Describing American pop culture can entail many facets. According to Wilson, J. R.
, and Wilson, S. R. , (2001), the term “popular culture” replaced the term, “folk culture” in the 19th century. This term consisted of street carnivals, tavern drinking, and folktales. This was separate from the so-called “elite culture,” because it consisted of fine arts, literature and classical music.
According to Wilson, J. R. , and Wilson, S. R. (2001), American popular culture envelopes our society to include customs and practices handed down from previous generations in regard to church, government, the media, standards of behavior, laws, and conventional practices and customs. America is a country of grand diversity.
Many different cultures have enriched our society from Latin America to Africa and Asia, which has affected much of our culture today. We have many pop culture artifact options in regard to food, movies, music, reading and religion, which impact our daily lives.Keeping a popular culture artifact inventory for three days became an eye opening experience for me in reference to the direct correlation of the everyday patterns in pop American culture. Because of a hectic daily life, and embarrassing enough to say, each day entailed at least one trip to a fast-food establishment as opposed to cooking over a hot stove to prepare a meal for the whole family.
With basketball practices and games, Christmas music programs and the Faith Outreach Church Christmas play practice and three days of the play, there was little time left for cooking.Oddly enough, the Christmas play centered in the World War II era where the whole family sat around the radio to listen to the bombing by Japanese forces to American grounds. Today we have television and depending on what a family can afford the channels may be basic or detailed for whatever one’s interest. There are specific channels for food, entertainment, cartoons, etc. , including the Country Music Television, Food Network, Home Shopping Network (from which I did make an immediate Christmas purchase during those five days), Cartoon Network, and many, many more.
Years past, it was only Saturday mornings when cartoons were aired. Recently we have had severe winter warnings listed on the television. Now if a person can afford it, immediate access to the future tracking of an incoming storm is immediately available on an Ipod phone. When looking at all the convenience of modern day culture, one has to imagine how difficult days were in the past. However, days had to have been much simpler with more time left to focus on the family.
This is the largest area of personal impact that pop culture has on my life today.I long for more family time and to have time to sit and enjoy my children and how they are developing into adults. Too much technology has been convenient, but perhaps not valuable for the concept of family. The divorce rates are sky high and the term “family” is becoming re-defined not to only mean a man and a woman, joined together with their own children.
It can mean a single woman with her three children, two men alone, two women with 2 children, and a woman with her elderly parents.The Internet has made way for people to attend college without requiring one to be physically present at the school location, which in itself is time-saving, convenient gift. However, it also has some amazing downfalls. Children can have access to deadly predators, as evidenced by shows such as “Dateline NBC” with Chris Hanson. Furthermore, the Internet has opened doors for children to video explicit information that immature minds may not be able to process sensibly.
This could potentially result in serious side effects without mature adult supervision.Because Christmas is near, it seems the focus relates more to quantity rather than quality. For example, more Christmas lights, more Christmas packages, more Christmas functions. “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” ads took over the newspapers and television and store marquees. The pressure is on to buy into certain styles of clothing or accessories. The vastness of quantity and the pressure for “more, more, more” also can be seen in the fast-food restaurant chain business as well as we have learned how to “Biggie-Size” or “Super-Size” fries and drinks.
In conclusion, as a result of taking an inventory of popular American culture, it has occurred to me that the basis of American popular culture is related to convenience and quick self-gratification of needs and wants. Long gone are the days of slaving over a hot stove to provide home-cooked meals nightly. These days have succumbed to the fast-food restaurant chains because of the busy schedule of families. Because of the changes within the American popular culture, the idea of family has been redefined. Whatever the definition may be the importance of tradition and focus on loved ones must not be sacrificed.