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Popular culture can be seenas a tool for maintaining status quo, discuss this point of view.

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Introduction

Popular culture can be seen as a tool for maintaining status quo, discuss this point of view. By Alexander Slobodenyuk Marxist school of thought argues that society is structured by and is divided into classes with the ruling one being at the top of the hierarchy. No matter which class takes that social power (hegemony) and becomes the bourgeoisie of its time, there is always a need to maintain it, thus controlling the proletariat by any means at hand. In this essay I will discuss how popular culture is used to achieve this goal according to the Marxist point of view. In the modern times culture and classes are mostly confined within individual states, although interchangeable cultural values and process of globalisation might be developing in our society, they are not yet matured enough to challenge the key capitalist ideology. The state in opinion of such Marxist as Louis Althusser is the kind of governmental formation that arises with capitalism; a state (term 'nation' can also be applicable in this case) is determined by the capitalist mode of production and formed to protect its interests. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, arguably it is the tool social elite uses to controls us. Due to the fact that television is often blended into the term popular culture or is defined as significant element of popular culture; I shall base my discussion around its example. According to such theorists as John Fiske and Wiesengrund Adorno mass media promote low cultural concepts (to which all this of popularity are assigned according to elitist point of view) that are meant to keep the members of the lower society classes passive or even narcotized to fuel the capitalist machine. A good example would be a BBC news report that is considered to be trustworthy source of information. Every day before report goes on air its content is carefully edited to fit in with the current government agendas and social norms. Even though issues raised may concern a variety of professional debates within the society, they are simplified and implemented in the standardized language to be easily understood, hence dummed down to the level of the lowest common denominator that is proletariat. ...read more.

Conclusion

Take reality TV shows and property market. Do we really need to know that some of our fellow humans can't sing? Or do we need to keep buying and selling properties until we have large mortgages, high levels of stress and no real power? Yet most of the people master the art of making do that is popular culture values. Finally French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu divided capital into cultural and financial parts. He reasoned that similar to variable access to money and thus power by different classes and social groups, there is a variable possession of cultural and symbolic power. Hence by embracing popular culture we lower our cultural capital that affects our status and meaning within the modern society. Marxist view of the society is quite dated now, yet it still provides alarmingly appropriate to modern day life ideas. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that in its extreme and pure form Marxist view can only lead to wild conspiracy theories and delusional arguments. In my opinion Marxism should be used in conjunction and contrast with its rival theories in order to reach realistic conclusions. ...read more.

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