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  • Folk and Popular Culture Chapter 4 Objective: Compare and contrast the origin and diffusion of folk and popular cultures
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  • Folk and Popular Culture Woman with Oxcart, Myanmar Insanely Rad Scot, with Kilt and Three-Fin Thruster
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  • The Forbidden City Beijing, China 2004
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  • Where do folk and popular cultures originate and diffuse? Folk Culture traditionally practiced by a small, homogeneous, rural group living in relative isolation. Popular Culture found in a large, heterogeneous society that shares certain habits despite differences in personal characteristics. Polish folk culture Simpsons TV Pop. Culture
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  • Material Culture The physical objects produced by a culture in order to meet its material needs: food, clothing, shelter, arts, and recreation.
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  • Custom frequent repetition of an act until it becomes characteristic of a group of people Habit repetitive act performed by an individual. Taboo a restriction on behavior imposed by social custom
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  • Folk Culture rapidly changing and/or disappearing throughout much of the world. Turkish Camel Market Portuguese Fishing Boat Guatemalan Market
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  • anonymous origins, diffuses slowly through migration. Develops over time. Stable and close knit Usually a rural community Folk Culture Where?
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  • Popular Culture Where? Often product of advances in industrial technology and increased leisure time Originates in more developed countries Diffuses to other MDC as well as less developed countries
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  • Folk Culture - Diffusion Relocation Diffusion Mainly through the movement or migration of the people themselves
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  • Popular Culture Hierarchical diffusion Typically from a hearth or node of innovation Ex: Hollywood, California for the film industry
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  • The Communist Party Loves popular culture
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  • Why is folk culture clustered? Previously uncontacted tribe in Amazon jungle, found in 2011
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  • North American Folk Culture Regions
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  • Tradition controls Resistance to change Clustered distributions: isolation/lack of interaction breed uniqueness Influence of the physical environment can be seen in food and shelter choices Folk Culture
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  • Folk Architecture Buildings erected without architect or blueprint using locally available building materials Effects on Landscape: usually of limited scale and scope.
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  • FOLK ARCHITECTURE Agricultural: fields, terraces, grain storage Dwellings: wood, brick, stone, skins; often uniquely and traditionally arranged
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  • Hog Production and Food Cultures Fig. 4-6: Annual hog production is influenced by religious taboos against pork consumption in Islam and other religions. The highest production is in China, which is largely Buddhist.
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  • Food Taboos: Jews cant eat animals that chew cud, that have cloven feet; cant mix meat and milk, or eat fish lacking fins or scales; Muslims no pork; Hindus no cows (used for oxen during monsoon) Washing Cow in Ganges
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  • Why is popular culture widely distributed? Objective: Explain the process and the extent of the diffusion of different elements of popular culture
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  • Popular Culture Wide Distribution: Variances in pop. culture are more in time than in place. Rapid diffusion requires high level of economic development to acquire the products of pop. culture.
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  • Popular Culture Clothing: Jeans, for example, have become valuable status symbols in many regions including Asia and Russia despite longstanding folk traditions.
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  • Methods of Diffusion Technology makes widespread exposure possible, and quicker TV and Internet are instrumental in spreading items of pop. culture, especially fashion David Beckham
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  • Diffusion of TV, 19541999 Television has diffused widely since the 1950s, but some areas still have low numbers of TVs per population. Much media is still state-controlled. Ten Most Censored Countries: 1.North Korea 2.Myanmar (Burma) 3.Turkmenistan 4.Equatorial Guinea 5.Libya 6.Eritrea 7.Cuba 8.Uzbekistan 9.Syria 10.Belarus Source: The Committee to Protect Journalists.
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  • Internet Connections The Internet is diffusing today, but access varies widely. Some countries censor the Internet, but this is much harder to do.
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  • Food Franchises, cargo planes, superhighways and freezer trucks have eliminated much local variation National advertising reaches large audiences
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  • Housing Only small regional variations, more generally there are trends over time
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  • U.S. House Types by Region Small towns in different regions of the eastern U.S. have different combinations of five main traditional house types.
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  • Why does globalization of popular culture cause problems? Objective: Explain the impact of globalization on folk and popular cultures
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  • Popular Culture Effects on Landscape: creates homogenous, placeless, landscape Complex network of roads and highways Commercial Structures tend towards boxes Dwellings may be aesthetically suggestive of older folk traditions Planned and Gated Communities more and more common
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  • Progress?
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  • Surfing at Disneys Orlando Typhoon Lagoon Are places still tied to local landscapes? Disconnect with landscape: indoor swimming pools? desert surfing?
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  • Swimming Pool, West Edmonton Mall, Canada Dubais Indoor Ski Resort
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  • Muslim Women in Traditional Dress at Indoor Ski Resort
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  • Problems with the Globalization of Culture Often Destroys Folk Culture or preserves traditions as museum pieces or tourism gimmicks. Mexican Mariachis; Polynesian Navigators; Cruise Line Simulations Change in Traditional Roles and Values Satellite Television, Baja California
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  • Western Media Imperialism? U.S., Britain, and Japan dominate worldwide media. Glorified consumerism, violence, sexuality in media U.S. (Networks and CNN) and British (BBC) news media provide/control the dissemination of information worldwide. These networks are unlikely to focus on or provide third world perspective on issues important in the LDCs.
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  • Environmental Problems with Cultural Globalization -Accelerated Resource Use through Accelerated Consumption Furs: minx, lynx, jaguar, kangaroo, whale, sea otters (18 th Century Russians) fed early fashion trends. Consumerism evident in most Western Media fashions, including hip hop and rock and roll. Inefficient over-consumption of Meats, Poultry, even Fish by meat-eating pop cultures Mineral Extraction for Machines, Plastics and Fuel New larger housing desires and associated energy and water use. Golf courses use valuable water and destroy habitat worldwide.
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  • Pollution: waste from fuel generation and discarded products, plastics, marketing and packaging materials
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  • Cattle Feed lots function of corporations needing massive quantities of cheap beef, ex: McDonalds
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  • Beijing, China Palm Springs, CA Using water resources for the green grass of golf courses
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  • Marlboro Man in Egypt
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  • Fiji popular culture has spread to the Pacific Islands
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  • Suburban Sprawl, Arizona
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  • Progress? Urban Sprawl in Tokyo


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