Other Areas of Popular Culture Significance
FAST-US-7 United States Popular Culture (Hopkins)
Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere
The range of material studied by popular culture scholars is almost
limitless, as may be suggested by the following examples not previously
discussed. Each will have its own jargon, rituals, icons, fetishes,
system of status identification, position in the popular consciousness,
and influence on popular thinking.
- Advertising: myths, symbols, language, product status, knowledge of
the market (Ikea vases/glasses/ice in the United States), politically incorrect
- Architecture: "symbols", public space/size, defensible space, public
toilet status, drive-in-ability, drinking fountains and their culture,
mall retail & social layout planning, 'gated' communities, etc.
- Automobiles: names & symbolism, market and user
status, more than just 'getting from A to B'?
- Books: Who reads what (do people read?) (Best-seller lists), cost,
where and why do they buy types of literature preferred, paper vs
hardback, print or digital, etc?
- Death: perceptions of dying, language, technology, market
- Cartoons: (Editorial): styles, points of view, characters such as
Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck (why "Mc"-Duck?) and the Beagle Boys . . .
Elmer Fudd, Huey, Dewey and Louie, etc.
- Fashion: Who wears what, when, where, why? Where is it
advertised and how/why? Vogue, Cosmo, "17", vs Women's Wear Daily;
styles, hairdos, status...
- Film: National "types" of films, stereotypes & characterizations,
film clichés (white/black hats) etc.
- Food & Eating: What, where, when, why; how much (and how fast?)
- Games/Toys: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, sports, Mah-Jongg,
Role-playing, Computer Action
- Dolls: Barbie and Ken, G.I.Joe, Cabbage Patch, Raggedy Ann,
Strawberry Shortcake, My Twinn, Beanie Babies, etc.
- Magazines: Most popular, types, presentation of information
- Newspapers: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, etc., vs
The National Inquirer, Grit, etc.
- Pornography: Soft vs hard, availability, types, target audience
- Recordings: Format, type, advertising, artists, labels, period
associations, technology associations, etc.
- Religion: "Popularity," status, influence, perceived values,
evangelism, prominence in media, political power, modes of dress, uses of
color, literary allusions, holidays
- Self-help: Origin and applicability of the concept; relationship of
self-help and social responsibility thinking, etc.
- Sex Equality: Status, pay, advertising age/image differences,
expectations, "respect", associated language ('glass ceiling', pink collar
- Sports: Levels: (amateur, professional, school teams, summer leagues,
etc.), Media influence, role models, types of sports, language, character
- Television: Volume, sponsorship, images, influence, cost, programming
policy, who watches, why, consequences
- Theater: Elite vs popular theater, dinner theater, summer stock
theater, community theater, school theater productions, associated names
and locations, perceived status
US-7 References Index
US-7 Web Links
Last Updated 07 January 2010