Popular Culture

Opiate of the People or Revolutionary Weapon?

Popular culture


Popular culture is generally recognized as the vernacular or people’s culture that predominates in a society at a point in time.


With these fundamental aspects in mind, popular culture may be defined as: the products and forms of expression and identity that are frequently encountered or widely accepted, commonly liked or approved, and characteristic of a particular society at a given time.

Popular culture allows large heterogeneous masses of people to identify collectively.


Serves inclusionary role

Can enhance an individual’s prestige

Can be used to instigate change








High vs. Popular Culture

Debates about Popular Culture in Academia




Questions to consider:


What do you make of these two positions about popular culture (social control vs. rebellion)? Do you find one more persuasive than the other?