power structures in popular culture (John Fiske, 1980s)

We previously encountered John Fiske within class slides and a glossary entry. Revisit and write down (here) a richer entry.

adapted from your papers

Popular culture is a prime location to observe how those with less power and privilege struggle against those with more. Capitalism plays a key role in popular culture and what is commodified, shaping norms and expectations and further establishing the idea that gender and sexuality are social constructions. Those in power seek to control the culture and the interpretation of its media. Those who are not in power have the ability to interpret and react to the homogenized messages those in power are portraying and create oppositional meanings. Ideas about certain objects (i.e. jeans) change over time and we see their shift in popular culture. As it relates to advertising, Fiske would say it is a shortcoming of the industry to homogenize audiences and rely on environmental or natural stereotypical associations to appeal to the public.