How do Critics Explore Technology and Diversity?
Technology continues to integrate and impact significant parts of the society in a significant way, and that seems to be the turning point in which the media also use the various forums to make these changes realistic. Through technology, popular cultures seem to have manifested themselves more in the society and that influence in brought about by different avenues which have been created by innovators. Some of the advancements that have come to give a boost to technology are the advancement of the internet to be based on different modules which have evolved from local area networks to worldwide sensations.
In this regard, it means that the traditional forms of media that people used to send and receive entertainment have also broadened and individuals can get more value for their money. The realization of this value for money comes from subscriptions which have been brought by media and entertainment industries which want to be part and parcel of the new technological advancements. Rather than following the traditional forms of getting entertainment on a weekly or a monthly basis people can follow their favorite television series and programs, sports, celebrity, fashion and music channels, and national geographic shows on a variety of venues. Therefore indicating that technology has impacted cult television following would be an understatement because everything in the homes and offices that are related to work or entertainment is technologically connected.
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To ensure that people continue to be influenced by technology in every aspect of their lives, social media was invented so that people can network and be connected to various social networks. In doing this, it means that entertainment and mass enlightenment in the cultural industry has shifted the gears again to a capitalistic approach that is supposed to ensure the masses needs are satisfied. While many societal roles that are depicted in all those entertainment and popular cultures seem to be premediated by the producers the primary concern is the portrayal of women as sex symbols so that they can attract the male audience. While that concept was supposed to be used when Hollywood was coming up in after the Second World War, the objectification of the women continues across different genres of the media and in advertising. However, the influence that is brought by technology and the diversity that comes with it is shaped from a young age when a child begins to understand what a television is, the type of music that is played on the radio to understanding the content of the comics which have evolved to video games currently.
These new modes of technology, art, and social diversity are created and shaped by the environments that people are brought up in.According to David Riesman, the shaping of popular culture is a myriad of various environmental issues which have been created from one generation to the other, and its definition cannot be pinned down to a particular phenomenon. Therefore the study of popular culture like movies, fiction, popular music, and radio can be broadly defined according to the trends and influences each invokes in its subscribers. Due to those factors, the changes that each one of them has developed through the years have been massive, and they continue to evolve depending on the demands of each generation.
While radio was an in thing after the industrialization era of the 19th century the same cannot be said currently as people have shifted their focus presently to audiovisual forms of communication (Riesman, p.359). These audiovisual forms of communication involve listening as well as seeing and in some cases reading the contents which a person hears through their radio. In this scenario, it means that the new forms of radio that have been created by the manufacturers have been made with the aim of pleasing the customers and endearing their products to the current generation.Social science that is used to determine and show people how popular culture influences their daily lives is based on a scientific approach which is directed to dismay and dislike to pseudo liking and acceptance of different forms of entertainment and media. These influences from popular culture can be associated with people directly because they are part and parcel of their lives and environment. According to Riesman these forms of the media and popular culture create background colors, verbal imagery, and noise which they can associate with, and therefore they make people have a choice of the particular brands which they like (Riesman, p.363).
Communication and advertising agencies are usually on the forefront of ensuring that peoples preferences are shaped and directed on a particular trend. In doing this, it means that people will continue to base their inclinations on the technology and popular fashions which have a massive penetration on all the technological platforms that have been invented. Currently, the battlefront that is pushed by the popular brands is based on the influencers and trendsetters who says what to whom and the effect that message has on the receivers. This is the same impact that is applied in the production of music, and it defines the genre that different age groups listen and buy depending on the artists or groups which have made that music. While listening to popular music the criticism that most people direct to the artists who have produced it is what ensures if the music will be a hit or if it will turn out to be a miss to the target audience. Popular music most of the time in the American culture is recognized by the artist that plays for specific bands or if they operate as independent artists who have made their name across various technologies and media platforms.
The audiences on which the music is made also determines if the music will be successful in the market and in order to make it a hit trials and easy plays are made in local media. The tools that are used in marketing and advertising this content also need to consider the target audience who the music was intended so that they can know how they can reach them. Through various genres of the popular music a brand and a loyalty following is created which is then used by the agencies to direct and influence the inclinations of their followers. In doing this, the popular music acts as a buffer zone between the content that the market and advertisers want to push to the consumers and in return, they shape how they will interact with various age groups (Riesman, p.369). Most of the music that is played on the radio distinguishes class, race and age groups as are other popular trends that affect a majority of the masses.Culture industry was a term that was used to describe the popular entertainment and an upcoming phenomenon which was brought up by capitalists so that they would control the masses with power and money. Initially, the people behind the concept of creating an entertainment culture began with the notion of naming it the mass culture. However, the name elicited a lot of negative reviews because they wanted it to sound like people would be getting a variation of different aspects that would enable them to learn about various happenings in the world.
