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Table of Contents

What is Social Interaction Theory? Elaborate on the ideas of George Herbert Mead on symbolic interaction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUukBV82P9A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UYa8EMTqRM

________
-We give meaning to things based on our social interactions
Maggi is food to me. Maggi is Life to me
“Maggi is death for my Wasted Son” my Mom. 
-In this Scenario, My Mom has a set of superior or dominant knowledge, and also research which makes her think that the food article Maggi is made from material which will destroy her child. It is because these things were not available in the peer/social group she has grown up with.
-As opposed to that, I have my friends, who like Maggi, we make Jokes on Maggi. I feel it is tastier and easy to make and many more things.
-However, once in a Blue Moon. A Maggi Packet Might be Stale, I might have some sort of sickness, some evil creature may put something in my Maggi. Resulting into me disliking the Maggi. Now this will keep up for a certain amount of time. My mother might even think that she was right, and she will also feel proud but the reason might be something else.
-The Meaning I gave to Maggi, Life. Did not prevail for a long amount of time.
[in reality I have had 8 Packets of Maggi because my friends made me make it, and they …. Nevermind xD]
-Even if I eat more than 3 Packets of Maggi. I might give a different meaning to it for a short period of time.
So the theory states that, we give meanings to thing, which might be different for others, and which may/may not prevail for a longer time.

________

Social Interaction Theory is simply the process by which people act and react in relation to others. Whenever people converse, or yell, or fight, or play sports, that’s social interaction. And any place you find social interaction, you’re going to find social structure. Social structure consists of the relationships among people and groups. And this structure gives direction to, and sets limits on, our behavior. Because our relationships establish certain expectations of everyone involved, depending on the social setting.

This is really obvious in a classroom: The teacher teaches and the students learn, because that’s the expectation for that relationship, in that setting. But if you run into a teacher, say, at the mall, you both behave differently – and probably awkwardly, because the expectations for your interaction in that social setting have changed. Now, this still doesn’t tell us why these relationships work the way they do. But it does tell us where to look. If our interactions are a matter of expectations, then we need to understand how those expectations are set, and for that we need to talk about social status.

Status is a position that a person occupies in a society or social group. It’s part of their identity, and it defines their relationships with other people. So, the status of “teacher” defines how a teacher should relate to their students. But statuses aren’t just professions: gender, race, and sexual orientation are all social statuses, as are being a father, or a child, or a citizen. And all the statuses held by a single person make up that person’s status set. That status set can tell us a lot about a person, because statuses exist in a hierarchy, with some statuses being more valued than others. So if I tell you that someone is a white middle aged male CEO, then you can make some pretty reasonable guesses about his education, wealth, and the power he holds in society.

And you’ve probably noticed that there are different kinds of statuses; for example “white,” “middle-aged,” and “male” are pretty different from the status of “CEO.”

Symbolic Interaction was one of the first social theories to address that we use culture to learn. G.H, Mead, a philosopher and social activist, provided a suitable way of understanding social life.

Social/Symbolic Interaction theory is a major Sociological Perspective that is still heavily applicable, acceptable and even practised in most societies, no matter what is their cultural or social upbringing. It is one of its kind of social psychology.

It deals with the subjective meaning of human behaviour and the social process. Each of us learn to successfully play many different social through interaction with others. Our actions are being conditioned by others while simultaneously we are also affecting their actions.

The goal is not to manipulate or dominate each other but rather to create and sustain a productive social unit- a group which provides its members with certain rewards as return for their willingness to take on specific roles.

Interactionists study social interactions through Human Behaviour and Observation. Human Beings tend to  act towards certain things which provide them with specific meaning, some things which will mean something to them. And in some cases, only to them, or their particular group

We learn social roles through interaction and through experiences in daily life situations. Over time, we internalize the rules inherent in the situations and accordingly structure our actions. Once, internalized or adopted, these roles provide us powerful means of optimally controlling our actions. In due course of time, our identity becomes bound up with them- we then feel good about ourselves because we play certain roles which are respected by others.

Mead offered another important insight into the socialization process. Unlike animals that are conditioned to respond to certain stimuli in predetermined ways, human socialization permits more or less conscious interpretation of stimuli and also allows planned responses. This happens because of symbols.

Symbols are arbitrary, often quite abstract representations of unseen phenomenon. Use of these symbols transforms the socialization process. Mead argues that we use symbols to create our experience of consciousness (mind), our understanding of ourselves (self) and our knowledge of the larger social order (society).

Our actions in response to symbols are mediated or controlled largely by those same symbols. Therefore, a person’s understanding of and relation to his or her physical or objective reality is moderated by the symbolic environment – the mind, self and society that we have internalized. The message that we give to the symbol defines both; us and the realities that we experience. As we get socialized, culturally agreed upon messages assume control over our interaction with our environment.

Symbols are the basis of social life. First, without symbols our social relation would be limited, for we would have dependable mechanism for perceiving others in term of relationships. These symbols define for us what such relationships entail. Second, without symbols, we would not be able to coordinate our actions with others; we would be unable to make collective plans for a future date, time and a place. Symbols make social life possible. Third, even the self is a symbol, for it consists of the ideas that we have about who we are. It is a changing symbol, for as we interact with others, we constantly adjust our views of the self based upon how we interpret the reactions of others.

Each symbol holds a different meaning for each individual depending on upbringing and position in society.


Explain Functionalism with reference to culture studies.

So it says that,

Society is made up of two bois

Institutions and Social Facts

Institutions – People who make Maggi, People who pass laws about maggi, people who sell Maggi, People who advertise Maggi, People who endorse Maggi

Basically, law, mass media, health institutions, etc.

Social Facts like ways of thinking or behaving, will exist when a person lives or he dies.

It always exists, but we do not tend to notice it. Like the Law, it will exist, but won’t really affect us, unless and until we break it.

Religious Fath, Birth/Death Rate, Suicide, etc.

Now the Individuals in Social Facts, work together. Institutions work to safeguard the Social Facts and it’s Individuals, and together they maintain the Order.

Essentially, Functionalism is more of a Sociological Term. It explains that Social Institutions Collectively take measures towards fulfilling Biological needs of any/other Individual.

According to functionalism, society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole. It is an approach to understand, society is made various units smalls unit can be considered as family.

Functionalism is the view that society consists of institutions which serve the important purposes for people. Rather than focusing on the origins and evolution of the society, the functionalists explored the relationships among different institutions and how these institutions functioned to serve the society and/or individuals.

There are two divisions in functionalism-

 

 

  • Psychological Functionalism – Malinowski’s Functionalism focused on how society functions to serve an individual’s needs or interests.

 

  • Structural Functionalism – Radcliffe Brown majorly stressed on the structure of the society, the way it was reflected in different institutions which function to perpetuate the survival of society. For him, a society’s economic, political, religious and social institutions serve to integrate the society as a whole.

 

 

Both, Malinowski and Brown worked independently in 1922, and brought out this initial field monograph, defining a functional approach to the study of culture.

Malinowski said that every culture is a working whole, an integrated unity in which every element has a functional contribution to make. The function of an institution i.e., an organized system of activity, is the part it plays within the interrelated whole in fulfilling the human purposes or needs. In developing this need concept, he tried several schemes, but usually distinguished three types or levels of needs, which had to be met by all cultures and hence they were termed universal.

Primary or biological needs- Procreation, nutrition, defense and protection.

Derived or instrumental needs- Economical organization, law and education.

Integrative or synthetic needs- Knowledge, magic and religion, art and play.

Malinowski emphasized that Cultures form Working Codes. He worked out a theory of human needs in relation to institution. He maintained that there are certain basic Psycho – Biological needs and every society has to evolve institutions to fulfill them.


Thus, behind each institution, there is a basic psychological and biological need.
Example, the institution of marriage exists in every society to fulfill the psycho-biological needs of sexuality.

Malinowski tried to apply the functionalism theory to the study of primitive people. In a sense, the functional theory when applied to people and culture, mentions that an anthropologist should never rely on the information provided by others. He must collect it himself on the field. Only then can he be fully certain about their customs and beliefs. The institutions and the cultural traits of the primitive people should not be seen in isolation as they form an integral part of the larger systems- institution and society.

He applied this approach to the institution of primitive people like magic, superstitions and beliefs. He tried to explain the functions of magic in the primitive society. On the face of it, we would dismiss magic as an irrational superstition. But according to Malinowski, we must find out the psychological and social function that magic performs.

Social function of magic is that primitive people engage in magic collectively and this participation reinforces their social and group solidarity and cohesiveness of groups.

Psychologically, magic relieves pent up anxiety, uncertainty and tension.


Discuss the theory of Diffusionism with special reference to the media.

La Di Da.. F.R.I.E.N.D.S was a Western Series, Yoga was purely Indian, We get Schezuan Sauce in India, but still there was a Rick and Morty Rampage,Sanskrit is Purely Indian, however most of Europe knows it.
The Idea/Concept of travel of Thoughts/Ideas/Concepts/ and to be more precise, Culture,  from One Culture to another Culture, is known as Diffusionism
Diffusionism functions inwards. All cultures look different externally but on the inside they share some major traits. This nature of borrowing and adapting to newer things is diffusionism.
You can think of many examples, maybe even the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. However these are very new, it has been going on since a long time. The Idea of Sun Worship, the Concept of having an Idol for worship, the wildspread use of Fire [pun haha],

Alfred Louis Kroeber was an American cultural anthropologist. His greatest contribution to the study of anthropology is the discovery of connections between archaelogy and culture. The theory of Diffusionism that originated in the mid nineteenth century tries to understand culture through the origin of culture traits and their spread from one society to another.

Diffusionism simply means the distribution of a culture and its components from its place of origin to other places. According to Robert Winthrop, Diffusion is the process by which discrete Culture traits are transferred from one society to another, through migration, trade, war. or other contact.

Diffusionism is an approach which views the transformation of culture change and evolution of society. It is another school of thought which uses the comparative method to explain why different societies are at different levels in terms of their development.

Diffusionism developed in the early part of the 20th century. It maintains that societal change takes place when societies borrow cultural traits from one another. It is from one society to another that cultural knowledge relating to technology, religion, economy and art get diffused. This theory focuses on the process whereby material traits, values, ideas, institutions, cultural patterns spread from one centre of civilization to the other.

It is a process of change whereby two cultures meet at a given point in time and interact with one another, as a result of which elements and traits are borrowed and these get diffused. In the history of diffusion, there have been two broad approaches:

The diffused cultural material contains specific elements by which diffusion can be recognized. Diffusion in some cases is piecemeal, where only fragments of a larger system reach or are accepted by the affected culture. In such a situation, these fragments may be put into a new context in the culture entered into. These bits may diffuse more widely than the culture complexes of which they form a partial part. Kroeber put forward the concept of “idea transmission” or “stimulus transmission”. “Idea transmission” is a mechanism of diffusion which is different from diffusion of specific culture content or form.

Both Mass Media and Interpersonal communication channels can be involved in the difusion process within a social system


Explain Stuart Hall’s idea of the Circuit of culture with special reference to the case study of Sony Walkman.

Circuit of Culture is the use of that Representations and stuff, to find out what kind of effect media has on audience. Gosh. Its so complicated.

University of Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in 1963-64 was founded by Hoggart and Stuart Hall. They developed a variety of critical approaches for analysis, interpretation and criticism of cultural artefacts. They focused on the interplay of representations and ideologies of class, gender, race, ethnicity and nationality in cultural texts, including media culture.

  • They were among the first to study the effects of newspapers, radio, television, films and other popular cultural forms on audiences. Focus was also on how various audiences interpreted and used Media Culture in different ways and contexts.

Hall suggested that Political Economy in some ways structured Encoding and Decoding of media objects. Media Culture is produced within an industrial organization of production. Here, products are generated according to codes and models accepted within cultural industries. In this, he proposed a model of Media Reception. According to Hall, certain Cultural Codes are so widely Circulated and Integrated into the mainstream culture that they can be seen as “Naturalized”. These codes are most likely to be received in ways which closely resemble the meanings put forward by the encoder. He says that majority of the people decode cultural meaning by producing negotiated reading which are a product of their own experiences and local culture.

