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John Fiske- Understanding Popular Culture Essay

  • Date Submitted: 10/16/2011 04:59 PM
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1. According to the text by John Fiske the concept of popular culture is defined as the combination between both resistance and containment alone with the consumer’s ability to attach their own meanings, interpretations, and modifications to the text they are consuming. Thus meaning they change or alter the original meaning of the text that is provided by the dominant producer and make it into their own interpretation. Fiske claims “that incorporation robs subordinate groups of any oppositional language they may produce: it deprives them of the means to speak their opposition and thus, ultimately, of their opposition itself” (Fiske 13). Fiske also claims that popular culture does not exist because the dominant producer can be too authoritative which makes the subordinate culture passive and ineffective ultimately turning them into a uniform mass culture when he states, “the forces of domination as to make it appear impossible for a genuine popular culture to exist at all. What replaced it was a mass culture imposed upon a powerless and passive people by a culture industry whose interests were in direct opposition to theirs” (Fiske 17). Fiske also states, in his text, that the subordinate consumer will never be able to escape the dominant producer because even if they resist they are still engaging in the product or text whether they know it or not. Especially when the consumer believes they are resisting the text by changing the original meaning into their own. Furthermore, when Fiske discusses the many meanings that are attached to the product of jeans he maintains the idea that by attaching new meaning to the product the consumer is being subordinate, but not passive. Thus, meaning that popular culture is made by the consumers. He goes further to say that subordinate consumers do solely use the products the way that they are meant to be use and the dominant producers know that. Also, that the consumers are actively participating, resisting, and creating their own...


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