However, as time continues to go, it is worthy to note that all the popular culture industries control how people interact amongst themselves and the type of trends and fashions which they undertake (Horkheimer & Adorno, 75). Adorno and Horkheimer bring to the fore how various forms of political influences have shaped the culture industry in the form of capitalism approach that is used to make money and assert influence in various sectors of the society. The reigning order that is brought by money and power is the one that is used by the entertainment industry to control the masses who are still enchanted by the thrills of the entertainment. Culture industry has distorted the reality which people used to live with, and in turn, they have created a belief that all is well as long as there is a particular narrative which is sold by the popular culture.Wrongs and deceptions of the ruling order are masked through the entertainment that is peddled by the popular media under which the masses have eradicated autonomous thinking and criticism which is needed to ensure that society is just.
Therefore when people lose their sense of purpose and follow popular entertainment ventures which seem like they are offering them relief from the burdens of life, then society seems like they have lost the moral compass of taming the authorities (Horkheimer & Adorno, 88). While amusement seems to have kept the masses busy through the various forms of entertainment, the capitalists benefit from their misery under which they plunge them deeper into consumerism. All the products and services that are offered to the masses are therefore a form of indirect control so that they can continue following an illusion based on their lives. Adorno and Horkheimer assert that the popular culture industry has shaped human beings as objects that can be manipulated as long as there is a form of order that is directed by the elites. Culture industry enforces conformity to the masses by producing the same content as they do to the consumer products under the capitalism tag because people want and they prefer content that they relate to (Horkheimer & Adorno, p.100).
In doing this total control of what people think is achieved through a manipulated popular culture and in turn, no enlightenment is achieved as the innovators earlier envisioned it.Most of the films that are made in Hollywood are shaped by the happenings in the society and are influenced by a subconscious appeal to the masses on how they should partake those movies that have been produced. Through visual pleasure, a psychoanalytic approach is used so that people can continue going to the movies and cinemas so that they can catch up to their favorite actors and actresses (Mulvey, p.15). Through these ideas that are input on the masses, the films are able to create a sense of connection between the realities that people live with every day and the fiction aspect that is found in the movies. Social patterns that preexist in Hollywood have therefore created a fascination with the subject that is found in the films. However one of the most sellable approaches that the films have is sexualizing the females to capture the male audience whom at first seemed disinterested in films and all that was happening. Mulvey notes that there are ways in which the male psychology is tuned to believe and associate itself with the features of the film through different mental mechanisms.
In this contest, the author means that the objectification of the images that are shown in the films evoke a sense of connection to the sex appeal in the women and the second is achieved through a form of identification (Mulvey, p.24). Through the first form of pleasure that is derived from the film is the ability of the person to connect with the characters gaze through the film and the second is about fulfilling the ego that is found in all human beings. By doing this, Hollywood ensures that it has kept their audiences captivated and reliant on the films that they produce because they fulfill their visual pleasure.Cult following in the films and other forms of art is not a new concept because in all the works that have been created there is always a group of individuals who dedicate their time and resources to follow musical artists, books, films, and television series. The insatiable urge to know what their favorite group or subject of admiration is engaged in is what keeps the popular culture alive (Hills, p.509). In doing, this cult following and the fan base are given more spectacles that ensure they continue to use their resources for the growth of the media industry which is one of the most lucrative ventures in the world. Overzealous fans are unable to differentiate between the reality of the lives that they live and the fictional part that is represented in the films. Due to these factors, the popular culture is seen to have entrenched in the lives of the people with more influence that it was earlier intended to achieve. However as it is stated in many psychological articles, people need to feed their minds in what they believe in, or they will result in a complete disillusionment and a total collapse of their existence.
The cult following offers to counter the myth that the purview of relating to television was a teenage hood affair as it has also spread to the older generation. Cult following in TV continues to evolve depending on the generational changes and the technology that is used to produce the films, books, music, movies and the television series (Hills, p.518). Television series are being produced for the general family viewing irrespective of the content that they are showing especially when it comes to cartoons and animations which have been created with better content than the earlier versions which were present in the 90s. This means that people are getting more and more attached to popular culture unknowingly and the influence it has on their lives is immense, and its end is nowhere in sight as more film, television series and books are still being produced to feed the masses on the believes which they associate with the media.
- Hills, Matt. “Defining cult TV: Texts, inter-texts and fan audiences.” The television studiesreader (2004): 509-523.
- Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. “The culture industry: Enlightenment as massdeception.” Media and cultural studies: Keyworks (2001): 71-101.
- Mulvey, Laura. “Visual pleasure and narrative cinema.” Visual and other pleasures. PalgraveMacmillan UK, 1989. 14-26.
- Riesman, David. “Listening to popular music.” American Quarterly 2.4 (1950): 359-371.