Stuart Hall has analyzed in his article “Encoding/Decoding” culture as a continuous circuit.

It encompasses Production-Distribution-Production.

He says that we need to

  • Analyze how Media Audiences produce Messages,
  • How they circulate the messages and
  • How audiences use or decode the messages to create meaning.

He analyzed the product and institution of corporate culture with the study of Sony Walkman. Here, the culture is a description of a particular way of life. It expresses certain meanings and values. There is a continuous process of cultural encoding and distribution. The way culture is produced, circulated and decoded by the audiences is controlled by advertising, marketing and design through circuit of culture, we can study and analyze the meaning of cultural artefacts.

Hall studied the circuit of culture and analyzed the Walkman. It is important to focus on the representation of things. This is because the way things are represented affects our understanding of them and how they get shared with others.

The launch of the Walkman by Sony was very carefully planned. It coincided with the school holidays as it was mostly targeted towards the youth. For this reason, it was not very highly priced.

Therefore, its production was done keeping this factor in mind. It was also marketed and advertised from this point of view. Mobile urban youth were represented using the product.

This way, the product was linked to its target users by making them identify with it. Through this, we can understand why media culture studies should focus more on analyzing media corporations, practices and promotion campaigns.

Circuit of Culture uses the process of production, consumption, identity, regulation, and representation


Write a note on the evolution and need for Culture studies.

Cultural studies is a field of theoretically, politically, and empirically engaged cultural analysis that concentrates upon the political dynamics of contemporary culture, its historical foundations, defining traits, conflicts, and contingencies. Cultural studies researchers generally investigate how cultural practices relate to wider systems of power associated with or operating through social phenomena, such as ideology, class structures, national formations, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and generation. Cultural studies views cultures not as fixed, bounded, stable, and discrete entities, but rather as constantly interacting and changing sets of practices and processes. The field of cultural studies encompasses a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives and practices. Although distinct from the disciplines of cultural anthropology and ethnic studies, cultural studies draws upon and has contributed to each of these disciplines.

Cultural studies was initially developed by British academics in the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and has been subsequently taken up and transformed by scholars from many different disciplines around the world. Cultural studies is avowedly and even radically interdisciplinary and can sometimes be seen as antidisciplinary. A key concern for cultural studies practitioners is the examination of the forces within and through which socially organized people conduct and participate in the construction of their everyday lives.

  • The aim of cultural studies is to examine cultural practices and their relation to power. For example, a study of a subculture (such as white working class youth in London) would consider their social practices against those of the dominant culture (in this example, the middle and upper classes in London who control the political and financial sectors that create policies affecting the well-being of white working class youth in London).
  • The objective of cultural studies includes understanding culture in all its complex forms and analyzing the social and political context in which culture manifests itself.
  • Cultural studies is a site of both study/analysis and political criticism/action. (For example, not only would a cultural studies scholar study an object, but s/he would connect this study to a larger, progressive political project.)
  • Cultural studies attempts to expose and reconcile constructed divisions of knowledge that purport to be grounded in nature.
  • Cultural studies has a commitment to an ethical evaluation of modern society and to a radical line of political action.

Cultural studies are less concerned about the long term consequences of media for social order but are more concerned about looking at how media affect our individual life. These theories are said to be microscopic because they emphasize larger issues about the social order in favor of questions involving the everyday life of average people. Critical theories, which are less concerned about developing detailed explanation of how individuals are influenced by media but are rather more concerned about how the social order as a whole is affected. Ideally, both these theories ought to be complementary. Yet until recently, macroscopic and microscopic cultural theories developed in relative isolation. Theorists were separated by differences in geography, politics and research objectives.

Need for Cultural Studies:

  1. It provides tools which enable one to read and interpret one’s culture critically.
  2. It subverts the distinction between the high and low culture.
  3. It allows critical scrutiny of culture without prior prejudices towards one or another sort of cultural text.
  4. It lends itself to a multiculturist programme.
  5. It specifies what ideology is operative in a given cultural artifact.
  6. It makes people sensitive towards relat0ons of power and domination as encoded in cultural texts.

 

Discuss the views of John Fiske about Culture and industry.

1950, 1960s was age of Rock and Roll,
Hollywood took eforts to be adapted, related and adored by the audience after World War II,
Television was made in 1920’s but by/till 1940s only the wealthy audience had access to it
By 1960s, three quarter million of US had access to Televisions

In his book, Understanding Popular Culture,1989, he he argued that popular culture is made by the people and not by the cultural industry. He goes against the belief that media indoctrinates audience. For him the power of audience interpretation is far greater than the ability of any institution to send a particular message or ideology.

. Popular culture in industrial societies is inconsistent to its core.

. On the other hand it is industrialised – its commodities produced and distributed by a profit motivated industry that follows only its economic interests.

. But on the other hand, it is of the people and people’s interest are not those of industries

as is evidenced by number of films, records, and other products that people make into expensive failures.

. To be made into a popular culture, a commodity must also bear the interests of the people.

. Popular culture is not consumption, it is a culture. The active process of generating and circulating meanings and pleasures within a social system.

. Culture however industrialised, can never be acceptably described in terms of buying and selling commodities.

. Culture is a living active process: it can be developed from within, it can’t be imposed from without or above.

. A homogenous, externally produced culture cannot be sold ready-made to the masses.

. The fact that only system provides only commodities,whether cultural or material, does not mean that the process of consuming those commodities can be adequately as one that commodifies the people into a homogenised mass at the mercy of the barons of the industry.

. According to him, the most important product of cultural industry is the commodified audience to be sold to advertisers.

. Fiske develops a theory of everyday life that focuses on creative, specific uses to which commodities are put.

In a consumer society, all commodities have cultural as well as functional values.

. This leads to  ‘Cultural economy’ where the circulation is not of money but of meaning and pleasure, and audience are not consumers but producers themselves, of this meanings and pleasure.

However, we live in an industrial society, so of course our popular culture is an industrial culture and so are our resources, both cultural and material.


What is Social Interaction theory? Elaborate on the ideas of C. H. Cooley and G. H. Mead.

Cooley came up with a concept of Looking Glass, where he mentions three steps. How we look, how others think we look, and how we think we look based on others opinion.So basically he says that we aren’t influenced by others, but we are influenced by what others think of ourselves.
Our Interpretation of what others think of us. Crazy? I know right. For more details watch Inception [pun]

Symbolic Interaction was one of the first social theories to address that we use culture to learn. This theory was developed during the 1920s and 1930s and it had various names until Herbert Blumer gave its current name in 1969.

G.H, Mead, a philosopher and social activist, provided a suitable way of understanding social life. Each of us learn to successfully play many different social through interaction with others. Our actions are being conditioned by others while simultaneously we are also affecting their actions. The goal is not to manipulate or dominate each other but rather to create and sustain a productive social unit- a group which provides its members with certain rewards as return for their willingness to take on specific roles. We learn social roles through interaction and through experiences in daily life situations. Over time, we internalize the rules inherent in the situations and accordingly structure our actions. Once, internalized, these roles provide us powerful means of optimally controlling our actions. In due course of time, our identity becomes bound up with them- we then feel good about ourselves because we play certain roles which are respected by others.

Mead offered another important insight into the socialization process. Unlike animals that are conditioned to respond to certain stimuli in predetermined ways, human socialization permits more or less conscious interpretation of stimuli and also allows planned responses. This happens because of symbols. Symbols are arbitrary, often quite abstract representations of unseen phenomenon. Use of these symbols transforms the socialization process. Mead argues that we use symbols to create our experience of consciousness (mind), our understanding of ourselves (self) and our knowledge of the larger social order (society).

Our actions in response to symbols are mediated or controlled largely by those same symbols. Therefore, a person’s understanding of and relation to his or her physical or objective reality is moderated by the symbolic environment – the mind, self and society that we have internalized. The message that we give to the symbol defines both; us and the realities that we experience. As we get socialized, culturally agreed upon messages assume control over our interaction with our environment.

Symbols are the basis of social life. First, without symbols our social relation would be limited, for we would have o dependable mechanism for perceiving others in term of relationships. These symbols define for us what such relationships entail. Second, without symbols, we would not be able to coordinate our actions with others; we would be unable to make collective plans for a future date, time and a place. Symbols make social life possible. Third, even the self is a symbol, for it consists of the ideas that we have about who we are. It is a changing symbol, for as we interact with others, we constantly adjust our views of the self based upon how we interpret the reactions of others.

C.H. Cooley, a symbolic interactionist, wondered how human infants develop a self – the ability to see themselves separate from the outside. Cooley saw the self as our interpretation of how others see us, the ability to contemplate our existence to project ourselves into the past, into the future, and into various situations in life. Cooley concluded that this unique aspect of humanness is socially created; that is, our sense of self help develops by interaction with others. He coined the term looking-glass self to describe the process by which the sense of self develops.

This has three elements:

  1. We imagine how we appear to those around us. Example, we may think how others see us, either tall and slim or short and fat.
  2. We interpret other’s reaction. Example, we come to conclusions on how others evaluate us. Do they like us for being tall and slim or do they dislike us for being short and fat?
  3. We develop a self concept. Based upon our interpretations of the reactions of others, we develop feelings and ideas about ourselves. A favorable reflection in this social mirror leads to a positive self concept, whereas a negative reflection leads to a negative self concept.

However, the development of the self does not depend on accurate evaluations. Even if we misinterpret about how others think about us, those misjudgments also become a part of our self concept. The development of self is an ongoing and lifelong process. The above mentioned three steps of the looking glass self are an everyday part of our life and our ongoing monitoring of how other people react to us continually modifies the self. Thus, the self is never a finished product but is always in process.

Explain the evolution, need and significance of Culture studies in detail.

During the 1950s and 1960s, interest in cultural theories of mass communication began to develop and take hold. Limited effects theory focuses on whether media content can have an immediate and direct effect on specific thoughts and actions of individuals. However, it is possible to approach the study of mass media in another way. Instead of focusing on the specific effects on individuals, we can focus on changes in culture, on how shared understandings and social norms change. Instead of trying to locate hundreds of small effects and adding them all, we can enquire whether the development of mass media have had any profound implications in the manner we create, share, learn and apply culture.

These new perspectives argued that media might have the power to intrude into and alter how we make sense of ourselves and our social world. These theories are quite diverse and offer very different answers to questions about the role of media in social life. Media affects society because these affect how culture is created, shared, learnt and applied. Cultural theories offer a broad range of interesting ideas about how media can affect culture and also provide many different views concerning the long term consequences of the cultural changes effected by media.

These are microscopic, interpretive theories which focus on how individuals and social groups use media to create and foster new forms of culture that structure everyday life. These theories are referred to as cultural studies theories. There are microscopic, structural theories which focus on how social elites use their economic power to gain control and exploit media institutions. This theory argues that elites effectively use media to propagate hegemonic culture as means of maintaining their dominant position in the social order. These are called political economy theory because they place priority on how economic power provides a basis for ideological and political power.

Cultural studies are less concerned about the long term consequences of media for social order but are more concerned about looking at how media affect our individual life. These theories are said to be microscopic because they emphasize larger issues about the social order in favor of questions involving the everyday life of average people. Critical theories, which are less concerned about developing detailed explanation of how individuals are influenced by media but are rather more concerned about how the social order as a whole is affected. Ideally, both these theories ought to be complementary. Yet until recently, macroscopic and microscopic cultural theories developed in relative isolation. Theorists were separated by differences in geography, politics and research objectives.

Need for Cultural Studies:

  1. It provides tools which enable one to read and interpret one’s culture critically.
  2. It subverts the distinction between the high and low culture.
  3. It allows critical scrutiny of culture without prior prejudices towards one or another sort of cultural text.
  4. It lends itself to a multiculturist programme.
  5. It specifies what ideology is operative in a given cultural artifact.
  6. It makes people sensitive towards relat0ons of power and domination as encoded in cultural texts.


Elaborate on Media and Gender Socialization.

