Popular culture

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'popular culture'. "What's current creates currency," Marshal McLuhan once said. This mantra holds true for many types of texts, such as reality TV, pop music and music videos. By studying a broad range of 'popular' texts, we are, in a sense, taking the pulse of a culture. What kinds of values are prevalent in MTV videos? How do entertaining, popular films portray social groups in a certain light?

Rather than turning our nose up at popular texts and labeling them as 'non-literary' or 'drivel', it is interesting to examine them carefully, like an archeologist would examine an ancient artifact. This section examines popular texts as reflections of cultural values. We relate each lesson back to the learning outcomes for Part 2.

Guiding questions

  1. Do popular texts, such as Hollywood movies and MTV music videos, dictate what we believe? Or do they reflect our beliefs and cultural values?

  2. What makes a text 'popular'? Can 'pop' art be 'real' art? 

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