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Popular Culture




Popular Culture

Popular culture refers to thoughts and perspectives that are positioned in the mainstream of a particular society. It is heavily influenced by dominant ideas of the age, which are transmitted through the mass media. Popular culture is an integral part of everyday life in many societies, especially those influenced by the West. Many individuals, especially those with conservative leanings, see it as a superficial representation of society.

The circulation of popular culture has had profound effects in various societies. Most importantly, it has slowly eroded the traditional culture of some societies. Traditional views and perspectives are being replaced by foreign views. This happens through consumption of popular content. For instance, American cultural products are transmitted through music, video and literature. Similarly, American organizations such as restaurant chains have played a role in transmitting popular culture as they expand abroad.

The circulation of popular culture has created a great influence in Asian countries. The circulation of pop culture is most visible in nations such as Japan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam to some extent. Popular culture has been transmitted through television, music and the internet. The J-Pop and K-Pop music in Japan and Korea respectively have played a great influence on East Asian popular culture. Similarly, Korean television dramas have influenced local views. Researchers have found that Korean and Japanese popular culture has promoted a unique sense of ‘Asianness’ in the individuals that have subscribed to it (Iwabuchi & Chua, 2008).

The East Asian popular culture has also influenced other regions around the world. For instance, Korean music has influenced the dance scene through hits such as Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’. Similarly, Korean content has been exported to television networks throughout the world (Iwabuchi & Chua, 2008). The popularity of East Asian content has been observed in different societies around the world. However, its success in changing the flow of globalization may be limited. This is attributable to various barriers. For instance, East Asian nations are characterized by a language barrier with the rest of the world. Their content is, therefore, unable to reach a critical mass of subscribers (Iwabuchi & Chua, 2008).



Iwabuchi, K. & Chua, B. H.(2008). East Asian Pop Culture: Analysing the Korean Wave. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, HKU. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from Project MUSE database.


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