Popular Culture Is A Valid Object For Academic Study? Essay examples

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How would you convince a sceptical friend that popular culture was a valid object for academic study?

Apprehension around studying popular culture can be attributed to an understanding of popular culture as meaning ‘low culture’, and therefore having little worthiness of study. However, the conceptual division between high and low culture, is now understood to be of no relevance to aesthetic worth, but more to political and social distinctions. Remove the word popular from the question, and the consideration of studying all culture is made, there is little to be dubious of. Williams defined popular culture as the “everyday ordinariness” of life (1958: 93), and this widespread nature makes exclusion of the academic study of popular culture impossible. To study popular culture is to challenge the belief that high culture carries worth, and low culture as the binary opposite lacks value. The historical institute of education may find this subversion destabilising, but reluctance to address popular culture is misrepresentative and cleanses cultural artefacts of meaning. In arguing the value of studying popular culture, this essay pays attention to the paradigms of class and gender, although the analytical frameworks of ethnicity sexuality age and disability also carry relevance.

Being an interdisciplinary subject, which can make it difficult to define, Cultural Studies has distinct sociological roots. Simmel predated the study of popular culture, with an analysis which…

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