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Pop Culture Paper

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Essay #1 October 24, 2011 Pop culture is defined by what the most recent trends in fashion, movies, music and overall entertainment items are. Popular culture usually has a deeper impact than a trend. It is anything that has an appeal to the masses. The list of what is required in popular culture is nearly endless. It is, however, something that can exist for a greater period of time than a trend can. What are pop culture’s main outlets though? Popular culture travels throughout television, newspapers, radio, music, and motion pictures, but it also has the capability to spread through emotions.

If someone feels passionately about a certain band or song that’s played on the radio, it can shape a certain part of their lives.

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The media has an influence in today’s culture, more so since the introduction of the internet. Today there is news everywhere. People can post Facebook statuses about current events, or even make Youtube videos stating what’s new and grabbing the majority of attention in today’s culture. There is no escaping finding out what’s popular at the present time.

This is a double edge sword, however, because content is what’s important, and in this fast pace society only the strong survive or in pop cultures’ sake only the exciting survive. An icon is someone who is the object of great attention and devotion; in other words an idol. Most celebrities, especially teen icons, exhaust the public’s interest with extreme rapidity. Most pop icons achieved their status through death, typically at a young age. Adoration of pop icons is due only in part to their actual accomplishments; the far more important factor is their apparent attainment of eternal youth.

Some of the most notable pop icons are James Dean, John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. However, even middle-aged celebrities who died can achieve this “eternal youth” if the public chooses to simply ignore all images of them past a certain date, as has been done with Elvis Presley. A celebrity is a person who is broadly recognized in a culture. Fame is requirement for celebrity status, but not always sufficient. For example, high-profile criminals are famous, but not always celebrities.

Celebrity is not unique to modern cultures; royal families, the nobility, popular preachers, and other religious leaders were the celebrities of pre-industrial societies. Also, mythical or literary figures such as Perseus, Roland, and Hamlet played the roles of the celebrity in past cultures. Who decides what is popular and what things are not? Popular culture is soaked up by the masses through television, newspapers, radio, music, and motion pictures. People let these things manipulate how they live their lives from day to day.

From what genre of music they listen to, too the kinds of clothes they wear, pop culture has a lasting effect on the decisions we make. Why are these things so influential? For some reason pop culture will most likely never fade away from history, new influences will always be put in front of the masses. Works Cited October 24, 2011 1. “Icon. ” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. American Heritage Dictionary, 2009. Web. 2009. 2. “Celebrity. ” The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011. Web. 2011.

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