Media in its different forms generally communicates strong gender stereotypes. Example: blonde women are generally stereotypes as being beautiful and loving but dumb [ROLF. WE ALL KNOW WHOS THE REAL IDIOT HERE. WAIT YOU DONT? FOLLOW TO KNOW MORE what am I doing with my life?]. Television, which is the most pervasive and persuasive communication medium, still continues to depict highly stereotyped roles for women and men. Example, men on television heavily outnumber women; women are more likely to be depicted as sex objects as compared to men.

There is a debate among social scientist regarding the extent to which people believe what they see on television, but research with children show that they intimately identify with television characters. Example, boys tend to identify with characters based on their physical strength{i dont know man, I related myself with Ed, Edd and Eddy} and activity level; girls relate to the perceptions of physical attractiveness. [WRONG. I LOVED WINX CLUB. BLOOM WAS MY FAVOURITE]

Advertisements provide yet another source for communication of gender images to the pulic – a source which is noted for the communication of idealized, sexist and racist images of women and men. Examples, women in the advertisements are mostly depicted as sex objects compared to men. The behavior of women in advertising makes them appear sas subordinate and available for men.

Other dimensions of popular culture, which also act as source of stereotypes contributing to gender socialization, are greeting cards, books, songs, films and comic strips. All of these solely communicate image representing the presumed cultural ideals of womanhood and manhood. All these are quite popular and do have an enormous effect on ideas and self-concept. Example, romantic novels are marketed to appeal women, who read them for relaxation and escape. The plot involves women caught in powerless and dependent situations and women’s independence and intelligence; both are traits treated as a kind of fantasy. These mass marketed products shape our understanding of the possibilities open to ourselves and to others. In addition, these reflect the values of a dominant culture. Although today we find a great change in the media representation of women, popular culture still provides ideological support for the subordination of women in society.


Discuss the various aspects in the Construction of culture.

The various aspects in construction of culture are as follows:

Political system

The political organization is made up of some specific patterned ways in which the power legitimately used in a society for regulating behavior. All cultures have some characteristic types of political organization. The most complex form of political organization is the state. State is a hierarchical and centralized form of political organization. It is defined as a political unit composed of many communities having a centralized government with the authority to make and enforce laws, collect taxes, and draft men for military service. In state societies, the government tries to maintain monopoly on use of physical force. Moreover, states are generally characterized by class stratification, intensive agriculture, commercial exchange, high degree of economic and other specialization, as well as extensive foreign trade.

There exists a central government which has legal monopoly over the use of force. States are more populous, heterogeneous and most powerful than any other type of political organization. Rulers of state cannot forever depend on use of force or threat. People of the state must believe that the rulers have the right to rule or are legitimate. An example of state would be any of the developing form of government system which is based on adult franchise. The political system is based on a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is operated through universal adult franchise. However, there is still a large gap between the idealistic political system and reality.

Economic Aspect

All human societies have economic systems irrespective of whether or not the use of money is involved. There are customs that specify access to natural resources, as well as customary ways of transforming or converting the resources through labor, into necessities and other desired goods and services. Moreover, there are also customary means for distributing and exchanging goods and services. The basic factor in economic system is the regulation of access to natural resources. Within the economic system, goods and services are produced, distributed and consumed.

All societies make use of one or the other the type of technology. It might be basic and rudimentary or highly advanced. This includes tools, constructions and the necessary skills. In all societies, goods and services are distributed through a definite system. This system can be of three types – reciprocity, redistribution and market or commercial exchange.

The system of reciprocity involves give and take without the use of money. Redistribution refers to the accumulation of goods or labor by a person or at a specific place in order to redistribute. In a market or commercial system, there are prices fixed, depending on the demands and supply. This system is generally more popular where there is increasing economic productivity.

All societies have resources that need to be transformed through labor into food, tools or goods. The work to be done for this transformation has to be divided and organized. Every society makes different choices as they have different economic systems. These choices are made within the framework provided by their culture, values and institutions.

Religious aspect

Religion is a universal human need. Most anthropologists believe that it goes back to the beginning of the human species. Religion is a set of attitudes, beliefs and practices pertaining to glorification of the supernatural power. Rituals, prayers and other spiritual exercises are commonly part of religious practices. These beliefs vary within culture as well as societies and change over time. Theories pertaining to the universality of religion suggest human create religion as a response to the universal needs and conditions. It includes a need for understanding as well as dealing with anxieties or uncertainty and need for community bonding.

Religion has many functions in society; it provides meaning and order in people’s life, reduces social anxiety and gives people a sense of control over their destiny. It also has an integrative function as well as provides social support. Religion works in a society to preserve social order and it can also become a catalyst for initiating social change. In addition, it provides a sense of community and a basis of cohesion and moral strength. Various religion beliefs provide guidance for behavior as well as explanations for human condition.

Religious experience is associated with that feeling of perception where one feels in direct contact with the ultimate reality, like a divine being; or a feeling of being overwhelmed with religious emotion. In modern societies, religion is becoming more and more formalized. Specific structures like churches and temples are built for religious worship.

Social system

Every culture has its own unique characteristic social system. Social system refers to the patterned series of interrelationships which exist among individuals, groups, and institutions, and forms a cohesive whole. It incorporates beliefs, values, traditions, customs and complete lifestyle of all people. Social system shapes the actions of individuals living within it. It can be termed as the sum total of patterns of behavior of a group of people who posses’ similar characteristics by virtue of their existence in the same society. The physical or territorial boundaries may exist, but the individuals are basically oriented to a common focus.

The two major units of any social system are collectivities and roles. These two units are linked by values and norms. For Karl Marx, major units of capitalist society were the socio-economic classes and the important relationships between these two. This social structure is a process which helps on carrying out daily activities efficiently and provides stability. Within the Indian framework, the urban community is characterized by professional attitudes, a focus on material comforts and luxuries and a more liberal lifestyle; whereas in the rural communities, a person’s life center on traditions and customs.

The Indian social system is extremely dynamic in nature. Change and continuity operate simultaneously. Changes are there in many areas of social life like material aspects of society, ways of behavior, attitudes towards work, choices of occupations, technology etc.

Technology

Technology refers to collection of techniques, methods or processes which are used I the production of goods and services, or for accomplishment of objectives like scientific investigation. Technology can also be termed as the knowledge of techniques and processes. Human beings started to use technology when natural resources were converted into simple tools. As humans evolved, technology also developed.

Technology has had a profound impact on society and culture. Many societies have immensely progressed due to rapid industrialization and the advancement of their economy. Media and technology are closely related. Media technology has been viewed in positive as well as negative light by various viewers.

Although some theorists were optimistic about new technology, most were extremely pessimistic. They blamed new industrial technology for disrupting peaceful, rural communication and forcing people to live in urban areas merely to serve as a convenient workforce in larger factories, mines or bureaucracies.

In time, the leaders of the industrial revolution gained enormous control over social change. They strongly favored all forms of technological development including mass media. New technology slowly but surely would bring an end to social problems and lead to the development of an ideal world.


Explain the important features of Social class and the principles of Kinship.

Society divides its members on the basis of different categories like caste, gender, race, ethnicity, class etc. Class relates to groups formed in the society which are based on the extent of achievement. It is a group of individuals who are ranked by members of a society in positions which are socially superior or inferior.

The different positions in class systems are generally the upper, middle and lower class. All members belonging to a particular class experience a feeling of equality amongst themselves. According to Max Weber, the members of a class maintain a distinct style of lifestyle. They tend to dress, talk, behave and exhibit similar lifestyle.3 class is a form of social stratification which divides the society into different strata or layers. It is formed on the basis of extent of achievement, power, prestige and wealth.

Social stratification leads to an appropriate role allocation. It makes people take up different roles, each having its own impact and rewards. It motivates people to occupy different statuses. A member of a particular class tends to follow the lifestyle of the other member of the class. Therefore, a common culture is passed on to other members of the group. Media has been representing the differences in society on the basis of social class through films, print media and television.

Kinship

Society is closely knit by kinship relations. Kinship refers to the web of social relationships which form an important part of the life of human beings. It can refer to the study of patterns of social relationships existing in the culture of humans.

In many cultures across the world, kinship is considered central in determining people’s rights and responsibilities. Being born to particular parents defines conformed membership of an individual in a group. Kinship is culturally defined relationship established on the basis of blood ties or through marriage. In each society, regulation of behavior and also the formation of groups depends to some extent on the socially recognized ties of kinship.

There are two basic types of descent rules of kinship ideologies which operate in society. Some cultural systems have a unilineal system of descent where group membership depends upon links through either paternal or maternal line. Whereas in certain other cultural systems, a bilateral descent system where both maternal and paternal lines are used as a basis for reckoning descent.

Thus, kinship is the most important social bond. Once kinship systems are established, they continue to have an important influence on the behavior of an individual throughout his life.


Explain the construction of culture on the basis of Political system, Religion and Social system.

Political system

The political organization is made up of some specific patterned ways in which the power legitimately used in a society for regulating behavior. All cultures have some characteristic types of political organization. The most complex form of political organization is the state. State is a hierarchical and centralized form of political organization. It is defined as a political unit composed of many communities having a centralized government with the authority to make and enforce laws, collect taxes, and draft men for military service. In state societies, the government tries to maintain monopoly on use of physical force. Moreover, states are generally characterized by class stratification, intensive agriculture, commercial exchange, high degree of economic and other specialization, as well as extensive foreign trade.

There exists a central government which has legal monopoly over the use of force. States are more populous, heterogeneous and most powerful than any other type of political organization. Rulers of state cannot forever depend on use of force or threat. People of the state must believe that the rulers have the right to rule or are legitimate. An example of state would be any of the developing form of government system which is based on adult franchise. The political system is based on a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is operated through universal adult franchise. However, there is still a large gap between the idealistic political system and reality.

Religious aspect

Religion is a universal human need. Most anthropologists believe that it goes back to the beginning of the human species. Religion is a set of attitudes, beliefs and practices pertaining to glorification of the supernatural power. Rituals, prayers and other spiritual exercises are commonly part of religious practices. These beliefs vary within culture as well as societies and change over time. Theories pertaining to the universality of religion suggest human create religion as a response to the universal needs and conditions. It includes a need for understanding as well as dealing with anxieties or uncertainty and need for community bonding.

Religion has many functions in society; it provides meaning and order in people’s life, reduces social anxiety and gives people a sense of control over their destiny. It also has an integrative function as well as provides social support. Religion works in a society to preserve social order and it can also become a catalyst for initiating social change. In addition, it provides a sense of community and a basis of cohesion and moral strength. Various religion beliefs provide guidance for behavior as well as explanations for human condition.

Religious experience is associated with that feeling of perception where one feels in direct contact with the ultimate reality, like a divine being; or a feeling of being overwhelmed with religious emotion. In modern societies, religion is becoming more and more formalized. Specific structures like churches and temples are built for religious worship.

Social system

Every culture has its own unique characteristic social system. Social system refers to the patterned series of interrelationships which exist among individuals, groups, and institutions, and forms a cohesive whole. It incorporates beliefs, values, traditions, customs and complete lifestyle of all people. Social system shapes the actions of individuals living within it. It can be termed as the sum total of patterns of behavior of a group of people who posses’ similar characteristics by virtue of their existence in the same society. The physical or territorial boundaries may exist, but the individuals are basically oriented to a common focus.

The two major units of any social system are collectivities and roles. These two units are linked by values and norms. For Karl Marx, major units of capitalist society were the socio-economic classes and the important relationships between these two. This social structure is a process which helps on carrying out daily activities efficiently and provides stability. Within the Indian framework, the urban community is characterized by professional attitudes, a focus on material comforts and luxuries and a more liberal lifestyle; whereas in the rural communities, a person’s life center on traditions and customs.

The Indian social system is extremely dynamic in nature. Change and continuity operate simultaneously. Changes are there in many areas of social life like material aspects of society, ways of behavior, attitudes towards work, choices of occupations, technology etc.


Discuss the relevance of Technology in the construction of culture.

