American Pop Culture In 1920s

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American Pop Culture in 1920s

American Pop Culture in 1920s

Popular culture can simultaneously refer as well to a mass media dedicated to spreading propaganda and political repression. In the modern era of industrial capitalism, it is an element in a vast commercial enterprise that both co-opts forms of rebellion and sustains an intellectual, creative class that might also be opposing it (Miller, 1998). When Andy Warhol declared that modern art is “what you can get away with,” he demonstrated the frangibility of the boundaries around art; in much the same way, the products of popular culture now exert similar category pressures, bringing emphasis to the problem of representation in the popular mainstream, of who is being addressed by the products, and who is the populace in popular (Horkheimer, 1979).

The sociology of popular culture separates from the sociology of the mass society at the point where the relationship between high culture and popular culture loses its simple homology with class division and assumes a more complex symbiotic relationship that generates new definitions of taste. The creation of the mass audience from the 1920s, largely through the popularity of Hollywood films, solidified yet another cultural fissure, extending the one created between 1890 and 19200 by the avant-garde of Rimbaud, Joyce, and Picasso (Gedron, 1986). The separation of high, mass, and avant-garde tastes made it clear that cultural messages of any kind cannot be dissociated from the social conditions from which they arise. The popularity of contemporary forms such as the cinema, sitcom TV, and fashion magazines seems to advance the ideological appeals of materialist capitalism. The Frankfurt School, in particular, championed much of the avant-garde as the conscious minority who were resisting the standardization that came with the mass production and consumption of products from the American culture industries (Gans, ...
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