Comparison of different aspects of Pop Culture
Popular culture refers to all activities that a group of people engage in. Some of the significant areas of this culture include music, television, film and sport. Each country and region has its distinct pop culture that is associated with it and it is through this platform that citizens associated with one another as well as with people from the rest of the world. This aspect of culture, has evolved from age to age bringing in new concepts that were not previously permissible (Leavy and Trier-Bieniek). This paper is geared at comparing the two phase of pop culture the old that is in the 60s, 70s and 80s and new emerging trends of the 90s going forward.
Fashion has everything to do with pop culture. In the early years of pop culture the fashion sense was more of unified dressing and conformity to a certain mode of dressing. This applied to women’s clothing, men’s clothing, their accessories as well as their hair. Common attire back then included mini-skirts, long-skirts, go-go boots, bell bottom jeans, peasant dresses. The hair style was also unique with men growing out their hair which also applied to women who had long hair that was trendy.
Their clothes were brightly coloured and flashy including accessories such polka dots and rhinestones. These added taste to their dressing and they were used to express their freedom as well as individuality. Consequently, this was a mode of dressing that most people used to conform to back then. In the same light, actors in films, television and movies had an impact on the fashion scene.
This fashion sense of the 60s-80s has a significant difference to that of the 90s to date. This is because beyond the 90s there was a change in the fashion scene that was occasioned by the introduction of fashion models who became the new idols of the fashion scene. As a result of this, most of the fashion dressing used to imitate their mode of dressing. Furthermore, the fashion industry used these fashion idols to popularise their products. In the same light, the mode of dressing became less conservative as compared to the former and now people were willing to show more skin. This mode of dressing became acceptable and is a common thing to date. Newer and more modern accessories have also been introduced such as bracelets, butterfly hairclips and neck collars. In this era people are more into their individual feelings and freedoms rather than social acceptance.
Music is an important factor of any culture. In the 60s, 70s and 80s, the music was centred on pop music, rock and roll. The popular artists were the likes of Benny Goodman, Tony Martin, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, The Beatles and Rolling Stones. The music was all about entertainment without having any view on people’s opinion. There was black celebrity discrimination and as a result of this, there weren’t many black artists in the music scene. In the same light, there was music about certain subjects such as protests in Vietnam, songs in support of the use of drugs. This would lead the artists to have an influence on their audience since the audience could relate with the values as well as the opinions of these artists.
In the 90s on the other hand, the music scene has evolved with the introduction of more genres of music such as country, hip-hop, R&B, rap, dubstep and pop. With emerging new artists such as Britney Spears. Country that was introduced before but has become more popular with new artists such as Tim McGraw and Shania Twain. Rock and Roll was also popularised by artists such as Jon Bon Jovi. The music now has an influence on the audience and the new forms of music were as a result of urban dissatisfaction as well as unrests. Racial discrimination declined and this has seen the emergence of new and upcoming black artists who are well accepted and popular. Popular themes of song in the pop culture nowadays revolves around sex, gangs, drugs and wealth.
In the 60s and 70s young people were vibrant especially against social ills such as the Vietnam War and racism (Secomb). This led to the rise of revolutionaries such as Martin Luther King Jr. who fought for the rights of individuals and more so the civil rights. In the same light, individuals were against a government that was lying to them, misled them or put in place certain principles that they did not conform to or they felt wasn’t right. This saw the rise of the fight for rights of the black and feminist movement advocating for the introduction of birth control pills. Certain social attitudes were also care free for instance issues to do with sex were less strict since there weren’t cases of viral diseases such as HIV and Aids (Allison).
People in the 90s going on wards on the other hand, are less enthusiastic about social issues and their support for issues is on the basis of the popularity and their political correctness. Consequently, people are more driven towards obtaining power, wealth and prestige. These individuals are less vibrant in the fight for civil rights against government but are more towards the fight for social rights such as lesbian and gay rights. The social attitude towards sex has also changed with these individuals who come out to fight for safe sexual practices.
Technology is an important factor pop culture that needs to be analysed. In the 60,70s and 80s was more about integrated circuits and transistors. This saw a growth in a range of products from televisions to calculators. Television were used as a form of communication through news and for entertainment purposes. Later, there was the introduction of video games that kept children as well as adults entertained. Calculators were used to carry out computations that enabled individuals tackle mathematical problems and carry out computations effectively in business and academic circles. Later computers were introduced which a strong bearing on business, academics and social life. For instance people could now use computers to type documents which were more presentable than written as well as the backup of information on computers.
In the 90s there has been significant change in the technology sphere with the introduction of internet. Consequently, the internet plays a significant part of people’s culture. The internet has evolved how business is carried out and how individuals interact. This has enabled real time communication, advancement in academic frontiers since information can be shared and accessed via the internet and businesses on the other side, have a wider scope of doing business for instance via the online platform they can advertise business and promote their business to a larger audience. Another important aspect has been the growth of social media with sites such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Myspace being popular (Price). As a result of this, individuals can communicate, share photographs and network.
The comparison in pop culture between the two eras depicts various differences in sex, fashion, drugs, music, social relationships and fashion. With each aspect of society having certain aspects that influence them. Consequently, culture change has a relationship to the changes that society experiences.
Allison, Sidney. “Changes in Pop Culture since 1946 to Present.” Prezi.com, 21 Mar. 2014, prezi.com/rc6bpkz_1jqy/changes-in-pop-culture-since-1946-to-present/?webgl=0.
Leavy, Patricia, and Adrienne Trier-Bieniek. “Introduction to Gender & Pop Culture.” Gender & Pop Culture, 2014, pp. 1-25.
Price, Valerie B. “From Pop Culture to Global Culture: How Millennials and Technology Are Influencing Our World.” HuffPost, 9 Dec. 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-bersetprice/from-pop-culture-to-globa_b_8765928.html.
Secomb, Linnell. Philosophy and Love: From Plato to Popular Culture. Edinburgh UP, 2007.