Technology

Technology refers to collection of techniques, methods or processes which are used I the production of goods and services, or for accomplishment of objectives like scientific investigation. Technology can also be termed as the knowledge of techniques and processes. Human beings started to use technology when natural resources were converted into simple tools. As humans evolved, technology also developed.

Technology has had a profound impact on society and culture. Many societies have immensely progressed due to rapid industrialization and the advancement of their economy. Media and technology are closely related. Media technology has been viewed in positive as well as negative light by various viewers.

Although some theorists were optimistic about new technology, most were extremely pessimistic. They blamed new industrial technology for disrupting peaceful, rural communication and forcing people to live in urban areas merely to serve as a convenient workforce in larger factories, mines or bureaucracies.

In time, the leaders of the industrial revolution gained enormous control over social change. They strongly favored all forms of technological development including mass media. New technology slowly but surely would bring an end to social problems and lead to the development of an ideal world.


What does the process of Globalization entail?

In cultural terms, Globalization means an increased cultural interconnections across the globe,

mainly because of mass media, also because of flows of people in migration, tourism and the global economy and political institution leads to similar life patterns in different parts of globe. It leads to process of cultural globalisation- where distinct culture are no longer isolated. Media plays a critical role as it works towards informing and shaping a global society.

  1. Globalisation has opened up local cultures to other ways of living and alternatives. Local Culture are now exposed to ideas such as human rights, democracy, market economy, as well as new ways of production, new products for consumption and new leisure habits.
  2. All these produce new understanding of social life and culture, nationality, cultural ideas and the place of SELF in the world.
  3. Globalisation process all enhances interactions between large humanization and charitable operations such as Oxfam, Action Aid, Human Rights Watch, Christian Aid, etc.
  4. Scientific and professional bodies like the International Association of Nutritional Science and the International Sociological and Anthropological Association linkup their concerns and ideas Globally.
  5. McLuhan terms, that the world has reduced to ‘Global Village’. The United Nation uses the term ‘global neighbourhood’.
  6. Robertson in his work argued that world compression has has intensified ‘global consciousness’. [ha bas aur naye naye terms banao]
  7. In terms of culture, Globalisation leads to social system of international integration.
  8. This leads to an amalgamation of various culture- making the whole world as global community as a meeting pot.
  9. Advanced means of communication and new media in the digital age helps in faster exchange of ideas, values and beliefs, making a global virtual village. It also helps in provoking universal reactions and resistance.
  10. Globalisation also has direct impact on culture flows like creation and sharing of cultural property(films,songs,theatre,literature,etc.) and cultural attitudes(human rights,gender equality,democracy etc.)making them more universal and easily available.


Discuss the process of Globalization and how it affects culture?

I do not knoweth.

Elucidate the role of Digital media culture in contemporary society.

The late 20th century has witnessed new digital technologies, such as mobile phone[purna divas laksha tya mobile madhe asta], video games, digital television ad the internet which has revolutionized the mass media. This can be called ‘digital revolution’ in communications. Digitization also permits the development of interactive media, allowing individuals to participate actively in, or structure, what they see or hear.

Certain important technological advances during the second half of the 20th century have completely transformed the face of telecommunications – the communication of information, sounds or images – at a distance through a technological medium. Basically, four technological trends have contributed to these developments:

  1. Constant improvements in the capabilities of computers, together with their declining costs.[bouncer xD. I guess they mean cheaper computers and more]
  2. Digitization of data, making possible the integration of computer and telecommunication technologies.
  3. Satellite communication development
  4. Fiber optics, which allow many different messages to travel along a single small cable at faster speeds.

Digital media is widespread in western culture.

  1. Broadcast television remains at the core of our leisure time.
  2. The use of digital media is unevenly distributes in western culture. Example, young people over 40 play computer games and own mp3 players; more men than women access the internet; and wealth inevitably marks a break between the digitals ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
  3. The digital divide created by the distribution of wealth is magnified on a global scale.


Explain the trends, transformation and impact of Popular culture on society.

There were pop artists who used to resemble and imitate what people feel and want to see, it became popular, and popular culture. It became dark/comedy/satirical at times. Kept on increasing and astuff. And now we have Om Prakash Mishra

I do not knoweth thee answer

Discuss Commodification of culture and its influence on lifestyle within a society.

I do not knoweth thee answer


Explain the impact of the Digital Media Culture.

  • Culture and Media have now become interrelated.
  • In the age of rapid globalisation, digital media makes interactions and exchange of ideas with people all over the world highly convenient and quick- almost on real basis.
  • It has rendered physical distances irrelevant and helps in keeping relationships connected- leading to vast amounts on cultural exchange and transforming in opinions and attitude.
  • Even if it’s only to chat, develop an emotional connect, exchanging joke[meme] or even discuss politics, or academics or simply to learn more about each other.
  • As a result of direct interaction cutting across boundaries and various sections of society, stereotypes cease to exist and makes one tolerant of differences that do exist.
  • Opportunities to express on the online media gives individuals the power to voice their opinions and be heard on relevant platforms.
  • It has made all kind of information readily available and accessible like never before, all over the world, creating more awareness. One can retrieve a great amount of data on a variety of topics from ancient mythology to modern day economics.
  • Online education [am i right bois?] has made a new way for increased literacy and one can opt to do a number of courses simultaneously at low cost.
  • ePortals and online shopping, online booking portals etc have aggravated the notion of consumerism opening up a variety of shopping options for the consumer- to shop and compare the prices across the world while sitting at home. It has created a hung virtual market.
  • Consumers have also became more aware about global brand standards.[Kylie😭😭😭😭]
  • ONLINE BANKING has directly impacted the lifestyles of people.
  • It has transformed the way in which societies viewed and provided entertainment as a social experience. One need not have to physically step out to watch a play, movie or a sport. Everything is transmitted live and real time to the end user for very low cost- be it a movie, a match or even listening to music- even on smartphone.
  • Video gaming on the internet[and saying the N WORD] today allows players all over the world to be online simultaneously and play and interact with/against each other, while bringing the world closer.
  • Social networking has changed the face of social relationship and interactions, making the world a closer place to express, interact and exchange opinions and feelings.

Write in detail about changing values, ideologies and its relevance in existing society.

I do not knoweth thee answer

Discuss the Festivals and Cuisine as expression of culture with reference to Indian festivals and Indian cuisine.

Please refer to the individual answers given in the 5 Mark Section. Plx. Didnt add right now, otherwise you all would be disturbed.

Access to edible consumable is a man’s primary need and also his necessary right. However his creativity is apparent in every aspect of his life and food is no exception to that. Food is one of the oldest and eternally popular industry. Food or cuisines are again directly connected to the geography. Those products that grow particular soil are more popular and frequently used and cooked as compared to others. Eg:rice is common near coasts, wheat is common in interiors, Fish is common on the coasts and meat more in the interiors. Indian enjoys great geographical diversity and hence various types of cuisines as well.

Culture and its formation may not be directly related to cuisines, but it also cannot be excluded. Food being a primary human need it is involved in day to day life and hence any cultural event, festival, belief will have some aspects of food attached to it. Many cultural rituals in agrarian society centered on getting better produced or bumper produce. Hence we see creation of rituals, myths, customs and cultural beliefs that not only involve agriculture products but also centered around it or to it. Eg: ‘Modak’ a delicacy is made during ganpati festival and marked days such as ‘sankashti chaturhi’. Krishna is partial to butter. Kali is partial to blood.

Every society finds its distinctive identity in the festivals that it celebrates. Festivals are exciting to all culture; human societies have always displayed the tendency of gathering together in celebration of a specific feature/event, over period that has been characterised into local or national festival. The oxford dictionary defines that festival as a day or period of celebration, typically for RELIGIOUS reasons. We must understand here though that festivals are essentially celebrations that may be for number of reasons. Some of the earliest festivals were unplanned and not celebrated on a particular day.

Specificity of day and time came man established agrarian society. Till agriculture became the primary occupation, man mainly lived in tribes and was nomadic in nature. Agriculture allowed him to settle in one place and established civilization. Because he depended on agriculture for his survival we see him mark time and seasons with greater care and many festivals hence coincide with the agrarian season cycle.

Over period other occupations flourished too however the greatest flourished came in form of established social structures and religious and we see festivals begin to be formed or based around religious events/days etc. hence we can broadly categorised festivals in 2 types.

  1. Seasonal festivals: Eg: Narali Paournima is celebrated immediately towards the end pf monsoon. Post this celebration safe for entry for the fisherman.
  2. religious / Cultural festivals: Ganapati festivals or durga festival are extremely famous in indian. While they are celebrated all over the country, ganapati festival is characterised to Maharashtra and Durga Pooja more popular in West Bengal.

Elaborate how Folklore, Fashions and Fad represents culture.

The need to communication has been felt by men since early times. Copying nature sounds is considered as the first stage of formation of language. The development of language however was not merely to make socialization convenient; language serves not only as a tool of basic communication but a medium of promoting, and also that of cultural exchange. The most primary, easy and quickest form of culture transmission is through oral traditions.

  1. Oral transition consists of tales, songs, episodic renditions made in oral from over and over and from generations  to generation. These stories carry with them cultural beliefs, histories, realities, moral systems and are prescriptive in nature.
  2. Oral traditions enjoy the flexibility and are generally unaffected to time. As they are in an oral form they can be changed, adapted and moulded over time.
  3. Due to their flexible nature oral traditions stay relatable to all times. The morals and feelings that comprise their core are timeless and are hence relatable to people of any age and generation and play a great role in subconscious part of mind.
  4. Oral traditions have been popular among the masses as well as the classes since ancient times. They serve not only as entertainers and prescribers of morality but also as a form of maintaining history.

Fashion and Fads:

Fashion despite being a comprehensive term is generally understood in terms of dressing, accessorizing and overall grooming. Each region have its own style of dressing, kind of colours used and types of materials that are popular. Geography has a large say in what will be a popular choice or what shall be fashionable in a particular part. Eg: White Muslim Clothes are popular choice in desserts, dull and grey colours with thick cloth materials are more popular closer to polar regions because of the extreme cold.

Fashions and trends keep changing, evolving and adapting over time. One can see a drastic difference in the manner in which people dressed before colonization and post it. The British Rule; among many things; was also instrumental to bring about a drastic change in the manner in which people dressed themselves. Traditional clothing is still common today however we see a distinct imprint of western colours, designs and makes on it. However the greatest fashion influencer and determinant of fashion in today’s day and age is Media.Various forms of media educate the audiences about the latest trends and to an extent dictate the upcoming trends in it.

The influence of fashion on youth is all times a manner of concern however fashion  has been understood as a means of making statement and of defining one’s ideology, loyalty or belief. A typical all time Black gothic style of dressing Unusual choice of clothing combinations, vibrant colours and bold accessories are characteristics of hippie style of clothing.

Fashion is also seen as cultural statement in the west. e.g the hippies have a distinct manner of dressing so do the Goths.


Discuss Oral traditions, Art and Architecture as expressions of culture.

Please refer to the individual answers given in the 5 Mark Section. Plx. Didnt add right now, otherwise you all would be disturbed.

Among many aspects of cultural expression art and architecture is perhaps the oldest, most enduring and strongest. One can trace the cultural journey of a society by studying their art and history of a civilization by analysing their architecture. From this perspective the study of art and architecture becomes imperative to understand any culture.

Art is a very broad category that can be divided into performing art, literary arts and drawing, painting, sculpture etc. we see an mixture of art into architecture and in this aspects we shall be considering only art forms such as drawing painting and sculpture. Man’s earliest attempts at conversation are centered on copying bird sounds and his earliest attempts at record keeping., at times worship and creation of monuments can be seen with his attempts at painting and drawings that started as crude scratches on cave walls to the likes of Picasso, Raja Ravi Verma, Michelangelo and many more. Art is the greatest form of expression of enduring social realities , utopian ideas and cultural belief systems of each century and civilization. The forms of arts, strokes, paint and the subject matter around which his art was centered is different in different culture. We can make similar statements about sculptures. However sculptures as an art are less to be studied in independent capacity and more in context to architecture because in the ancient and middle ages any notable sculpture was almost always a part of some monument.

