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POP CULTURE: What is it? How is it relevant to us?

What is Pop Culture?

Anything that gets popular and influences a community immediately qualifies to be part of pop culture. Whether it is a good influence or not, as long as it makes little or big impact because of its popularity, then it’s pop culture.

In our society, what is common is what gets followed, talked about, tweeted, reposted most of the time. This is especially true in shame-honor cultures like the Philippines. Example, a lot of people do this: if they like something or someone but is not preferred by most of their friends in their community (whether it’s their schoolmates or officemates), they would rather keep it to themselves or eventually get convinced to unlike something or someone.

Is that wrong? Not necessarily!

That’s just part of how things are in our society. This is not something new. The reason why we have huge advertising and marketing industries globally is because of it. That’s why marketing and advertising have these common factors: go for what or who is popular, sell or market something popular, or make something popular so people would buy or subscribe to it.

This part of our culture, the usual preference to what is popular, paves the way to either good or bad stuff online, on TV, in the movies, everywhere.
A product or brand has to be “sold” to an audience before it can be entrenched in mass or popular culture; by bombarding society with it, it then finds its place in popular culture.

Britney Spears is a good example of this definition; her road to stardom and place in popular culture were based on marketing strategies to build look along with her fan base. As a result, she generated millions of fans, her songs were played frequently on numerous radio stations, and she went on to sell out concerts and garner the public's fascination through her meltdown. Like the creation of Britney Spears, pop culture almost always depends on mass production for mass consumption because we rely on mass media to get our information and shape our interests. (ThoughtCo, 2017)
Today, pop culture still remains to be a strong force when it comes to shaping culture. People involved in efforts of changing the culture of a particular community, whether a school, office, or nation, are almost like required to know what is pop there to know the following:

*the ways to connect with the members of that community
*which parts have to be redeemed, which parts have to be retained, which parts have to be removed

Conformity is common in a community.
To change a culture in a community, the advocate has to embrace this reality. One can’t directly go against their conformist attitudes. One has to look into the reason for conformity. The stories they have in what they conform with. The elements.

We’ve seen it very obviously in the political campaign for the 2016 election in the Philippines. Where social media anarchy paved the way for the conformity to be the easier route to promote their candidates.

Pop culture is a force that any change-makers can not ignore. So here I am, an advocate for change in society, diving in to pop culture so we can take a journey of seeing its redemption.

This is going to be an exciting ride!


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