Presentation on theme: "INTRODUCTION TO THEORIES OF POPULAR CULTURE PART I"— Presentation transcript:
1 INTRODUCTION TO THEORIES OF POPULAR CULTURE PART I
2 OBJECTIVEMahasiswa dapat menyatakan teori-teori popular culture. (C1)
3 MATERIALS Mass Culture The Frankfurt School 3. Structuralism and Semiotics
4 THEORY OF MASS CULTURE Mass culture and mass society - The term mass culture is a combination of two German ideas: Masse and Kultur. The mass is (or was) the nonaristocratic, uneducated portion of European society, especially the people who today might be described as lower-middle class, working class, and poor. Kultur translates as high culture; it refers not only to the art, music, literature, and other symbolic products that were (and are) preferred by well-educated elite of that European society but also to the styles of thoughts and feelings of those who choose these products – those who are “cultured.” Mass culture, on the other hand, refers to the symbolic products used by the “uncultured” majority. The negative judgment on mass culture can be counteracted by the use of a more positive term like popular culture.- Mass culture refers to popular culture which is produced by the industrial techniques of mass production, and marketed for profit to a mass public of consumers. It is commercial culture, mass produced for a mass market. Its growth means there is less room for any culture which cannot make money, and which cannot be mass produced for a mass market, such as art and fold culture.
5 Continued …- Mass culture and mass society theory refers to the disruptive consequences of industrialization and urbanization. The rise of large-scale and mechanized industrial production, and the growth of massive and densely populated cities, are argued to have destabilized and then eroded the societies and values which previously held together.- Industrialization and urbanization create atomization. A mass society consists of people who can only relate to each other like atoms in a physical or chemical compound. Mass society consists of atomized people, people who lack any meaningful or morally coherent relationships with each other. In a mass society, the individual is left more and more to his or her own devices, has fewer and fewer communities or institutions in which to find identity or values by which to live, and has less and less idea of the morally appropriate ways to live. … if people do not have a secure sense of moral value, then a spurious and ineffectual order will emerge instead, and people will turn to surrogate and fake moralities.
6 Continued … The mass culture debate - Mass culture is different from folk art. Whereas the second grew from below, as a spontaneous, autochthonous expression of the people, shaped by themselves, pretty much without the benefit of High Culture, to suit their own needs, mass culture is imposed from above. It is fabricated by technicians hired by businessmen; its audiences are passive consumers, their participation limited to the choice between buying and not buying.The mass culture debateThe debate refers to the fear that mass culture which involves mass production and mass consumption of culture will threatened not only the folk but high culture as well. Mass culture is considered to be a debased, trivialized, superficial, artificial and standardized culture which saps the strength of folk and high culture, and challengesthe intellectual arbitration of cultural taste.Mass culture and AmericanizationMass culture is thought to arise from the mass production and consumption of culture.Since it is the capitalist society most closely associated with these processes, it is relatively easy to identify America as the home of mass culture. So much mass culture comes from America that if it is a threat then Americanization is a threat as well.
7 Continued … Americanization and the critique of mass culture theory - Americanization is considered as a brash, standardized mass-culture, centered on the enormously increased influence of television and advertising, a popular music more marked than ever by the hypnotic beat of jazz, and the new prominence, as a distinct social force, given to teenagers and the young. Americanization came to be assosiated with increased consumerism on the part of the young and the working class, America itself came to be an object of consumption, a symbol of pleasure.Americanization and the critique of mass culture theoryAmericanization has brought a debate in British society because on the one hand, America is associated with democracy, modernity, rationality, and science, but on the other hand, it is related with mass democratic populism that is feared to let the masses to run the government and lower cultural standards.A critique of mass culture theory- Mass culture theory is elitist- Mass culture theory lacks adequate understanding of social and cultural change.- Mass culture theory implies a resentment on the part of certain groups of intellectualto the threat posed by mass culture and mass democracy.
8 THEORY OF THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL The origins of the Frankfurt School- The Frankfurt Institute for Social Research (the Frankfurt School) was set up in 1923 by left-wing German, Jewish intellectuals from upper and middle classes of German society.- Important members are Theodor Adorno ( ), Max Horkheimer ( ), Herbert Marcuse ( ). Another marginal but important figure is Walter Benjamin ( )- During Nazi, the School was situated in New York before returning back to Germany in the late 1940s.- The School is engaged in a critique of the Enlightenment, the fascist state of Nazi Germany, Soviet, Marxist totalitarianism, and American monopoly, and consumer capitalism.- The School thought that the promise of the Enlightenment to extend human freedom through scientific and rational progress had turned into a nightmare because science and rationality were instead stamping out human freedom.- The School’s perspective is an obvious variant of Marxism.- The School’s understanding of popular culture relies upon its theory of modern capitalism and the control it sees the culture industry exerting over the minds and actions of people.