Art flourished greatly India as well as abroad. However one of the most noble names of Indian artists would be the vary controversial M.F.Hussain and another brilliant artists Raja Ravi Verma.


Elaborate Encoding-Decoding Model as proposed by Stuart Hall.

The Encoding/decoding model of communication was first developed by cultural studies scholar Stuart Hall in 1973. Titled ‘Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse’, Hall’s essay offers a theoretical approach of how media messages are produced, disseminated, and interpreted. As an important member of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies, Hall had a major influence on media studies.

His model claims that television and other media audiences are presented with messages that are decoded, or interpreted in different ways depending on an individual’s cultural background, economic standing, and personal experiences. In contrast to other media theories that disempower audiences, Hall proposed that audience members can play an active role in decoding messages as they rely on their own social contexts, and might be capable of changing messages themselves through collective action. In simpler terms, encoding/decoding is the translation of a message that is easily understood. When you decode a message, you extract the meaning of that message in ways that make sense to you.

Decoding has both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication: Decoding behavior without using words means observing body language and its associated emotions. For example, some body language signs for when someone is upset, angry, or stressed would be a use of excessive hand/arm movements, red in the face, crying, and even sometimes silence. Sometimes when someone is trying to get a message across to someone, the message can be interpreted differently from person to person. Decoding is all about the understanding of what someone already knows, based on the information given throughout the message being received. Whether there is a large audience or exchanging a message to one person, decoding is the process of obtaining, absorbing, understanding, and sometimes using the information that was given throughout a verbal or non-verbal message.

For example, since advertisements can have multiple layers of meaning, they can be decoded in various ways and can mean something different to different people. Hall claims that the decoding subject can assume three different positions: Dominant/hegemonic position, negotiated position, and oppositional position.

“The level of connotation of the visual sign, of its contextual reference and positioning in different discursive fields of meaning and association, is the point where already coded signs intersect with the deep semantic codes of a culture and take on additional more active ideological dimensions.”

— Stuart Hall, 1980, “Encoding/decoding.


Representation

Cultural studies emphasize focus on representation which refers to how the world is socially constructed and represented to us by ourself in meaningful ways. The major stress of cultural studies is on the study of culture as the signifying practice of representation.

For this, we need to explore the different meanings generated by texts, and the modes by which each meaning is produced in different contexts. Moreover, representations of culture and their meanings have a material aspect. These are embedded in sounds, inscriptions, objects, images, books, magazines and programmes on television. All this is produced, enacted, used and understood in specific social contexts.
A wide range of different representations of groups or individuals can exist in texts or cultures. The concept of representation has an important place in the study of culture. Representation is that which connects meaning and language to culture.

It is an important element of the process through which meaning is produced and exchanged between members of a culture. It involves use of language, signs and images which stand for or represent things. Basically, representation is the creation of the meanings of the concepts created in our minds through language. For example, SUV advertisements portray driving of SUVs as an exciting outdoor experience or beer advertisements which show drinking beer as the most important aspect of a party, or motorcycles being represented as a manly means of transport.


Non-Reductionism

A central characteristic of cultural studies is its non-reductionism. In this, each culture is viewed as having its own particular meanings, rules and practices, which cannot be reduced to or explained only in terms of some other category or level of social formation.

Cultural studies has specifically fought against economic reductionism which tries to explain meanings of cultural texts with reference to its place in the production process. The processes of political economy do not determine meanings of texts in cultural studies. Political economy, social relationships and culture are to be understood on the basis of their own specific logic and methods of development. Each one of these is ‘articulated’ or related to the other in context-specific manner. Non-reductionism of cultural studies emphasizes that class, gender, sexuality, race, nation, as well as ethnicity have their own specifics and they cannot be reduced to political economy or to each other.


Texts and readers

Production of consent refers to popular identification to cultural meanings by signifying practices of hegemonic texts. Text refers to written word as well as the practices signified. Texts generally describe a range of cultural objects like books, television programmes, CDs, films, etc. It also includes generating meaning by sounds, images, objects (like clothes) and activities (like dance, sport). Images, sounds, practices and objects are systems of sign and signify in the same way as language. So, they all can be commonly referred to as texts.

All sorts of texts, including television and films, are said to be read. In a broader sense, it refers to understanding the audience. The meanings which critics find in cultural texts are not the same as that produced by readers or active audiences. All readers do not necessarily share same meanings with each other. Critics are also a specific breed of readers.

Texts, as forms of representation, are polysemic by nature, containing the possibility of many different meanings which have to be realized by actual readers. These readers give life to words and images. The ways in which texts work can be easily examined, but the meanings, audiences obtain from textual analysis cannot be ‘read-off’. Meaning is produced by the interplay of text and reader. As a result, the moment of consumption is also a moment of meaningful production.


Subjectivity and identity

Identity is the sense of self and the process of definition of that sense. It is commonly argued that media plays a significant role in this process. One of the processes by which we are formed as persons, is marked by the moment of consumption. During the 1990s, main areas of concern in cultural studies were what it is to be a person, viz., subjectivity and how we describe ourselves to each other, viz., identity. Therefore, we can say that cultural studies looks into: how we come to be the kind of people we are; how we are produced as subjects; and how we identify with descriptions of ourselves as male or female, {WHY IS THE TEXT..] black {NIBBA!!} or white, etc.

Anti-essentialism is an argument which states that identities are not things that exist; they do not have essential or universal qualities. In fact, they are discursive construction, products of discourses or regulated ways of speaking through the world. So, identities are made rather than found through representation, especially language. For instance, in relation to media, an individual may define himself/herself as a heavy metal fan or a fan of rock music.


Cultural materialism

Cultural Materialism This theory is associated with Raymond Williams. The analysis made in cultural materialism is based in critical theory, a tradition of Frankfurt School. Cultural materialism emerged as a theoretical movement in the early 1980s. Raymond Williams coined the term Cultural Materialism to describe a theoretical blending of Marxist analysis and leftist culturalism.

Williams emphasized the material significance of culture. For him, culture is a lived experience. It consists of meanings generated by ordinary men and women, the lived experiences of the participants and the texts and practices engaged in by all people as they conduct their life. Culture is not free of the material conditions. This idea of Williams, is in contrast with the theories which tend to focus on ideas, beauty and cultural ideals and view material culture as a secondary product of economic and technological process.

According to cultural materialism, culture is simply neither a reflection of economic forces and relationships, nor is it an abstract and idealistic entity. In fact, culture is made up of texts which are produced and consumed through social processes and way of life of specific groups. Therefore, culture is material. Culture is termed material as it is made solid in a variety of forms, which are the products of industrial and social processes.

Therefore, television has an impact on society through the programmes shown. Moreover, in a slightly different sense, we can say that a television set is a material object, which is placed in private and public spaces. In this way, as an object, it is a part of the décor and meaning of a living room, in fact, the rest of the décor is structured around it. This theory is also concerned with the specific historical documents which are analysed. Cultural materialists analysed the methods by which hegemonic forces in society took control over historically important texts like Shakespeare and Austen and then used them to validate or impose certain values on the cultural imaginary. The class-based analysis of traditional Marxism is extended by additional focus on the marginalized.

Cultural materialists want to bring attention to the means used by contemporary power structures like the church or state in order to disseminate ideology. For doing this, the historical context of a text and its political implications are explored. Then, on the basis of deep textual analysis, the dominant hegemonic position is made note of. For Raymond Williams, cultural materialism was an elaboration of the Marxist theory of historical materialism. Cultural production is material in itself like any other human activity. Culture has to be understood in its own terms as well as a part of society. The main question, on which this theory focussed was how the relationship between society and culture should be understood. For Williams, culture was a whole way of life. The arts were a part of the social organization which is radically affected by the economic change. Culture is seen as being political because the social processes addressed by political analysis are embedded in culture. Culture is seen as a whole way of life making up human life and political analysis is the framework by which it can be understood. He put forward the idea that cultural analysis should explore and analyze the recorded culture of a place at a given time. By doing so, the ‘structure of feeling’ or the shared values and outlook can be reconstituted. Williams has insisted that culture is understood through the representations and practices of our daily life. Moreover, this has to be done in the context of material conditions of culture and their production.

This, according to Raymond Williams, is cultural materialism. For him, culture should be explored in terms of the following constituents:

(i) Institutions of artistic and cultural production like artisanal or market forms

(ii) Formations or schools, movements and factions of cultural production

(iii) Modes of production including relations between material means of cultural production as well as the cultural forms which are made to manifest

(iv) Identifications and forms of culture, including the specificity of cultural products, their aesthetic purpose and the particular forms which generate and express meaning

(v) The reproduction, in time and space, of selective tradition of meanings and practices involving both social order and social change

(vi) The organization of the ‘selective tradition’ in terms of a ‘realized signifying system’.

This strategy can be applied to contemporary music, its associated images and practices. For instance, Rave, Rap or Hip-hop may be seen as formations of popular music which are produced within the institutions of record companies as well as advertising agencies. Mode of production of popular music will involve technical aspects like studio recording and capitalist social relations of which these are parts of. Therefore, Rave or Hip-hop are forms of music involving specific organization of sounds, words as well as images to which specific social groups form identification. In this way, specific organization of sounds and signs are analyzed as a signifying system. We can connect this with the way, for instance, Hip-hop, reproduces and changes aspects of African-American musical forms, in addition to the values of its historically developed lived culture. This is what Hip-hop would mean to young African-Americans.


Homogenization and Fragmentation

Cultural imperialism is the alleged domination of one culture by another, usually conceived of in national terms. It is the result of a set of economic and cultural processes implicated in the reproduction of global capitalism. Global capitalism is about overall westernization -the export of western commodities,values,priorities and ways of life.

The global communications industries are dominated by the US controlled corporations. The mass media fit into the world capitalist system by the provision of ideological support for capitalism and in particular by the transnational  corporations. These media,therefore act as vehicles for corporate marketing along with an ideology producing and reinforcing locals’ attachment to the US capitalism.

Economic,military and cultural Globalization originated in Europe. The european powers sought to impose their cultural forms along with military and economic power. Occupied lands were sources of raw material and were also converted into protected markets for imperial powers. Despite a series of successful anti colonial struggles the economies of these countries were already integrated as subordinate players into the world economic order.

However there are 3 difficulties with the Globalization as cultural imperialism argument;

  1. It is not necessary that global flow of cultural discourses are constituted as one-way traffic.
  2. The flow of cultural discourse from West to East and North to South is not necessarily a form of domination.
  3. It is unclear whether Globalization is a simple process of homogenization since the forces of fragmentation and hybridity are equally strong.

Creolization

Creolization is the process in which Creole cultures emerge in the New World.As a result of colonization there was a mixture among people of Indigenous American, West African and European descent, which came to be understood as Creolization. Creolization is traditionally used to refer to the Caribbean; although not exclusive to the Caribbean it can be further extended to represent other diasporas.The mixing of people brought a cultural mixing which ultimately led to the formation of new identities. It is important to emphasize that creolization also is the mixing of the “old” and “traditional” with the “new” and “modern”. Furthermore, creolization occurs when participants select cultural elements that may become part of or inherited culture. Robin Cohen states that creolization is a condition in which “the formation of new identities and inherited culture evolve to become different from those they possessed in the original cultures,” and then creatively merge these to create new varieties that supersede the prior forms.


Power

Power is the capacity of imposing one’s will on others. It is a common argument that media has too much power. There is startling agreement among cultural studies writers about the centrality of the concept of power. For them, power is seen as pervading at every level of social relationships. Power is coercive force subordinating one group of people to another and the glue holding the social groups together, but it is not just these. It is also seen in terms of the processes generating and enabling any form of social action, relationship or order. In this sense, power is constraining as well as enabling. Cultural studies is specifically concerned with subordinated groups, mainly class, and then race, gender, age group, nations, etc. For example, minorities of all kinds generally presume that their way of life and views are treated by media in a positively hostile manner.


