Monday, 3 December 2012


SEMINAR FOUR//LECTURE SUMMARIES ON THE FOLLOWING: Popular culture, Cites and Film, Subcultures and style, Celebrity Culture

Popular culture - a lot to do with class system, class is key to understanding, how the ruling class rule the working class through popular culture.  Culture vs popular culture.
1867 - first person to start writing about it
Arnoldism - bourgeois defence of culture against working class threat
Frankfurt school - mass culture, cultural industry, maintains social authority, social  drug depoliticises the working class.

different notions of the city as you could see them through history, space of the city is used differently, city something that was used by people to being something that controls people

The city is modernity
One view, the city is your stage OR the city as this dense, inhuman space of factories and machines that are not conducive to a happy life, a positive life.
Stenberg Brothers

The city is post modernism
Individual acts can redefine the city
space of consumerism, space of performance, a designed space

minority vs majority
neglected by mainstream
gain a sense of identity
subculture language of style
is sub culture redundant ?
'symbolic challenge'
D. Hebdige - incorporation - ideological commodity

19th century - artists/poets as celebrities
20th - Warhol
21st - Anyone can be famous
Clark Gable vs Lady Gaga
Celebrity as product of consumer culture

  • History of celebrity
  • Photography/ film/ television 21st century
  • Victorian era of men and women in the arts - royals, poets, writers of the day. Celebrity photographer Julia Margaret Cameron to Hollywood era e.g. Andy Warhol into
  • Juxtaposition between 'celebrities' of the Victorian era and current times. The line between 'someone from the public' and a 'star' has been blurred through mediums such as reality television and Youtube.
  • Originally in Victorian times, photographers of celebrities used techniques such as sepia toning and soft focus to achieve romantic themes of women
  • Sitters were often acting scenes that had mythological and religious themes
  • Men were photographed in a different way, more of a celebration of what they did rather than how they looked
  • The idea of 'celebrity' changed with the introduction of moving image, where celebrities could be documented and broadcast
  • Modern celebrities emulate and reference celebrities of older times such as Beyonce and Josephine Baker. 
  • Celebrities from the Golden Age of Hollywood were made up of their appearance, the films the acted in, what they did on and off screen, they became an example of everyday people and how to live their lives e.g. Clark Gable used to be in the army - hero off and on screen. Nowadays celebrities change their image from tour to tour, album to album. An example of this is Lady Gaga
  • This started when Hollywood started churning out celebrities according to consumer culture and money which blurred the vision of the character
  • When TV made celebrities go from public to private domain, they became owned by the public which encouraged people start emulating celebrities e.g. following them on twitter, wearing similar clothing, wanting to watch their funerals
  • Warhol's work is a reflection of the dead identity of celebrity culture
  • The cleverness of Warhol is that he made his work as superficial as possible, never boasted and pretended his work was something that it was not. 

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