconic Elvis Presley during the late 1950s, made possible the mass production and distribution of a new form of popular music that became, as Andy Bennett has written, the first musical form to exploit the potential of the global media.
- The global impact of rock and roll music penetrated the Iron Curtain, and started rolling through the Communist Bloc countries as early as 1955.
- Rock and roll music and blue jeans arrived in the Soviet Union via the Moscow Youth Festival in the summer of 1957, and became permanent aspects of Soviet youth culture.
- Using the E, A and D cords, feedback and distortion effects, and featuring a descent down E-minor pentatonic scale that is the backbone of rock and roll as well as the rhythm and blues, from which it derives.
10. Popular Culture & Local Standards > Making Connections > Interview Video
- What makes popular culture different from high culture? High culture is a term that refers to various forms of art that are consumed by a very restricted, smaller group of people.
- The idea that there is a high culture that is more complex, more refined, elevated, in a way, and restricted to smaller groups that have the tastes and the ability to understand it and enjoy it is really quite a persistent idea.
- Popular culture is generally considered to be less complex.
- Of course, there’s a huge quantitative aspect in that the general assumption is that popular culture can be accessible to and enjoyed, and consumed, by enormous numbers of people.
- How does popular culture drive out high culture? I don’t think of popular culture drives out high culture.
- One should not forget that it is perfectly possible for lots of people to enjoy both, to enjoy classical music, for example, and appreciate it for its qualities, and to enjoy popular music of various kinds and appreciate it for what it has to offer.
- Why does popular culture of any country go international and become mass culture? It is a fact that- staying with the realm of music- that there are artists, or musical groups, that produce music that becomes enormously popular- globally popular, in a significant sense.
- Now that is a question of the talent and hard work occurring in a certain place, a country, within a certain culture, with certain kinds of production facilities and opportunities available so that everything comes together in the right way, and you get a popular cultural product that turns out to be enormously appealing to very large numbers of people in various parts of the world.
- The more interesting question would be, why was it Britain that produced the most influential music of the 1960s? How can cultural exports harm the American image? Popular culture can have a tremendous influence on how people from outside the United States think of the United States and what it has to offer.
- So there is no one to one correlation between the actuality of American society, and what happens in American society, and the entertainment products that cross many national boundaries and wind up on televisions, or in cinemas, in faraway places where people are going to draw their own conclusions about what life in the United States is like on the basis of the only evidence that is presented to them.
- Sports may be most appreciated, massively watched form of popular culture on the face of the Earth.
- Regulation is associated with popular culture in that there are going to be societies that don’t want certain popular cultural products on their television sets, or in their cinemas, or maybe even in their iPods, if they have them.
- The whole national identity theme is relevant in that popular culture is popular beyond national communities.
- If an artist originates in a particular nation and achieves global popularity, which many of them do, to what extent has that artists left his or her nation behind and become a certain kind of a global artistic citizen? And of course, the media are really the platform on which popular cultural forms are broadcast throughout the world.
- Thank you, Dr. for talking to us about popular culture.