Articulation

Articulation: It links cultural or social phenomena. The concept of articulation has been deployed by cultural studies for theorizing the relationships among various components of a social formation. It points towards the formation of temporary unity among elements which do not necessarily have to go together. Articulation refers to expressing/representing as well as ‘putting together’. In this way, representations of gender can be ‘put-together’ with representations of race or nations, so that we can refer to nations as being female. Articulation is the framework of connections which can create a unity of two or more different or distinct elements, under certain conditions. This takes place in context-specific and contingent ways which cannot always be predicted. Articulation is also deployed for discussing the relation between culture and political economy. Thus, we can say that culture is ‘articulated’ with moments of production, but not determined in any ‘necessary’ way by that moment, and vice versa. Hence, we can look into how the moment of production is inscribed in texts and also how the ‘economic’ is cultural, which is a meaningful set of practices. In cultural studies, articulation is a method used to analyze culture. It envisions and builds up new frameworks for interpretation. The metaphor of a game of Lego set can be used to understand how articulation works. It can be continually fashioned and refashioned


Glocalization

It is a portmanteau word of globalisation and localisation.

The term was popularised by British Sociologist Roland Robertson in the 1990s.

It is the interpenetration of the global and local

It is also fashioned to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market, causing the products, or results of glocalization, to vary depending on different locations. The local individuals are able to manipulate their own situation in the world and become creative agents in what products and services are represented in their local environment within the glocalized world.
Ritzer further explains that Glocalization is the interpretation of global and local resulting in unique outcomes in different geographic areas. Glocalization as a relatively benign process that is closest to the “something” end of things. It creates variety and heterogeneity within society.

In simple words, it is the global outlook adapted to local conditions
”think globally, act locally”

For Example,  Mc’Donalds offers Indian Breakfast options like the Mc’Masala Dosa Brioche and Masala Scrambled Eggs

For instance, Salsa Tradition in different parts of the world where they are practices


 

Re-representation of Race and media culture

This term refers to the genetically transmitted physical characteristics of different human beings. The term race is understood dissimilarly from different people. Commonly, Race may mean all of the human race or it may refer to nationality as in German race.

Richard T. Schaefer has defined race as ‘the term racial group is used to describe a group which is set apart from others because some obvious physical differences.’

A race is a socially constructed category composed of people sharing biologically transmitted traits which members of a society consider important. Society assigns people to races not by logic or fact, but on the basis of opinion and social experience.

In other words,how race is used to define groups is a social process. Although the meaning of race originates from perceived biological differences among various groups,yet following are the important reasons why racial differences are not purely biological:

1)The categories used to presumably divide groups into races are not fixed,and these differ from society to society.

Example :Within the United State, Laws defining who is Black varies from state to state.

In certain states, Law defines as Black who had even one Black great grandparent, in the current another state, having even one ancestory is defined as a Black person.

2)The biological characteristics used to define different racial groups vary both within and among groups.

Example: Many Asians are lighter skinned compared to many Europeans

and White Americans and, regardless of their skin colour, have been defined in racial terms in”yellow

3)The biological differences presumed to define racial groups are arbitrary (based upon random choices and personal whims)

Example:People are generally differentiated depending upon the colour of the skin and not any other characteristic such as height or hair colour.

4)Different groups make use of different criteria to define racial groups.

Example: To American Indians, Being an American Indian depends upon proving Indian ancestry, amongst some American Indians,one must be able to demonstrate 75% Indian ancestry to be recognised as American Indian but for other American Indians, demonstrating 50% Indian ancestry is considered sufficient.


Religious construction of culture

Religion is a universal human need. Most anthropologists believe that it goes back to the beginning of the human species.Religion is a set of attitudes,beliefs and practices pertaining to glorification of the supernatural power. Rituals,prayers and other spiritual exercises are commonly part of the religious practices. These beliefs vary within cultures and change over time.

Theories pertaining to the universality of religion suggest that humans create religion as a response to the universal needs and conditions. It includes a need for understanding as well as dealing with anxieties or uncertainty and need for community bonding.

Religion has many functions in society,it provides meaning and order in people’s life, reduces social anxiety and gives people a sense of control over destiny. It also has an integrative function as well as provides social support. Religion works in a society to preserve social order and it can also become a catalyst for initiating social change.

In addition,it provides a sense of community and a basis of cohesion moral strength. Various religious beliefs often provide guidance in behaviour as well as explanations for human conditions.

Religious experience is associated with that feeling or perception where one feels direct contact with the ultimate reality,like a divine being or a feeling of being overwhelmed with religious emotion. In modern societies religion is becoming more and more formalised. Specific structures like churches and temples are built for religious worship.

 

Religion has been one of India’s core tradition.It is not only a tradition of worship but it also controls the entire community life.

 


Commodification of culture

According to Friedman, “Globalization is the integration of markets , finance and technologies in a way what is shrinking the world from a size medium to a size small and enabling each of us to reach around the world farther, faster and cheaper ever before. Like all previous international systems, it is directly or indirectly shaping the domestic politics, economic policies and foreign relations of virtually every country

Globalisation calls for “consumerism” and consumerism automatically  leads to “commodification”

Commodification relates to the process through which something’s given monetary value

In the process of Globalisation, Commodification tends to occur even when a good or an idea that was previously not regarded as an object to be bought and sold is turned into something of value or trade in market economy

One of the most intriguing and challenging perspectives emerging from critical cultural studies is the commodification of culture-the study of what happens when culture is mass produced and distributed in direct competition with locally based cultures.

Media industries specializing in the production and distribution of cultural commodities. As with other modern industries,they have grown at the expense of small local producers and the consequences of this displacement have been,and continue to be disruptive to people’s life.

Elites are able to disrupt everyday cultures by using a rather insidious strategy.

They take bits and pieces of folk culture,weave it smartly to create attractive mass culture content, and then market it as a substitute for everyday forms of folk culture. Thus not only are elites able to subvert legitimate local cultures but they also earn huge profits in doing so. In fact people actually subsidize the subversion of their everyday culture.


Globalization and Power

We are all a part of a global society in which we remain unequal participants and globalization remains an uneven process. Relations of power are hegemony and inscribed and reproduced within hybridity and we find traces of asymmetry in culture,place and descent. So hybridity raises the question of the terms of the mixture and the conditions of mixing.

Example The cultural hybridity produced by the Black diaspora does not obscure the power that was embedded in the moment of slavery or the economic push pull of migration.

As Hall argues, diaspora identities are constructed within and by cultural power. This power has become a constitutive element in our own identities.

Economic Globalization has altered the power of the State by reduced control of nation states over economic policy. Labour is losing its voice, national governments are losing their power and there is corporate insecurity and volatility of financial capital

Globalization has changed the role of the state and strengthened interstate relationships and dependence on one another

With growing disparities we see that maximum wealth of the world is now accumulated in hands of a few. There is a gap between formal domain of political authority and the actual economic system of production, distribution and exchange which in many ways limit the actual power of national political authorities.

In the economic realm, there are forces that actually determine the power and scope of national states.

In the context of the world markets, role of multinationals increased social and workforce mobility and the decisive role of technology and communications has multiplied.

States can no longer be sovereign as we see increasing involvement of organisations like WTO, IMF and WB in decision making

Globalisation, Corporate Power and Transnational Companies interface
and shape the nature of the Modern Market Economy


Urbanism as a way of life

The concept of “Urbanism” represents a way of life. The term generally denotes the diffusion of urban culture and the evolution of urban society.- The distinctive feature of a man’s mode of living in the modern age is his concentration into gigantic aggregations around which cluster lesser centers and from which radiate the ideas and practices that we call civilization.

  • The city is not only increasingly the dwelling-place and the workshop of modern man, but it is the initiating and controlling center of economic, political and cultural life.
  • The city is the product of growth, rather than instantaneous creation – the influences which it exerts upon modes of life should not be able to wipe out completely the previously dominant modes of human association.
  • Nowhere has mankind been farther removed from organic nature than under the conditions of life characteristic of these cities.

C.B. Mamoria is of the opinion that urbanism is a cultural- social-economic phenomenon which traces interaction between the social and technological processes.


Characteristics of Urbanism:

  1. The diversity of social life (Normal and social role conflict)
  2. Rapid social and cultural change.
  3. Impersonalness and lack of intimate communication.
  4. Materialism
  5. Individualism
  6. Mobility
  7. Increase In formal social control.

Art and Architecture

Contemporary architecture too is ruled by the logic of the spectacle and critics have noticed how art museums are coming to trump the art collection by making the building and setting more spectacular than the collections. Among many aspects of cultural expression art and architecture is perhaps the oldest, most enduring and strongest. One can trace the cultural journey of a society by studying their art and history of a civilization by analysing their architecture. From this perspective the study of art and architecture becomes imperative to understand any culture.

 

Art is a very broad category that can be divided into performing art, literary arts and drawing, painting, sculpture etc. we see an mixture of art into architecture and in this aspects we shall be considering only art forms such as drawing painting and sculpture. Man’s earliest attempts at conversation are centered on copying bird sounds and his earliest attempts at record keeping., at times worship and creation of monuments can be seen with his attempts at painting and drawings that started as crude scratches on cave walls to the likes of Picasso, Raja Ravi Verma, Michelangelo and many more. Art is the greatest form of expression of enduring social realities , utopian ideas and cultural belief systems of each century and civilization. The forms of arts, strokes, paint and the subject matter around which his art was centered is different in different culture. We can make similar statements about sculptures. However sculptures as an art are less to be studied in independent capacity and more in context to architecture because in the ancient and middle ages any notable sculpture was almost always a part of some monument.

 

Art flourished greatly India as well as abroad. However one of the most noble names of Indian artists would be the vary controversial M.F.Hussain and another brilliant artists Raja Ravi Verma.


Folklore

Fashion and fads

Festivals

Cuisine and culture

I do not knoweth thee answer


Explain Cultural Materialism as Raymond Williams

 

 

Cultural materialism in literary theory and cultural studies traces its origin to the work of the left-wing literary critic Raymond Williams. Cultural materialism makes analysis based in critical theory, in the tradition of the Frankfurt School.

It emerged as a theoretical movement in the early 1980s along with new historicism, an American approach to early modern literature, with which it shares much common ground. The term was coined by Williams, who used it to describe a theoretical blending of leftist culturalism and Marxist analysis. Cultural materialists deal with specific historical documents and attempt to analyze and recreate the zeitgeist of a particular moment in history.

Williams viewed culture as a “productive process”, part of the means of production, and cultural materialism often identifies what he called “residual”, “emergent” and “oppositional” cultural elements. Following in the tradition of Herbert Marcuse, Antonio Gramsci and others, cultural materialists extend the class-based analysis of traditional Marxism (Neo-Marxism) by means of an additional focus on the marginalized.

Cultural materialists analyze the processes by which hegemonic forces in society appropriate canonical and historically important texts, such as Shakespeare and Austen, and utilize them in an attempt to validate or inscribe certain values on the cultural imaginary. Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, authors of Political Shakespeare, have had considerable influence in the development of this movement and their book is considered to be a seminal text. They have identified four defining characteristics of cultural materialism as a theoretical device:

Historical context
Close textual analysis
Political commitment
Theoretical method
Cultural materialists seek to draw attention to the processes being employed by contemporary power structures, such as the church, the state or the academy, to disseminate ideology. To do this they explore a text’s historical context and its political implications, and then through close textual analysis note the dominant hegemonic position. They identify possibilities for the rejection and/or subversion of that position. British critic Graham Holderness defines cultural materialism as a “politicized form of historiography”.

Through its insistence on the importance of an engagement with issues of gender, sexuality, race and class, cultural materialism has had a significant impact on the field of literary studies, especially in Britain. Cultural materialists have found the area of Renaissance studies particularly receptive to this type of analysis. Traditional humanist readings often eschewed consideration of the oppressed and marginalized in textual readings, whereas cultural materialists routinely consider such groups in their engagement with literary texts, thus opening new avenues of approach to issues of representation in the field of literary criticism.


Explain the viewpoints of Malinowski and Brown, with special references to cultural studies.

