• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what ways can the analysis of American popular culture provide us with an understanding of issues and debates at the heart of American identity?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE: CRITICAL ISSUES In what ways can the analysis of American popular culture provide us with an understanding of issues and debates at the heart of American identity? How are these issues played out in American films, television, popular music and other areas of popular culture, and how does America speak to and about itself through its cultural products? America has always led the way forward in terms of technology, which in turn formulates the culture throughout the country. It is evident that America still has an enormous cultural impact on the rest of the world, even in non-English speaking countries. The way in which meaningful issues and debates surrounding the United States are portrayed by cultural products, gives people the chance to understand American identity. The reason why American culture has had such an incredible impact worldwide is purely because of America's fascination with incorporating new technology. Ever since American movies became popular during the early twentieth century, the desire for new ideas was great. However, I believe that the most notorious decade for the introduction of cultural products had to be the 1950's. ...read more.

Middle

Not only was it music that caused such outrage for parents during the 1950's, films were also considered a bad influence. In a film review, Tom Dirks says that the 1950's film, 'Rebel without a Cause is a film that, '...sympathetically views rebellious, American, restless, misunderstood, middle-class youth...the story provides a rich, but stylised look at the world of the mid 1950's from the perspective of the main adolescent character.'3 This is exactly what the film industry tries to achieve every time they get an idea for a film; they want it to be seen as representing something that reflects on an issue in the correct way and this statement says that, 'Rebel without a Cause', does this extremely well. The film replicates quite a lot of characteristics of the teenage view of American culture, as the film shows rebellion from the teens, yet they know when to tolerate the control, which their parents have over them. This also represents certain aspects of society in America today, although in my view there are a lot more entities today that create rebellious youths. Rap music is an example of American popular culture, which greatly influences young people, but it does not necessarily influence them in the correct way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Teenagers of America today are the main targets of cultural products; music and film have always been a hit with a young audience. But it is teenagers who are more likely to be deeply affected by the media industry, which is why we should recognise that the youth of American society will always be the innovators of American identity. What we see as the youth of America today, will be the next generation of people who will make a difference in a few years time to the way the country exists. What the youths consume in today's society from the American media industry is different to what their parents and grandparents consumed in their teenage years. American identity is changing rapidly all the time and this is evident through films, television programmes, music and magazines. American identity is not something that stays the same forever, as with other national identities, they evolve. Of course there will always be certain stigmas attached to America, the things that will never change, but as far as popular culture goes, there is always room for change, hopefully a change for the better. 1 www.prism.troyst.edu 2 www.prism.troyst.edu 3 Tim Dirks, www.filmsite.org 4 Gina Dent, Black Popular Culture, 1998, p.296 Katie Hill Pop 201 Assignment 1 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. American Culture Today.

    remain in good condition and until existing stocks of unused flags are exhausted. It is appropriate for all citizens to do the same. Historic U.S. flags are due the same honor and respect that are given today's colors. When a historic flag is carried or displayed with a present-day flag,

  2. Introduction to American drama.

    In the 1920s, new assembly-line manufacturing methods produced American goods at cheap prices for mass consumption. The American economy was going through a boom time, yet recent immigrants and black Americans, especially in the Southern States, often lived in appalling poverty.

  1. Forrest Gump; the Modern Day Fairytale

    To me Forrest seems, bemused and vexed as to why these people see such a difference in colour to him. He is aware that they are very powerful people and isn't too sure what to make of it. He is quick to defend Jenny when he sees someone raise their

  2. Does Realism as a statist Ideology exist today?

    As mentioned before, states see this as a constant competition, therefore, each state must continuously be thinking ahead and strategically, in order to guard it interests and security. As a result some policies being passed will seem appealing and others not so much or even at all.

  1. American Society today is a rich, powerful and highly populated

    The "old immigrants" felt these "new immigrants" were stealing their jobs and also they didn't like the idea of different cultures. All these factors caused growing hostility towards these "new immigrants." The numbers of these "new immigrants" soared to over 900,000 in 1905.

  2. MEDIA, CULTURE AND SOCIETY

    One view for this, was even though there way of living was poor by our standards, they selected there own leaders, and have the option to revolt against them if they should want to. They have the power themselves to change there own country, and by doing the job for them, makes us a primary target for there attack.

  1. Discuss the subplot to the film "The Three Kings", comment and analyse on the ...

    The fact that they are using two megaphones to convey the requirements, one speaking in English, and the other in the Iraqis native language, is supposed be symbolic of the American so-called democracy. However, this only makes the Americans lack of compassion and respect for other cultures more apparent, as

  2. History of the United States

    The North exploded in rage. Thousands defected from the Whig party to establish a new and much more antisouthern body (and one wholly limited to the northern states), the REPUBLICAN PARTY. The Republicans were aided by an enormous anti-Catholic outburst under way at the same time, aimed at the large wave of Irish Catholic immigration.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work