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Social Trends in Popular American Culture

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Social Trends in Popular American Culture

Popular culture reaches society primarily through mass media outlets. Through movies, magazines and billboard images, the American popular culture sets the standard. Popular culture teaches everyone how to act and what to look like by bombarding society with images of what the standard is. As a result, mass media indirectly teaches society how to act and look. "Popular culture, or pop culture, can be defines as the culture of everyone in a society." (Wilson & Wilson, 2001, p. 4) Of the many trends of the popular American culture, the focus of this paper will be the social trend of our popular culture, and how this trend affects the younger generations of our American society.

Adolescents are bombarded by the media masses with images of beautiful young people wearing trendy clothing or using the latest flashy technology device. From the hairstyles of the top actress and models to the tennis shoes on the feet of the latest hip-hop artist, adolescent teenagers are subject to, and saturated with the latest popular culture trends without thinking twice.

Middle aged adults present with teeth whitening and weight loss options with every click of the mouse and are becoming more familiar with the social networking and dating sites. This group of society is introducing themselves to the age of technology, laptops, and the Worldwide Web, whereas the younger society has grown up with this media outlet from the beginning. Socially, this enables more middle aged adults to experience the popular American culture as never before.

The popular American culture is a magnificent force pulling each of us along for the ride. Socially, our culture changes before our eyes without much difficulty. Some Colleges and Universities are even using narratives from popular culture to teach classes, and find these to be powerful in keeping the interest of the student."Star Trek is the basis of a philosophy course at Georgetown University and the foundation of a religions course at Muhlenberg College."(Pryor, 2008, p. 397) Several other examples of universities using this tool are Rutgers University where "a post WWII history course is taught with the help of James Bond movies." (Pryor, p.397) Capturing the interest of the student and keeping him or her in attention is a given course can be difficult. By instituting a common social trend in popular culture, students identify more easily with the subject.

Popular culture represents every social trend known to our society. Society views the social trend of our American popular culture as having a positive or negative influence on society. Depending upon a person's social outlook on, and involvement in society, he or she will line up on one side or another. What tends to be seen as popular to one may not seem so to another. Media outlets represent the popular culture well by covering



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