Student Newspaper at Michigan Tech University since 1921

Published Weekly on Tuesdays Office Located in Walker 105

Should we seriously study pop culture?

Popular culture is lived culture. It includes the things we use as entertainment, fashion and art. Some people dismiss pop culture as fads or trends that will fade with time. That being said, these “fads” can teach us a lot about communication and culture of different generations.

Pop culture often reflects things that are going on at the time. For example, sci-fi was very popular during the 1960s. The media reflected the real life issues that we were trying to face. Many shows, movies and stories were fascinated with aliens and space travel. During the 1960s, John F. Kennedy pushed for America to beat out the Soviet Union on getting a man to the moon.

Currently, our pop culture is filled with memes. These are important pieces of our culture. Not only does it show our progression of language, but it also shows that average users can be producers. With the internet, language has changed. Abbreviations such as “lol”, “jk” and “smh” are common now. Not only are they sometimes quicker to use, but they also are easy to understand across the world. Most people recognize the most popular short-hand language. Alternatively, people have started to play with structures of words. It’s not an uncommon thing for language to change. We create new words, phrases and abbreviations regularly.

However, with memes and internet culture, language is being changed in ways that wasn’t possible before. Like media has always done, memes mimic current events. There were a lot of memes created during the presidential election. In the future, those memes could be analyzed and interpreted to reveal a lot about what happened. Furthermore, memes also are a way of demonstrating modern humor. Humor is another thing that changes over time. Looking at how memes portray humor versus a sitcom from the 1990s, you can see a lot of differences in the things we laugh at.

Pop culture is an important artifact. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to understand the things that the majority of populations and generations like. Knowing these things gives us a better insight into our history. It’s also important to examine and discover how media, communication, social values and art has progressed over time.

Unlike some believe, pop culture isn’t really this fad that fades away in a few years or so. It is useful for scholars to study in order to understand any given time period. Some things do end up being fads for just a week or so. Some things persevere for years and decades. Regardless, they are important artifacts to study and understand. So why not study pop culture? It’s a good way to learn about different styles of communication, humor and our progression over time. Pop culture reflects what’s important to the masses and what society values.

3 Responses

Leave a Reply