Primary Source Archives
Gale Primary Sources contains full-text pop culture journals that provide researchers with firsthand content, including historical documents, printed works, and news articles.
Have fun with the topic of popular culture, which is defined as culture that’s consumed by a majority of a society’s population rather than just an educated elite. Often shortened to “pop culture,” this cultural expression is ubiquitous in American society, dominating the fields of entertainment (including movies, music, television, and video games), sports, news, politics, fashion, technology, and slang. It’s often contrasted with folk culture (the traditions practiced primarily by small, homogenous rural groups) and high culture (culture enjoyed by the elite, such as classical works, theater, and fine arts).
Media and marketing heavily influence popular culture in their use of psychology to create an emotional response to a product or experience and their skill in distributing their message to a wide audience. For that reason, it’s sometimes associated with media culture or commercial culture.
Popular culture is also constantly evolving, as trends, or fads, come and go. Its other elements are enduring, remaining a fixture of American society over decades. For example, professional sports haven’t waned in popularity since their ascendancy in the 20th century. Sports also demonstrate the unifying nature of popular culture, as people bond over their identification with a specific team.
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