What is culture? What are examples of culture? Values Material artifacts Political Institutions
Describe the culture of Phoenixville HS? What do students here value?
This chapter focuses on Material Culture ‘Survival activities’ – Food, clothing, shelter Leisure activities – arts + recreation
First… Some distinctions in terms Habit- Individual repetitive act Custom – a Group’s repetitive act (majority of pop), so much so that it becomes characteristic Collection of Customs creates Culture (and more people having the same habit leads to a custom) (I like to think about it like an evolution chain)
Folk Vs Popular Culture Folk = traditional practices, isolated, (typically rural) homogeneous (the same) Popular = large societies, heterogeneous (diverse/mixed) Connections- cause pop cult to change rapidly+frequently Folk cult typically originates from environmental isolation
Thus, folk culture is more likely to vary from place to place at a given time, whereas popular culture is likely to vary from time to time at a given place. …. Um… yeaaah…. About that… Lets break this down, its not as confusing as it sounds Folk – In one slice of time (time period), many locations have different folk cultures. Pop – In one place, there are many pop cultures over time. (like the USA, look at how different the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s were in terms of material culture)
What are examples of Folk Culture in the USA? What are examples of Popular Culture in the USA?
Folk Culture vs the World Globalization is rapidly spreading Popular culture Folk cultures are being threatened For only 10 cents a day, YOU can help save a folk culture… oh sorry, wrong ppt. We’ll return to this later into the chapter, but keep this in mind as you do research and read the chapter.
Where they come from Hearths- where things originate Folk – Anonymous, spread through relocation diffusion: small and slow Popular – Typically a MDC creation, spreads through hierarchical diffusion: fast and large A clear example is Music Folk music is anonymously written – purpose is story tell/spreading info. Pop music is purposefully written by someone to be sold, meant to be liked by a wide variety of people.
Popular- Tin Pan Alley Spread via American Troops Station around the world in WW II (English dominant Pop. Music Language) Folk – Irish Folk Music Typically anonymous authors, spread ideas or messages that relate specifically and only to Irish Culture
Folk Culture – Dance Sri Lanka - gajaga wannama Dance of the Elephant
Diffusion Popular culture – Hierarchical diffusion Folk culture – Relocation diffusion Examples Popular – Sports!!!! Folk – Immigration to USA or Amish diffusion
Hierarchical Diffusion of Soccer Originated in England. (11 th century) ‘Kick the Dane’s Head’ Standardized rules in 12 th century Banned in late 12 th century 1603- legalized (still only an English Folk Custom) 1800s – Club sports became popular Increased leisure time allows for elites, and then people paying to see them. Football Association – Association- Assoc- Soccer Spread to parts of the world as other cultures interacted with England. In 20 th and 21 st centuries, things like TV and the internet spread football even more.
WHY IS FOLK CULTURE CLUSTERED? Key Issue Episode Two: The Environment Strikes Back
Physical Environment Environment heavily impacts cultural development. (esp. Folk) Food, Clothing, Shelter are Heavily influenced by environment, especially with the typically low technology level of Folk Cultures. Folk culture can ignore some of the environmental influence, but there is still some influence.
Food Preferences Strongly related to Environment Northern Europe – Abundance of wood – Stews/soups Parts of Asia- Scarce fuel – adapted ways to eat easy to grow soybeans that don’t include cooking (soy sauce, bean sprouts) Taboos – Social restriction on behavior Often have environmental roots India – Cows/ox needed to work fields, taboo against killing them. Middle East – Pigs don’t offer much in return for care Unlike sheep or cows which offer wool and milk Environment doesn’t dictate the entirety of the taboo.
Bostans: Istanbul Efficient land use Much like the efficient use of word placement here
Housing Product of both Cultural Tradition and Environment What is in the environment dictates what houses are built with and how they are structured. Wood is preferred because it is easy to manipulate Straw and clay can form bricks- used in places where the sun can aid in the baking of the bricks Nomadic peoples need to be able to take down and set up their housing quickly This being said, cultures in similar environments can produce remarkably different houses Can be a social status, diffusing Hierarchical-y
Isolation Promotes Cultural Diversity Folk culture develops through centuries of isolation (Most societies are not isolated, so folk culture cannot develop) The area around the Himalayan Mountains is a good example of how very different and unique cultures can develop in close proximity to each other.