9 Continued … Commodity fetishism Theory of modern capitalism - is that the social character of men’s labor appears as a social natural quality of the labor product itself and that consequently the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labor is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labor. …- Karl Marx - exchange value and use value of the commodities- Marx’s idea influenced Theodore Adorno’s theory of capitalist culture. He extended Marx’s analyses of commodity fetishism and exchange to cultural goods or commodities. e.g a consumer worshipped more the money that he or she has paid for the ticket to a music concert than the music itself.Theory of modern capitalism- Capitalist productive forces can generate vast amounts of wealth through waste production such as military expenditure which means that ‘false needs’ can be created and met.- The rise of monopoly capitalist corporations and the rational and efficient state management of economy and society
10 Continued … The culture industry - Incorporation of working class.- The domination of money which regulates the relationships between commodities.- The School sees the culture industry ensuring the creation and satisfaction of false needs, and the suppression of true needs. It is so effective that the working class is no longer likely to pose a threat to the stability and continuity of capitalism.The culture industry- Definition: In all its branches, products which are tailored for consumption by masses, and which to a great extent determine the nature of that consumption, are manufactured more or less according to plan … This is made possible by contemporary technical capabilities as well as by economic and administrative concentration. The culture industry integrates its consumers from above. To the detriment of both it forces together the spheres of high and low art, separated for thousands of years. The seriousness of high art is destroyed in the speculation about its efficacy; the seriousness of the lower perishes with the civilizational constraints imposed on the rebellious resistance inherent within it as long as social control was not yet total. Although the culture industry speculates on the conscious and unconscious state of the millions towards which it is directed, the masses are not primary but secondary, they are an object of calculation, an appendage of the machinery. The customer is not king, as the culture industry would have us believe, not its subject but its object.
11 Continued …- The culture industry is corrupted, manipulative, banal, conformist, mind numbing; is related to falsehood, false needs, false satisfaction, and false solutions. It solves problems only in appearance. It takes over the consciousness of the masses.Critical Assessment-The School is criticized to fail to provide an empirical proof for its theories and the obscure and inaccessible language in which its ideas have been expressed.- The School’s analysis of capitalism as a society which has achieved stability is not consistent with the sociology and history of capitalist societies.- The School’s distinction of false and true needs has also been heavily criticized. How can true needs be recognized?- The School emphasizes the authoritarian and repressive potential of popular culture. In contrast to the School’s perspective is Water Benjamin’s emphasis on the democratic and participatory potential of popular culture.
12 STRUCTURALISM AND SEMIOTICS Background of Structuralism- Historical background of structuralism is the construction of the physics of man based on the principle of verum factum, what man understands as true (verum) and that he has made himself (factum) are one and the same. Men have created themselves and the world of civil society and their principles are to be found in their own minds. … to be human, … is to be a structuralist.- A structure has the idea of wholeness, transformation, and self-regulation.Structuralism and the Influence of Ferdinand de Saussure- Structuralism is a theoretical approach which studies literary texts as though those texts have the same sort of structure as language- The rise of Structuralism was always connected to Ferdinand de Saussure. In its later development, structuralism was influenced by the Russian Formalists (Vladimir I. Propp, Roman Jakobson, Boris Eichenbaum, Viktor Shklovsky, Boris Tomasjevsky, Juri Tynyanov), the Prague school (Louis Hjelmslev, Nikolay Troubetskoy), the structural linguists (Claude Levi-Strauss), and the Parisian Structuralists (A.J. Greimas, Tzvetan Todorov, Roland Barthes, Gerard Genette).
13 Continued … Models - Claude Levi-Strauss Semiotics - Ferdinand de Saussure’s concepts of language:Diachronic vs synchronic study of languageLangue vs paroleSignifier vs signifiedSintagmatic vs paradigmatiModels- Claude Levi-Strauss- Roman Jakobson- A.J. Greimas- Tzvetan Todorov- Roland BarthesSemiotics- Charles Sanders Peirce