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Outline and explain two different types of culture

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Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, recognized and defined by everything from language, religion, food, clothes and music. Every culture has its own norms and values they follow, and abide by. In this essay I will be exploring popular culture and, sub-culture. Popular culture is associated with shallow activities enjoyed and accesses by the masses, it serves a large role in society as it unites the masses, and creates a sense of identity for individuals as they become a part of a greater society, it provides both happiness for a person and communal bonding. There are many elements that add to Popular culture, Strinati (1995) argues that the media are largely responsible for creating popular culture as we live in such a highly technological world, media is bringing people closer.

Other than the media, Strinati also mentioned consumption as a key factor to popular culture, as famous brands and images of designed goods are spread through television, and mass communication, it becomes a need for people to own certain items so they can feel more valued as a person, and possibly be accepted more in their society or peer group, this in itself creates a popular culture. Sports is one of the main types of popular cultures, sports are played and watched by members of all social classes. Some sporting events, such as the Olympics, are watched by a world community. Sports are pervasive in most societies and they represent a huge part of many people’s lives. Showing support and dedication to a team is a common behaviour, also cheering for a sports team or a favourite athlete is a way any person can become part of popular culture.

Supporting a team or a person allows you to be a part of something that a lot of people feel passionately about and it is such a large society because everyone is accepted into it. Many people see Popular culture as a negative force on society as they believe it may promote violence, and the importance of material items. It is hugely criticised in many ways, a large part because of the effect it has on teenagers, making them believe they have to look or act a certain way because of the ‘norms’ and it gives labels to people who don’t conform it. However, popular culture is also seen as positive as it brings people of all different backgrounds together because of a common ground, and it allows individuals to fit into society. Subculture is a culture enjoyed by a small group within society, a minority part of majority culture.

Unlike Popular culture, Sub-cultures do not follow the mainstream and have their own distinct and unique norms and values, style, and behaviour that often give them a stereotypical image that society views them as. Although sub cultures have a different look and individual beliefs, many still consider themselves as part of the general culture, however some develop in opposition to authority, these mainly being in youth sub culture groups as young people are often associated with criminal or anti-social behaviour. There are thousands of sub-cultures around the world, some are ethnic and racial groups who share the language, food, and ways of their heritage. Other subcultures are brought together by shared experiences. Goth culture is about individuality and is shown by extreme hair and make up and often seen to have a ‘dark’ appearance.

Some subcultures are formed by members who have preferences that differ from the majority of a society’s population. ‘The body modification community’ embraces additions to the human body, such as tattoos, piercings, and certain forms of plastic surgery but even with these distinct features that link them to their own sub culture they still identify with and participate in the larger society. Sub-cultures play a key role in society and are often thought of as a positive thing as they create a more diverse world that allows everyone to have that sense of belonging, as they find people and friends who share the same views and opinions. Although, not every view on Sub-Culture is positive as it could lead to being stereotyped as possibly something you are not, and members from a subculture may become to involved in their beliefs and become against any other groups or individuals who think differently from them.

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