- What is popular culture, and what does it mean to you?
In Common Culture, pop culture is defined as “the shared knowledge and practices of a specific group at a specific time” (Petracca, pp. 4), though it is mentioned that is very hard to define because it constantly changes or causes change. To me, pop culture is the thing that everyone is doing: the styles worn, the TV shows watched, the technology being used. IT is what people want and crave for once they have seen someone else using it. It constantly changes and sometimes repeats itself (bell-bottoms, anyone?), but it can also be the latest and greatest that is available (HD TVs to 3-D TVs to 4K TV’s).
- Why is an understanding of popular culture relevant to you in a business environment and in your present and future career?
Understanding pop culture is relevant to a business environment because it helps to determine what changes need to be made to keep people comfortable and complaint. From an advertising standpoint, it helps us to determine how to portray certain ideas or items (would sex sell a minivan better or a sports car?). An example of pop culture affecting a business environment and forcing changes in order to keep associates comfortable would be the acceptance of tattoos and wild hairstyles. It used to be that you had to keep tattoos covered, piercing out if they were more than just a single set on your ears, and hair must be a natural color and not be offensive in any way. That has changed dramatically in the past couple of years. No you can see business people with half-shaved heads, tattoo sleeves, multiple piercings because it has become a normal part of our society. It’s no longer just deviants and criminals that have these sorts of styles, it has become a form of art to alter your body. My current career has little restrictions of dress code as long as what you are wearing is safe around moving machinery and you are wearing something. But I work for a company that sells clothing, accessories, and beauty products which requires us to know what will be able to sell and adapt our styles to fit with popular culture. Yoga pants and other activewear are fantastic sellers right now, but what if that trend ends? What if flared jeans come back into style again like they did 10 years ago? A couple of our brands that sell clothing will have to adapt to that change and sell more jeans and less activewear or we could lose business, money, and jobs.
- What would you consider to be an example of a pop culture artifact? And why would you choose it?
An example of a current pop culture artifact is the Avengers. The first movie came out in 2012 after the successful releases of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011 and since has released a sequel and many more character-centered movies and is slated for two more Avenger movies to release in 2018 and 2019. These movies have done fantastically well, with The Avengers grossing over $1.5 billion worldwide, and becoming the third-highest-grossing film during its theatrical run. Many Marvel movies have come before The Avengers but none have done quite as well as this one. I chose Avengers as a popular culture artifact because it showcases a lot of things that currently help to sell it. We have action and romance in every movie, stunning visual effects, snarky personalities, heroes rebelling against “the man”, and of course, sexy, skinny, muscly bodies being thrown in our faces. The comic books only appealed to a certain audience (usually young men), but these movies have thrown super heroes into our daily lives by creating something that everyone can enjoy watching. The movies have drawn a larger audience to the comics themselves. People have begun to read these, crave more information about the Marvel Universe, and find characters that they can relate to or enjoy watching/reading. The Avengers movies have found a balance between humor, romance, and action that allows for a larger audience to enjoy it, creating massive appeal for these characters and more for those yet unknown or not created.