Theories of Popular Culture

Most of the popular culture theories aim to demonstrate the relationship that exists between people. Besides, the theories seek to explain how various groups of people establish specific rules that make them live together peacefully. One of the main theories of popular culture is the mass culture theory of the mainstream culture.

Theories of Popular Culture

According to the theory, most people relate together like chemical compounds. As Samikova (2021) explains, mass culture theory explains that the i8ndutarial techniques of mass production create a culture, and they are marketed to the public consumers for some profit. This paper will examine the mass culture theory and how it affects society.

What Determines Popular Culture

Popular culture can be defined as the set of beliefs, practices, and objects that surround the shared meaning so the social system (Daniel & Musgrave, 2017). People who share the beliefs and practices belong to the same pop culture. Since the people have a lot in common, their beliefs join them, forming a popular culture among them.

Common popular culture practices include media objects, linguistic conventions, leisure, food, slang, greeting rituals, and fashion. According to Daniel and Musgrave (2017), popular culture is determined by the interactions between people in their daily activities. Mass media also determines the popular culture among the people since it greatly influences the community.

There are various sources of popular culture all over the world. However, the most common source of popular culture is the mass media since it is one of the factors that influence the community in a great way. Some aspects of mass media that lead to popular culture include radio, film, television, popular music, the internet, video games, and books (Daniel & Musgrave, 2017).

In addition, another source of popular culture is the professional entities that provide the public with information. This includes the news media since it reports to the public on specific topics, influencing peoples’ beliefs and practices. Individualism is also another primary source of popular culture is individualism. In this case, an individual chooses what to participate in for popularity’s sake (Daniel & Musgrave, 2017).

Others adopt the unique style, becoming a significant belief and practice. Following this, popular culture comes from the people themselves and is also imposed from above by those in positions of power and social control. Popular culture has many sources depending on the influence it has on people.

How commercialization and industrialization influence popular culture.

Industrialization is none of the factors that have significantly affected popular culture. During the industrial era at the end of the eighteenth century, the people in the rural areas highly moved to small urban cities. Besides, the industrial revolution destroyed the communities and their cultures (Schlicke, 2014).

Consequently, life patterns were changed as the people were forced to move to the urban areas to work in various factories. The movement caused urbanization which then affected some of the social orders in the western world (Schlicke, 2014). The people were forced to adapt to various beliefs and practices different from what they were used to when living in rural areas.

The people who lived in some inhabited areas moved to the urban cities; hence they were separated by the socially assorted varieties (Schlicke, 2014). Such people were then co9nsidered to as “collectivity” because they had a special kind of articulation from the natives in the urban areas.

Industrialization also led to advanced commerce in the United States and beyond. Technology advanced, and this led to people embracing it more. As a result, it was easy to engage in various practices that increased their income (Schlicke, 2014). Besides, people from the rural areas moved to the urban cities to find employment in the established factories. Through this, they could get more money, hence advancing commercialization. The business people also became more proficient as they introduced printing machines.

Besides, they organized broad mass communication through penny press, magazines, and leaflets (Schlicke, 2014). The daily newspapers spread all over, and the content became the basis of common talks, behaviors, and beliefs. This enhanced communication and marketing; hence a specific popular culture was developed.

Reducing culture and commodity does not mean that the criteria for marketability take precedence over quality and integrity. Instead, a universal market is formed and what is popular is what people think is more valuable.

Following this, the advertisements made regarding specific commodities highly affect their market. It is crucial to consider marketability since it leads to profitability. If people can relate to specific items with a high quality of art, the business people benefit more. Following this, industrialization and commercialization have continued to affect popular cultures as they keep changing.

How Popular Culture Controls People

Popular culture controls people since it constantly introduces new experiences to them. Besides, popular culture helps bridge the differences among the people and ensures common beliefs help unify the community. Popular culture is used to help people adhere to certain values, ideas, and beliefs (Tuzel & Hobbs, 2017).

Through this, the continued dominance of a particular elite is mainly known to provide these values and beliefs. The elites can do mass appeal, makings it easy to develop a specific popular culture. Pop culture is a burst of creativity and a means through which an elite group dominates and exercises control over society. However, the power helps establish some rules, beliefs, and practices people associate with.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Mass Culture Theory

One of the strengths of the mass culture theory is that it helps unify communities through established practices and beliefs (Tuzel & Hobbs, 2017). In this case, the people can live peacefully together without major differences. Since the theory states that industrialization has transformed society, it is important to ensure that industrialization helps unite people through technology and urbanization.

The major disadvantage is that it is easy for people to lose the norms, practices, and beliefs that join them and help them become one. Besides, the mass theory proposes that the elite group helps set some of the norms and practices that should be followed (Tuzel & Hobbs, 2017). This might bring major differences, especially if the set practices do not align with everyone.


In conclusion, popular culture helps highlight the general practices and beliefs people adhere to. The mass culture theory implies that society changed a lot following industrialization. It is therefore important to embrace some of the changes that have occurred ever since and will continue to occur. Popular culture controls people’s behaviors. However, some of the practices and beliefs introduced by the elite can face rejection by society.


Theories of Popular Culture Assignment Description:

 Instructions Analyze: Theories of Popular Culture Evaluation Title: Theories of Popular Culture For this assignment you will provide a detailed discussion of a theory of pop culture and provide critical discussion of this theory. The purpose of this assignment is to help you hone your critical thinking skills. You will provide exposition and criticism of a theory of pop culture. You may choose either Mass Cultural Theory or Critical Theory.  Your essay should include some discussion of the following questions:  1. What or who determines popular culture? Where does popular culture come from? Does it emerge from the people themselves as an autonomous expression of their interests and modes of experience, or is it imposed from above by those in positions of power as a type of social control?  2. Describe how commercialization and industrialization influences popular culture. Does reducing culture to commodity mean that the criteria of profitability and marketability take precedence over quality, artistry, integrity and intellectual challenge? Or does it result in a universal market where what is popular actually corresponds to what people want and think is valuable? Does marketability and profitability actually produce quality art or does it only benefit business interests?  3. Is popular culture used to control and indoctrinate the people? Is it used to get people to accept and adhere to ideas and values which will ensure the continued dominance of a particular elite and allow them to exercise power over them? Or is popular culture about rebellion and opposition to the prevailing social order? Is pop cultural a spontaneous genuine burst of creativity or is it just a means through which a dominate group exercises control of society?  4. After you provide an accurate account of one of these theories of pop culture, you should then review the strengths and weaknesses of the theory. Can you identify some objections to the theory? You can research objections, but you need to consult reputable sources.  Specifications:   Submit a 1000-1200 word essay addressing the questions above.   In your essay:  Be sure to structure your essay with an introduction paragraph that includes a thesis statement, well-organized supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion that reiterates the main points of your argument.  Your argument should be supported by reputable research cited in APA format both in the body of the paper and in your references section.