I do not knoweth thee answer

Discuss how social inequality takes place in language takes place.

In every society and social context, some forms of language are valued more than others. This language forms plays a vital role in the constitution of social inequalities.Human creates language to fulfill their social needs. It is a systematic media of communication. Language and society are closely related. Language, with other social factors, creates inequality. So, social inequality reflects in language as a part of the society. According to the Cambridge dictionary, the definition of inequality is: “a situation in which there is no equality or fair treatment in the sharing of wealth or opportunities between different groups in society”. The aim of this paper is to show the relationship between language and inequality in different positions of the society and try to examine them from our cultural point of view.Social class involves in grouping people together according to their education, income, occupation and wealth. The language differs according to the class. In our society there are working class people, upper class people, middle class people and lower class people. Their way of using language is not same. Like the way upper class people react lower class people does not react the same way. Differences in the speech of touchable and untouchable castes were seen e.g. Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things.” In modern societies, lower class speech style will also be found in the working and lower middle class because of movement up and down the socioeconomic ladder. Economy plays a big factor here.We use different words because of our religion. We use same language but the use of words which is related to religion is different. This inequality creates because of self-consciousness or devotion to the religion.Education is a very big factor to create such inequalities. It is also a prestige issue of social power. Because of education people have different occupation. It also reflects in the people’s behavior. Education is gradual process of acquiring knowledge. Education is one of the things that create social class. Because of education the way of using language is different. So, education is responsible in creating social inequalities.The most obvious language division in our society and culture arises from the differences between Muslims and Hindus. People often make particular linguistic variants straightforward indexes of identity. The main term that divides Muslim from Hindu speech would be pani (vs. jol)‘water’. This favorite index actually derives from Sanskrit. Yet, the “Muslim” valeur of pani is as social fact. Bengali Muslim kin terms are also mostly Arabic. Muslims usually call fathers abba; Hindus use baba some other are lobon or nun, morich or lanka, Bhai or Dada, Bhabi or Boudi etc. Bengali Muslims use different expression of respect from Hindus, e.g. “saheb (like ‘Mister’).Muslim names are also typically Arabic. Thus religious mind also create some social inequalities.


Discuss the representation of racial and ethnic groups.

  • Race and ethnicity are not only physical attributes of people, but also ways of seeing and understanding the world.
  • Media plays an influential role in shaping how we think about and enact race in our everyday lives.
  • In the United States and other Western Contexts, whites have historically been associated with superiority and privilege; people of color have historically been associated with inferiority and labeled as the “Other” in society.
  • Our society has made progress in dealing with racial discrimination, but inequality and injustice still remain, and the media is a key site where these ideas persist.
  • Despite the concrete physical and sometimes geographical roots tied to specific racial and ethnic identities, it is important to understand that race and ethnicity are also ideologies, or ways of seeing and understanding the world around us. Race and ethnicity, are therefore imbued with meaning. They not only get used as descriptors, but also as markers of broader concepts and relationships. Race and ethnicity can mark you as belonging to a group or as an outsider, as different. These markers not only designate one’s skin color or cultural background, but also function in a larger system and in relation to other racial and ethnic identities. In this system, certain groups have more power and privileges than others.
  • In order to understand the cultural meanings attributed to specific races and ethnicities, we must examine the historical origins of these systems and ideologies.
  • For decades and centuries, ethnic minority communities have battled mightily to secure rights and opportunities that have often been systematically denied. This is a struggle that continues to this day in new and evolving forms.

Write a note on impact of the process of Globalisation.

Globalization can be broadly defined as social, political and economic changes that we all adapt do. The strong currency rates, constructions, trading etc are all consequences of globalization.

  • A better economy – it introduces rapid development of the capital market
  • Introducing new technologies- the new technologies and progress in telecommunication, introduction of satellites, mobiles etc are all results of globalization.
  • The new scientific research patterns are all results of globalization.
  • Living standards are risen.
  • Globalization introduces better trade. This is because more people are employed. This increases productivity.
  • Apart from economical aspect, globalization has also brought an impact on political and cultural domain.
  • Culturally speaking, globalization has brought in different ideologies, and thought process amongst people.
  • Politically speaking, onset of western democratic system has an impact on politics.

In the cultural context, globalisation refers to the way in which countries and people all over the world, in a contemporary society are interrelated and connected together by communication, trade and cultural experiences through economic, social, political and cultural contracts. Consider companies like Google, McDonald’s, Unilever, Walt Disney that are all a part of our everyday lives today.


Digital Media Culture:

  1. Digital media culture is symbolic of what we call the Information age.
  2. The available digital platforms provide huge amounts of free flow and exchange of information, ideas, values, beliefs and knowledge across the world is no time.
  3. Digital media today focuses on the new relationship between media, culture and society as a critical component of the digital age.
  4. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, and preserved on digital electronics devices.
  5. The user of digital media can do so at his/her convenience.
  6. Internet, personal computing, tablets, and phone based applications have revolutionised the flow and exchange of information in society.
  7. Digital transformation has significantly impacted and influenced media and culture – with the presence of computers, networking communications and appearing media.

Explain Globalisation

Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being societies around the world.

  1. Greater trade across borders in goods and services
  2. An increase in transfers of capital including the expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI) by transnational companies (TNCs) and the rising influence of sovereign wealth funds. Fifty-one of the largest economies in the world are corporations. The top 500 TNCs account for nearly 70% of world trade.
  3. The development of global brands that serve markets in lower, middle and higher-income countries
  4. Greater use of outsourcing and offshoring of production. The classic example is the iPhone which is part of a complex global supply chain. The product was conceived and designed in Silicon Valley in the USA and the software enhanced by engineers working in India. Most iPhones are assembled in China and Taiwan.
  5. High levels of labour migration both within and between countries
  6. A shift in the balance of economic and financial power from developed to emerging economies and markets – i.e. a change in the centre of gravity in the world economy
  7. Increasing spending on capital investment, innovation and infrastructure across large parts of the world
  8. Globalisation is a process of making the world economy more connected and interdependent.

Explain media as culture industries.

The term culture industry (German: Kulturindustrie) was coined by the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), and was presented as critical vocabulary in the chapter “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”, of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944),

THE sociological theory that the loss of the support of objectively established religion, the dissolution of the last remnants of pre-capitalism, together with technological and social differentiation or specialisation, have led to cultural chaos is disproved every day; for culture now impresses the same stamp on everything.Films, radio and magazines make up a system which is uniform as a whole and in every part. Even the aesthetic activities of political opposites are one in their enthusiastic obedience to the rhythm of the iron system. The decorative industrial management buildings and exhibition centers in authoritarian countries are much the same as anywhere else. The huge gleaming towers that shoot up everywhere are outward signs of the ingenious planning of international concerns, toward which the unleashed entrepreneurial system (whose monuments are a mass of gloomy houses and business premises in grimy, spiritless cities) was already hastening. Even now the older houses just outside the concrete city centres look like slums, and the new bungalows on the outskirts are at one with the flimsy structures of world fairs in their praise of technical progress and their built-in demand to be discarded after a short while like empty food cans.


Positive and negative relationship of media and culture:

Media and culture share both positive and negative relationship.

Positive relationship:

Media is leading and helping on a large scale for educational awareness.

With the help of media the mass production of cultural goods of low quality has been replaced by high culture and the traditional folk culture.

Due to media people have started liking and listening to pop music who would hardly listen to classic music.

Media helps to understand new and different culture located at various places.

Media has also helped in removal of certain undesirable elements of culture i.e sati, child marriage.

Negative relationship:

Media is also affecting some of the cultural norms.

Due to influence of media the traditional culture and traditions are disappearing.

Media impact on violence because of violent games and sexual promiscuity and porn are affecting in a wrong way on children and youth. Pornography’s impact and addiction.

Media often hypes the basic facts or information and presents them so as to increase the superficial appeal of things.

It is often seen that young girls and boys imitate their role models blindly. The negative things the celebrities do are often talked about, which the youth tends to follow .


Define culture and enumerate its features with relevant examples:

Culture can be defined as a set of common beliefs that holds people together.

Culture comes from the Latin word cultura meaning ‘growing’, ‘cultivation’ ; from the Latin root colere which means to ‘tend’. It is now known as Culture in English that implies cultivation of the mind, manners etc.

As defined by Raymond Williams, Culture is the process of human development. However, a more holistic definition is that by E B Tylor which is best described in his most famous work Primitive culture. According to him, ‘Culture , or civilization, taken in its broad, ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.’

Features:

  1. Uniqueness
  2. Gives Identity
  3. Sense of Pride
  4. It is social
  5. Culture is acquired not learned

{You need to elaborate this features in your own words and in your own perspective.}


What is language? Explain the features and structure of language.

One of the most essential components and representers of culture is language. Man from earliest age has shown the urge to communicate with nature and people around him. We can trace the journey through him copying animal sounds, trying to convey what he wishes. This in turn leaded to creation of language that man has perfected and which has kept evolving over several centuries now. Sounds or a system of specific sounds to convey a point or message to certain groups of peoples is the main nature language.

Features of Language:

  1. Flexible: Language always has a scope for creation of new words. As time and societies evolves; new products/ concepts do get introduced. Language is flexible and hence makes space for those new concepts and products. Creation of new words helps in articulation of new things and this flexible nature of language makes it possible
  2. Adaptable: As culture keeps evolving, language keeps evolving with it. Any language which does not evolve must face the threat of extinction and several ancient language have become extinct because of their unwillingness to adapt.
  3. Verbal and Non verbal: Language consists of verbal as well as non verbal forms and means of communication
  4. Means of cultural exchange: It is a form of expression and manner of conforming to a culture as well. Language hance serves as a means to conducting our social lives.

How is language significant for culture:

One of the most essential and crucial component and representation of Culture is the Language. Man from the very earliest of days has shown the urge to communicate with nature and people around. Language is a set of symbols used to assign and communicate meaning. It enables names or labels for certain things/obects, existing in our world, so we can think and communicate about them. Member of society generally share a common language which facilitate day to day exchange with others.

Language is both an elemnt of culture and society, without language there wont be any culture and society. Language has been definied as the Method of Human Communication, either spoken or written, conssting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.

 


Discuss the relationship between media and culture

Media and Culture are interconnected. Te Levels of Understanding of the variety of cultures influences the Media Content. Meanwhile media platforms and contents impact cultural and day-to-day practices, Culture encompasses norms, beliefs, behaviours, values, traditions, languages, myths, ways of life, and so forth. Through the media, groups can create and represent cultural identities. Media narratives and discourses are created within different forms of texts and images that are complexly related to the cultural perceptions and practices of both those who produce and consume them. Encoding and decoding is involved in this process where encoding is done by producers of the messages, while decoding is conducted by the audience. These social phenomena are susceptible to struggle and change.The media play an influential role in the day-to-day cultural practices of individuals including their health-related decisions. The media not only help in providing knowledge about health, but also support in empowering wellness

 


How is Gender represented in the Media?

Gender difference is an inevitable part of human society. Rest of the nature works on difference between sexes however humans have created and harboured the essence of gender to their civilzations.

Every society has had a prescribed set of roles attributed to each gender. There might be certain distinction in its finer aspects but certain roles have been vaery clearly defined. With time and age, these aspects came to be stereotyped. People started following them blindly without even looking back at them

Reinforced Gender Roles -> Defined Roles -> Gender Stereotyping

Some of the commonest examples of defining gender roles could be:

  1. Man is the primary and at times only bread winner for family.
  2. It is women’s duty to take care of her house and her children.
  3. Women do not and should not spout their opinions loudly or otherwise. It is advisable for them to not have opinions at all.

It may be due to the blindly following and overlooking of certain definied laws and rules, which led to the stereotyping. Media might have even taken it further and made it a widely accepted stereotype. However, over a period time we see the roles have shifted. Media has played a role in setting and then breaking stereotypes. The portrayal of men and women, a discussion of possibilities for each and the diverse shift of gender identity has been possible with globalisation and media involvement. We have seen a significant shift in the image of women from that of the ‘second sex’ to that of a person with equal socio-economic footing we see a huge dearth change in position of the trans-gender.

