Popular culture emerged in the 19th century. It used to describe the culture of the uneducated which was much different from that of the upper classes. Thanks to higher literacy rates in Britain during that era, people began to pay more attention to cultural products, which gave birth to a new form of culture.
The term was defined by Author John Storey as a culture that attracts a large number of people. Attaching negative meaning to it, other people believe pop culture is inferior to “high culture”.
In today’s society, it is fairly hard to define pop culture thanks to easily accessible cultural products, including movies and books.
As a star that attracts worldwide attention, the USA is an excellent example to explain what pop culture is about across the world.
Hollywood is located on the outskirts of Los Angeles, California. The term “Hollywood” often directly refers to the American film industry because many famous American film companies are established here. Hollywood is a world-famous film centre, the birthplace of global fashion, and the centre of global music and film industry. It has the world’s top entertainment industry and luxury brands, leading and representing the highest level of global fashion, such as Disney, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Sony, WB (Warner Bros.) and Paramount Pictures, Inc. Thanks to the deep fashion heritage and strong technologies, Hollywood has been imitated all over the world. Countless well-known directors and actors regard it as a home. Although most movies are no longer shot here, Hollywood is still a symbol of the American film industry and even the world’s cultural resources.
Many famous directors are closely connected with Hollywood:
a. James Cameron
He is a demanding and domineering tyrant when shooting movies, and a paranoid and money-burning machine in the eyes of his Hollywood counterparts. But he still is a genius.
Cameron can not only create a miraculous movie box office, but also bring commerce and art together. He often discusses the relationship between humans and technology, and he is a well-deserved king of the film industry. His mmasterpieces include Avatar and Titanic.
b. Stephen Spielberg
Spielberg is a movie wizard. It is difficult to find a director who can do business and art with ease, and integrates business and art seamlessly.
His films are entertaining, and at the same time highly artistic. With humanistic care, his works, including Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, make him unique.
Some people think that Hip-Pop is just about rap. In fact, skateboarding, graffiti and many other things also belong to the category of Hip-Pop.
Hip-Pop was originally a non-mainstream culture of African-Americans in New York, but it has gained in popularity in every corner of the world today. It has entered the mainstream culture and has influenced countless young people around the world.
Here are some categories and examples:
b. Street Dance:
d. Skateboarding Shoes
Nike Dunk SB
3. Super Bowl
Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League. It is usually held on the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February each year. The love of Americans for football has made Super Bowl the most popular TV show in the United States for many years, and the day in which the game is held has gradually become an unofficial national holiday.
On this holiday, American people who have not been to the competition site usually gather their family and friends to enjoy this annual carnival day in which food, chats, and competition constitute their wonderful day. It is not just a game, but a carnival. Due to huge audiences, the mid-time advertising has become the most expensive advertising time in the United States. Over time, watching and discussing ads during that time has also become an important event of Super Bowl day.
The Super Bowl halftime show is another highlight. Pop singers and musicians such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Rolling Stone all have been here to perform. Many people follow Super Bowl just for the show.
Superman, originally born in DC Comics, has long been a symbol of American culture. The red S on Superman’s chest not only represents superman, but also symbolizes the culture of superheroes. The wonderful adventure stories and the immense popularity of superman have influenced all subsequent roles, from music to comedy and scripts. The success of this role laid the foundation for the emergence of many similar roles, such as Batman and Marvel characters. Superheroes have super powers and are enthusiastic about public affairs. They protect the civilians of a city, and save all mankind.
The unique American superhero culture flourishes in the United States because of the country’s unique social structure and social psychology. The essence of movies is to meet people’s inner needs which emphasizes that every can be a hero, so the mission of Hollywood hero movies is to make dreams come true for the public in the second dimension world. Because a certain demand is extremely common, it creates a high box office basis for movies.
The term “hot dog” is derived from an error in a cartoon. In 1906, the slender sausage was still a novel food in the United States. It bore a resemblance to long-breasted and short-legged Dachshund dogs, so it also gained the same name.
Hot dogs can use different ingredients, but traditionally use Frankfurt sausages. What is particularly striking is that Americans consume 19 billion hot dogs every year, which are worth 500 million US dollars.
Who would have thought that a sandwich with a grilled or steamed sausage in small bread can describe the fast food culture of Americans so accurately? Although it was introduced from Germany, sausages have been carried forward in the United States. Hot dogs have long become a street food for working-class people and are usually associated with American baseball.
6. Street Performance
Street performance in the United States is a common thing among the big social phenomena.
