Popular American culture, like all popular culture, involves arts, trends and shared discourse that's available through common media and is accessible to a wide number of people, regardless of any privilege offered by social status, education or other specifics. Popular culture includes, but isn't limited to, movies and television programming, popular music and other entertainment, as well as references like cultural memes, jargon, trends and iconic symbolism.Continue Reading
Popular, or Pop, culture is usually understood as distinct from high culture or avant-garde culture. The latter two commonly imply a level of exposure or learning that grants only certain people access to them, something that's limited as opposed to popular. Popular culture, on the other hand, is that which is readily available and recognizable to the masses. Ashley Crossman at About.com defines it as that "accumulated store of cultural products such as music, art, literature, fashion, dance, film, television and radio that are consumed primarily by non-elite groups such as the working, lower and middle class."
Therefore American popular culture includes everything from reality shows to the latest pulp novel, songs atop the Billboard charts and the movies currently up for Oscar nods. Similarly, it can include slang phrases, celebrity knowledge and references to cult classic films. It can also be public caricatures of politicians or athletes, commercials and cola wars, hot-rods, haircuts, hand gestures and clothing styles. Popular culture is never static and depends greatly on the specific era under study. For example, 1950s popular culture would emphasize greasers, dances like the twist and B-movies about aliens. Alternatively, 1970s popular culture might center on hard rock and disco, the original Star Wars, leisure suits and bell-bottom pants.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions
Gothic culture is an amalgam of aesthetics, fashion, literature, music and media that emphasize the grotesque, the romantic, the mysterious and the desolate. Gothic culture has its origins in the dark and macabre romantic literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. The modern Gothic culture arose out of the post-punk scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s.Full Answer >
Popular culture, or pop culture, describes the beliefs, activities and goods that suit the general public, while countercultures are, by definition, different from or even opposite to the mainstream. Tattoos are one example of a counterculture that is becoming more commercial and common.Full Answer >
As of 2015, there are a number of online study aids to help people learn American English, including 5 Minute English and Voice of America. Both sites offer a number of lessons and video or audio recordings to help users with American English.Full Answer >
American culture is often described by experts as a kind of "melting pot," bringing together diverse ethnic and cultural groups. According to anthropologist Cristina De Rossi, many cultures within the United States, such as Hispanic Catholic groups, retain their own unique heritage while at the same time participating in American culture more generally. However, the mainstream American culture is not singular and varies considerably between the Northeast, South, Midwest, Southeast and West of the country.Full Answer >