Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A1-1: Popular Culture Blog

Before starting this course I never realized what popular culture was and how it affects my everyday life. I always thought that popular culture was something mysterious and unattainable. Which as I saw it was something that was reserved for the glamorous and outgoing in our society. I attributed such things as expensive jewelry, expensive cars, and even certain types of music like rap to this. When I thought of popular culture things that the hip, popular, and the rich of society were acquiring came to mind. In completing the reading for this class I now realize that popular culture has a huge role in my everyday life and is not just something reserved for the well-to-do. According to Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure (2007, p.2-3) popular culture is essentially everything that the common person has in common. This molds how people live, act, think, and play (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.2-3). This made me realize that everything in my life is essentially a product of my environment. I have learned how to survive based on the popular culture around me (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.2). The lessons I have learned from my parents, TV, music, others around me, and in turn what they have learned has all been influenced by popular culture (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.2). Everything around us is affected by what the common person feels is normal, comfortable, and desirable. These commonalities are what make up popular culture.
It is common knowledge that to make a profit with a business you need to have customers. Popular culture is so important from a business point of view because unless you know what those customers find popular, attractive, and desirable you’re not going to get anywhere with a business (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.4). For example, if you own a furniture business you should not sell green and orange furniture which is reminiscent of something that was popular in a previous decade. You would want to sell the latest trends in furniture so that you can make a profit. A customer is very unlikely to buy green and orange furniture because over the years those colors have been deemed unpopular in the minds of most people. If the colors are considered unpopular the product will not be purchased because of the customer’s current tastes which are drawn from what is considered popular at the time by society and how others the customer knows might view the purchase(Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.4). Knowing what popular culture dictates as acceptable and desirable will help a business owner greatly. By being able to mold the business’s product line to what is commonly desirable the business owner will be able to generate a larger patronage and therefore profit.
For whatever reason there are things in society that become popular for the betterment or hindrance of people. Within the last decade video games have become very popular with the common person. Specifically violent video games have become very popular. I would choose violent video games to be a pop culture artifact for the simple reason that so many people play them (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.5). It is very uncommon to walk into a residence and not see a Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Wii. These game consoles are needed to play the violent video games that have become so popular in today’s society. It is widely accepted to hack, slash, and mutilate your way through a violent video game. The fact remains undeniable that violent video games are a huge part of many people’s lives. For more information on video game violence visit my blog at

Petracca, M., Sorapure, M. (2007). Common culture: Reading and writing about American popular culture. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

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