Street performers need to be certified to work. Americans generally have an admiring and welcoming attitude towards street performers, and the relationship between the audience and the performers is equal. In the end, performers bring happiness to audiences who pay a reward, which makes street performance more like a legitimate profession.
People in the United States generally live more autonomously and have less pressure on survival. Coupled with greater social inclusiveness, they can both be fascinated by their own interests and behave like no one is on the street. Street artists can live a normal life with the money they receive, so they are willing to further increase their talents. In short, Street performance is a very delightful job.
7. Social Networks
Many social networks in the United States can be said to be popular all over the world. From ordinary people to the president of the country, everyone can express their views on social networking platforms.
Facebook is an online social networking site. It was founded in February, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard roommates.
At first, Facebook was only available to Harvard students registration, but soon expanded to the Boston area, the Ivy League, Stanford University and other colleges and universities. It stipulates that people who are over 13 years old can register as members on Facebook, and users must register before they can browse it. When registering, it asks to create a personal profile, and add other users as friends to exchange information.
Twitter is an online social networking service in the United States. On July 15, 2006, Jack Dorsey launched the social networking site, and users are only allowed to send 140-character text messages.
Twitter has taken the world by storm. In 2012, it had more than 500 million registered users and more than 340 million posts every day. Since its launch, Twitter has become a hit, and is known as “Internet SMS.”
Instagram is an application that provides online photo sharing, video sharing, and social networking services. This program was created and launched in October 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and allows users to take photos and videos and share them on various social networks.
The salient feature of this program is that it restricts square-shaped photos. Users can also record and share short videos that last up to 15 seconds. The program service quickly became popular , and by April 2012 it had 100 million active users.
8. Elite Culture
Elite culture is also a popular phenomenon in the United States. The United States has always been a country in which elites occupying 1%-3% of society lead the middle and lower classes. Regardless of various social changes, the proportion of elites has remained basically unchanged. Elites usually cover all industries and most of them are lawyers, doctors, financiers, bankers, corporate executives, leaders in the entertainment and sports industries, and university professors.
The elite is divided into circles, including financial elites (Eastern Wall Street vs. Western Technology Venture Capital), artistic elites (East Broadway vs. Western Hollywood), cultural elites (writers, novelists, journalists, collectors), academic elites, Silicon Valley elites, etc. Different circles show different styles, cultures, life styles, and political orientations, and you only know the details when you are in it.
But there are things in common.
a. good body management
They control their intake of food , pay attention to health, dress appropriately, and dress differently on different occasions.
b. emphasis on education.
Children basically enter private schools or church schools, and they know that everything they currently have is attributed to knowledge. Therefore, no matter how expensive the private school tuition is, or no matter how much these elites donate each year, they will not hesitate to choose the best education for their children.
For example, we all know that American lawyers and doctors earn high incomes. Why are only a few people able to become lawyers and doctors? The first reason is talent and personal efforts. If you want to become a doctor, you must be a straight A student. The second is huge tuition investment. Medical schools and law schools are generally with the highest tuition fees, which discourages countless middle-class families. The third is the deliberate control of the number of elites in the United States, so these elites will always be scarce talents. Even if medical resources are relatively lacking, foreign doctors with medical education will be turned away. It is the same story for lawyers, as bar admission is always one of the most difficult licenses to get.
9. Video Games
Americans have an almost crazy love for cars, guns, and balls. Shooting games, sports games (such as football, basketball and rugby), and some car simulation games are their favorites.
In general, most Americans will choose to play console games, then handheld games, and some will play PC games.
Console games includes Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Some sports games are also very popular among American boys, such as FIFA series and WWE 2K19.
For handheld games, Pokemon is familiar to everyone, and this enduring game is also quite popular in the United States. In the Nintendo Switch handheld, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has made impressive achievements in major game media.
PC players are now the major group as console players. GO, Fortnite, GTA, Forza Horizon 4, and FIFA are all popular games.
10. Scientific and Technological Invention
Technological inventions have become a popular culture in the United States because
a. The United States has the most powerful education system in the world, including MIT, Harvard University, Stanford University and many other world-class universities.
b. The United States has a large gathering of top talents.
c. Americans pay close attention to cultivating children’s personality—society protects their curiosity since childhood. The social environment prevents them from worrying about too many issues, such as advancement to higher education, rankings, etc. As they grow up, the support of parents enables most Americans to choose what they are interested in according to their hobbies.
d.The protection of intellectual property rights can also actively promote innovation.