Popular American Culture
Culture refers to the customs of a particular group of people. This means that though culture may be common at a particular time, not everyone can embrace it. Culture can also refer to the appreciation and understanding of literature, music and other forms of art. Popular American culture refers to the modern lifestyles and highly accepted patterns of culture. Popular culture is often expressed through music, movies, fashion, television, advertisements, cyberspace language and comics. Sports are also influential with many people being attracted to sports stars and they regard them as their heroes. As seen, pop culture is heavily influenced by the media. People consume popular culture through various ways. This includes the way they dress and talk.
Television is a popular trend and many people follow various television programs religiously. Many television programs are directed towards the young people. They have heavily influenced the lives of young people in terms of dressing, language, behavior and lifestyle. Sometimes the programs shown are educational but most of the times television shows are for entertainment. I am not a big fun of television but I occasionally indulge. I like watching the medical drama house because it is full of suspense and this makes it interesting. The doctors deal with strange medical cases that do not have an immediate solution. They try to come up with possible solutions throughout the program. It is sometimes tricky but they manage to find the solutions by the end of the show. The show also shows the personal lives of the doctors though it does not dwell so much on that.
Dressing is another trend of popular culture. Many young people try to emulate their idols in the way they dress. They will often copy the dressing styles of someone they saw on television, the movies or a popular music artist. Much as this is common among my friends, I have not yet embraced popular dressing. Clothing is a means of non-verbal communication and it tells a lot about the wearer. It can tell a person’s age, gender, personality and career. People’s choices in clothes are also influenced by religion, superstition and rebellion (Gordon, n. d). I prefer to dress professionally to reflect my chosen career field. Clothes tell a lot about a person and dressing professionally shows that I take life seriously and I am a bit conservative. Religion is also a popular trend in America.
Just as people have different tastes in music and the type of films and television shows they watch, they also have different tastes in religion. Some people prefer the traditional forms of religion such as Christianity and Islam while others have embraced new forms of religion. I was brought up a Christian and I have not seen the need to change my religion. I make sure that I attend church regularly. My church is bilingual since I live in California, a region where most of the people are Hispanic.
Popular American culture does affect decision making especially among the young. It tells them what they should wear since it determines what is fashionable for the season, and what has already passed. It also determines the career paths that people want to take. Many people are swayed by the lifestyles that the celebrities lead and they desire to have that kind of lifestyle. This can be detrimental not to the person’s life and to the country’s economy as well. Many people end up forsaking their dreams and inspirations to pursue another profession that they consider popular and more fun. When people only choose only those careers that are related to the entertainment world, they forsake other disciplines and this is not good for the economy since other sectors suffer. Popular culture is constantly changing and it would not be wise to follow all the styles that come about because of it. One should instead appreciate it when it is present but still keep being true to what he believes.
Gordon, P. (n. d). Popular Culture and Clothing Choices. Retrieved from http://www.chatham.edu/pti/curriculum/units/2002/Gordon.pdf
Petracca, M., & Sorapure, M. (2007). Common culture: Reading and writing about American popular culture. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall