October 24, 2017. LECTURE SEVEN: INSTITUTIONS of POPULAR CULTURE: media, music, play, social media
CONTEXTS: CULTURAL as CARCERAL
When humans interact with their social and material contexts they do not necessarily evaluate these settings in an immediately rational way.
Often the first response is what we would term as ‘emotional’.
These qualities are expressed in terms of feeling and mood (Brienza, P. 2006)
Simmel’s “blasé” attitude
moods of boredom and anxiety. an adaptive capacity.
fight against ‘passing the in-betweeness.
a crisis of meaning.
Why is boredom a significant factor for-youth in particular?’
The answer to this question, we feel, is to be found in the unique temporal relations that youth are thrown into with the dawn of adolescence.
In this particular state we fight against this dragging of time by ‘passing the time’.
Boredom, in youth, is experienced as this lingering or waiting that is almost a ‘waiting for life to begin’.
trouble as a solution to environmental constraints
The adolescent, on the other hand, is thrown into the need for preparation; thoughts perceptibly turn towards the future.
Boredom, therefore, is a creative expression of the desire to solve these problems of meaning.
FORM AND CONTENT OF POPULAR CULTURE: “COOL” CULTURES as MEDIATED MESSAGES
Coolness is the ability to maximize gain and minimize effort while structuring relations in a way that favourably impresses others.
Along with this cool orientation, these youths are encouraged to adopt a presentist attitude.
Presentism is the lack of perseverance in the pursuit of long term projects (Cusson 1983:126,164), a form of immediate gratification.
Essentially, everyday life for youth is colonized by corporate capitalism.
Corporate capital propagates consumption, narcissism and material fetishes not as rewards in affluent societies but essentially as continued investments in a consuming and producing force.
In contemporary Canadian, the dominant culture is expressed through material consumption.
It is a code that guides and classifies coherently the ways in which we display our experiences, imagination and consciousness.
Violence as Entertainment
Spectacles and circuses
The Violence of Entertainment
Violence is a commodity sold to generate attention, secure funding especially for the juvenile justice system and its armies of consultants, and maximize a profit for the film industry. Again, images of violence are always manipulated.
Violent video games
The multi-billion dollar rage rock, gangsta rap, punk, grunge and hip-hop industries, whose effects are felt across the board from fashion to advertising to slang, are under scrutiny because of their commercial appeals.
In the interest of profit the corporate media has succeeded in blurring the boundaries between entertainment and profits.
Incidence of Media Usage among Youth
TV is most popular media. TV music (MuchMusic /MTV), comedies and animations (Simpsons, South Park, King of the Hill) are the most frequently watched programs by youths, followed by sports and adult-themed talk shows. As teenagers grow older, they spend less time watching television and more time listening to music.
Perceived Media – Identity Relations: Self Concept, Skills, Reactions of Others
Although media portrayals of youths are over sexualized, young people enjoy these depictions of youth in mediated messages of MTV and MuchMusic.
Focus: The Differential Impact of the Media on Youth Crime
All youths note the significant role of media in shaping identity, relations and experiences of crime.
Youths become immune to the horror of violence; gradually accept violence as problem solving
Habermas (1984) highlights the role of dogma in keeping individuals in a state of ignorance and repression.
Socializing agencies controlled by dominant ideological discourses determine the subject, including thought, affect, enjoyment, meaning and identity. Advertisements
Conclusions: Cultural Literacy?
. Youth can only be understood in its undistorted essence when it becomes the universal category of society as a whole.
The spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life and the fragmented individual becomes more fully separated from the productive forces operating as a whole.
Along with this cool orientation, these youths are encouraged to adopt a presentist attitude. Presentism is the lack of perseverance in the pursuit of long term projects (Cusson 1983:126,164), a form of immediate gratification.