Beliefs and Folk House Forms Religion and social customs also dictate housing Sacred Spaces In some cultures portions of the house are considered sacred or always built in a certain way. Java – front door faces south Fiji – East wall is sacred Madagascar – Door faces west, north wall is for honoring ancestors Laos – sleep in a certain direction so feet are not pointed at another’s head
Diffusion of American Housing The housing styles of USA were spread along separate paths into the continental interior. As people moved west, they took their housing styles with them. Today, houses are much more similar due to popular culture. Also, people typically do not build their own houses; they are usually mass produced.
WHY IS POPULAR CULTURE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED Key Issue 3
Diffusion of popular housing, clothing, and food Popular culture varies more in time than in place. Popular culture flourishes where people have sufficient income to acquire tangible elements of popular culture and the free time to make use of them. Food Consumption of large quantities of snack foods or alcoholic beverages are characteristic of ‘popular societies’ (societies that create or heavily indulge in popular culture). While in a broad sense, most of the food preferences are similar, there are regional differences.
Popular Clothing What fashion trends do you have now that your children will mock you for? Yoga pants?
Rapid Diffusion of Clothing Strong example of how popular culture can spread with little regard to distance or physical obstacles. MDCs- Clothing typically reflects occupations rather than environment. Media/communications have rapidly increased the spread of clothing styles all around the world. Those with a higher income may update their wardrobe frequently to keep up with the latest fashion. Folk costumes/clothing (poncho, parka, dashiki) may be worn to preserve local tradition, or to attract tourists
Diffusion of Television Significant popular custom 1. Most popular leisure activity in MDCs around the world. (An aside: I don’t know the numbers, but you could probably make an argument that this title has passed to the internet… or will.) 2. Most important mechanism by which popular culture can diffuse. TV was first introduced to USA in 1930s Began spreading rapidly after WWII Started strong in MDCs and then spread throughout the world
Diffusion of the Internet Has spread more rapidly than TV, but follows the same pattern Massive in the USA, started strong in MDCs (West Europe, Japan, China, Russia, Australia) and then went to the rest of the world.
Why does globalization of popular culture cause problems? Key Issue 4
Two Major Problems with diffusion of Pop. culture 1. Diffusion threatens the survival of traditional culture in many countries. 2. Popular culture may be less sensitive to diversity of environments and consequently may generate adverse environmental impacts. When people turn away from folk culture, they may also turn away from that society’s traditional values Do you think we are experiencing a bit of this today? (As much as this sounds like a weighted question, it isn’t. I’m genuinely curious as to what you think. It can be argued either way)
Threats to Folk Culture Loss of Traditional Values In some places popular culture challenges things as complex as gender hierarchies or as simple as clothing. Some LDCs consider the dominance of popular culture by MDCs as a threat to their independence. Media- news gathering organizations and television. Some believe this dominance is just a ‘new form of imperialism’
Uniform Landscapes The landscapes of the US are becoming increasingly similar. Advertisers want this to make ‘brand recognition’ more effective. Fast food diffusion is a great example of this
Environmental impacts of Pop culture Popular culture less considerate of environment Pollution is a serious consequence of popular culture. Increased Demand for natural Resources Oil!! Fracking!!! Folk culture can also be damaging to the environment The stereotype that native populations of western hemisphere were ‘ecofriendly’ is being questioned.
Folk – natural. Inward looking. LONG history. Doesn’t change. An aspect of folk culture can be preserved, but that doesn’t make the whole culture Folk. There is such a thing as ‘contemporary folk’. This is seen a lot during the 60s and 70s in the USA. Another example would be an Irish folk song redone in a more modern way today. These examples are closer to popular than folk. (because of communicaition) Popular – Invented. Modern Communication. Created Recently, changes often
Folk- handed down orally/through tradition. Preserves what it means to be of that region Can be mainstream but still maintain a sense of heritage/place They haven’t lost themselves- other things – McDonalds, has Popular- in a way preserves what it means to be of that time (Don’t you have ‘loyalties’ to USA and 2000s?) Popular culture and music from your childhood inspire you as much as July 4 th Has occurred very recently due to the mass connections of internet/phones. Pop C RELIES on connections to spread. It couldn’t really do this in ancient times
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