Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 82: Popular Culture
JOANNE FINKELSTEIN & BERYL LANGER
Popular culture Popular culture is a malleable concept. It can be thought of as folk culture produced by people as an expression of their values and modes of existence, and it can be the opposite, an ideologically laden product imposed by an elite class in a display of power and social control. Popular culture can be an ordinary part of everyday life as well as a site of intellectual and political struggle. It can be a participatory form within a community (actual or virtual) that engages the most populous mainstream in society, and it can be a mode of entertainment—an almost universal feature of most known societies. Wall painting, body decorating, singing, and gladiatorial sports from the ancient world can all be regarded as forms of popular culture, as can Rembrandt's cottage industry products and Shakespeare's seventeenth-century theater. Items for inclusion in the category of popular culture are now so ...