Our identities are built in relation to cultural processes, including the production and reception of media content. The media will impact many things like the the dominant ideals, expectations about beauty, age, gender, and what is considered normal in a society. The Western ideal of female beauty is that of the fit, young and thin woman, and the media spreads this ideal through movies, TV shows, fashion shows, advertisement, magazines and newspapers, music videos, and children’s cartoons.

For women to be considered attractive, they have to conform to images in advertisements, television, and music portraying the ideal woman as tall, white, thin, with a ‘tubular’ body and blonde hair. We can find many examples of this in advertising campaigns. Interestingly, some cases where companies tried to show different models of beauty were met with success whereas others have been rejected. For example, the Dove campaign for real beauty have been successful, but the more recent Go Naked campaign by Lush (company) was disputed.

Global Economic and Global Cultural Flows. 

Its an answer of globalization bringing people close, and soon it brings market and economy close, and how culture is also coming close. Like seeing Maggi in Singapore was amazing for me. Eating Momos and Raemen/Noodles in India, is fascinating, Turmeric Latttteee 😂 😂 😂 , so it brings culture from other places to ours, and ours to them, and so it becomes like some priyadarshan film, things happen and keep on happening, world will be too close one day. Man I hate when someone even stares at my maggi. Life is gonna be really miserable in the next decade.

Global economic considers global place a single free world market. The economy in a globalized world is characterized by open, liberal, free market and free trade with less regulatory barriers. Economics of the world become increasingly integrated, leading to a global economy and increasingly to global economic policymaking.

According to Georgy Ritzer, Globalisation is the spread of worldwide practices, relations, consciousness and organisation of social life. It is needless to mention that growing awareness of cultural differences and globalization are interdependent. Infact, advent of international workforce mobility, cross-cultural communications, migration, international trade, tourism and global investments, awareness of cultural differences is inevitable and of vital necessity in the current global context.

  • The main objectives of Global Economic Flow is to trade goods and services, at a globalised level. It broadens its horizons, and makes the whole world a market. Multi National Corporations benefit the most from it, they can expand their market and sell out their products to a global level. One has to be careful in what he sells, and also make it universaly[is it ironical over here?] acceptable
  • The speed and extent of foreign direct investment and instant capital flows in different parts of the global mark the economic globalization. It enlarges the market and brings in a completely new labour market. It thus brings more competitive opportunities.
  • World trade organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund(IMF), and World Bank (WB) are some examples of it. This market has no restriction of competition and mobility, in addition to being a free information society.
  • In the process of this, culture also sees new places.
  • The Indian Traditional Turmeric Mi…[I really cant call it that Haldicha Doodh ftw 😭😭😭]  has been widely accepted
  • [Chinese Food has been truly loved by me <3] Chinese Food has been globally been accepted, people from the Western, European and even some of the Asian Minoriteis have accepted and love Chinese Food.
  • Yoga, the root of Indian Culture, Has Global Acclamation. People from every other corner of the world have accepted it as the best remedy for a healthy life.

Art and Architecture

Among many aspects of cultural expression art and architecture is perhaps the oldest, most enduring and strongest. One can trace the cultural journey of a society by studying their art and history of a civilization by analysing their architecture.

Contemporary Architecture too is ruled by the logic of the spectacle and critics have noticed how art museums are coming to trump the art collection by making the building and setting more spectacular than the collections.

Art is a very broad category that can be divided into performing art, literary arts and drawing, painting, sculpture, etc. We see an mixture of art into architecture and in this aspects we shall be considering only art forms such as drawing painting and sculpture.

Man’s earliest attempts at conversation are centered on copying bird sounds and his earliest attempts at record keeping, at times worship and creation of monuments can be seen with his attempts at painting and drawings that started as crude scratches on cave walls to the likes of Picasso, Raja Ravi Verma, Michelangelo and many more.

Art is the greatest form of expression of enduring social realities, utopian ideas and cultural belief systems of each century and civilization. The forms of arts, strokes, paint and the subject matter around which his art was centered is different in different culture. We can make similar statements about sculptures. However sculptures as an art are less to be studied in independent capacity and more in context to architecture because in the ancient and middle ages any notable sculpture was almost always a part of some monument.

Art flourished greatly India as well as abroad. However one of the most noble names of Indian artists would be the vary controversial M.F.Hussain and another brilliant artists Raja Ravi Verma.


Folklore

It is the knowledge and traditions of a particular group, frequently passed along by word of mouth
The need to communication has been felt by men since early times. Man as a social animal. He has been developing various techniques to fulfill his desire for social needs. The Early man copied the sounds of nature and it is considered as the first stage of formation of language. The development of language however was not merely to make socialization convenient; language serves not only as a tool of basic communication but a medium of promoting, and also that of cultural exchange.

The most primary, easy and quickest form of culture transmission is through oral traditions.

  • Oral transition consists of tales, songs, episodic renditions made in oral from over and over and from generations  to generation. These stories carry with them cultural beliefs, histories, realities, moral systems and are prescriptive in nature.
  • Oral traditions enjoy the flexibility and are generally unaffected to time. As they are in an oral form they can be changed, adapted and moulded over time.
  • Due to their flexible nature oral traditions stay relatable to all times. The morals and feelings that comprise their core are timeless and are hence relatable to people of any age and generation and play a great role in subconscious part of mind.
  • Oral traditions have been popular among the masses as well as the classes since ancient times. They serve not only as entertainers and prescribers of morality but also as a form of maintaining history.

Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not taught in a formal school curriculum or studied in the fine arts. Instead these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folkloristics.

All folklores do more than merely conveying heart-pourings of natives about the nature around them. They are often, nay, always the carriers of culture, of social mores, customs and forms of behaviour – that is a society, nay, life in a nutshell. Folklores contain the lofty thoughts of yore and highest metaphysical truths, normally incomprehensible to laymen, in a subtle, story forms.

Literature, in written form, helps in preserving the folklores and oral traditions. Written books, as recordings of folklores help in passing on the lofty thoughts and ideas to posterity with no or very little changes in contrast to oral traditions where they often get lost in transition. Literature also can highlight the relevance of the stories of the past to the generation of the present, something which the oral traditions cannot strongly do.

Indian Literature, compared to any other literature in the world, played a dominant role in the preservation and propagation of oral traditions and folklores. Very ancients of this land, India, were past masters of all art forms that is folk. Sama Veda, to name one, is probably oldest form of folk music that has survived till date. Even if one takes Sama Veda as a rusty folk music, then it is the finest and ancient folk music that the world has ever witnessed.

From the Epics of India, Ramayana and Mahabharata to Jataka tales of Buddhism to PanchaTantras and Hitopadesha to Katha Saritsagarain the medieval period to mystic songs of Bauls of Bengal to numerous works in almost all the main languages of India, the scholars, saints and writers have kept the oral traditions and folklores alive by writing down many a tale.

India remains one of the world’s richest sources of folktales. Not merely folktales but all forms of oral traditions – proverbs, aphorisms, anecdotes, rumours, songs, impromptu folk street plays – mirror the culture and values of the land in which they take place. They have also helped in binding vastly differing mores and customs of even a single given place. India is one place where the speech of even the most illiterate farmer is filled with lofty thoughts and metaphors.


Fashion and fads

Fashion is nothing but a constantly changing trend. This term is associated with clothes and accessories majority of the times. People relate fashion to what they wear. Though fashion is a wider concept, it has narrowed down to fabric, apparel, and accessories in modern times.

Oleg Cassini, a reputed French-born, American fashion designer quotes, Fashion anticipates, and elegance is a state of mind… a mirror of the time in which we live, a translation of the future, and should never be static.”

Fashion despite being a comprehensive term is generally understood in terms of dressing, accessorizing and overall grooming. Each region have its own style of dressing, kind of colours used and types of materials that are popular. Geography has a large say in what will be a popular choice or what shall be fashionable in a particular part. White Muslim Clothes are popular choice in desserts, Dull and Grey Colours with thick cloth materials are more popular closer to polar regions because of the extreme cold.

Fashions and trends keep changing, evolving and adapting over time. One can see a drastic difference in the manner in which people dressed before colonization and post it. The British Rule; among many things; was also instrumental to bring about a drastic change in the manner in which people dressed themselves. Traditional clothing is still common today however we see a distinct imprint of western colours, designs and makes on it. However the greatest fashion influencer and determinant of fashion in today’s day and age is Media. Various forms of media educate the audiences about the latest trends and to an extent dictate the upcoming trends in it.

Modern Westerners have a wide number of choices available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect his or her personality or interests. When people who have high cultural status start to wear new or different clothes, a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect these people become influenced by their personal style and begin wearing similarly styled clothes. Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation, and geography and may also vary over time. If an older person dresses according to the fashion young people use, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista and fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows current fashions.

One can regard the system of sporting various fashions as a fashion language incorporating various fashion statements using a grammar of fashion. (Compare some of the work of Roland Barthes.)

In recent years, Asian fashion has become increasingly significant in local and global markets. Countries such as China, Japan, India, and Pakistan have traditionally had large textile industries, which have often been drawn upon by Western designers, but now Asian clothing styles are also gaining influence based on their own ideas.

Fashion trends are influenced by several factors including political, economical, social and technological. Examining these factors is called a PEST analysis. Fashion forecasters can use this information to help determine growth or decline of a particular trend.


Festivals

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or traditions. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin of festival is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.

Festivals often serve to fulfill specific communal purposes, especially in regard to commemoration or thanksgiving. The celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness. They may also provide entertainment, which was particularly important to local communities before the advent of mass-produced entertainment. Festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics also seek to inform community members of their traditions; the involvement of elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.

In Ancient Greece and Rome, festivals such as the Saturnalia were closely associated with social organisation and political processes as well as religion. In modern times, festivals may be attended by strangers such as tourists, who are attracted to some of the more eccentric or historical ones.

Festivals are very important in the history of human being. It gives peace and breaks the monotony of the people. In India there are numerous festivals. In Maharashtra National festivalsare celebrated but with many other festivals. Ganesh Utsav is very important which have long history. Ganesh Utsav has unique place in the culture of Maharashtra. In recent years festivals are a being used for promoting tourism. It helps in boosting the economy. This time-limited event encourages visitors to visit the place during the event. During the event, visitors have a unique chance to interact with the local community, gaining a deeper experience of the ambience, customs and local culture.


Indian Cuisine.

Access to edible consumable is a man’s primary need and also his necessary right. However his creativity is apparent in every aspect of his life and food is no exception to that. Food is one of the oldest and eternally popular industry. Food or cuisines are again directly connected to the geography. Those products that grow particular soil are more popular and frequently used and cooked as compared to others. Eg:rice is common near coasts, wheat is common in interiors, Fish is common on the coasts and meat more in the interiors. Indian enjoys great geographical diversity and hence various types of cuisines as well.

Culture and its formation may not be directly related to cuisines, but it also cannot be excluded. Food being a primary human need it is involved in day to day life and hence any cultural event, festival, belief will have some aspects of food attached to it. Many cultural rituals in agrarian society centered on getting better produced or bumper produce. Hence we see creation of rituals, myths, customs and cultural beliefs that not only involve agriculture products but also centered around it or to it. Eg: ‘Modak’ a delicacy is made during ganpati festival and marked days such as ‘sankashti chaturhi’. Krishna is partial to butter. Kali is partial to blood.

Every society finds its distinctive identity in the festivals that it celebrates. Festivals are exciting to all culture; human societies have always displayed the tendency of gathering together in celebration of a specific feature/event, over period that has been characterised into local or national festival. The oxford dictionary defines that festival as a day or period of celebration, typically for RELIGIOUS reasons. We must understand here though that festivals are essentially celebrations that may be for number of reasons. Some of the earliest festivals were unplanned and not celebrated on a particular day.

Specificity of day and time came man established agrarian society. Till agriculture became the primary occupation, man mainly lived in tribes and was nomadic in nature. Agriculture allowed him to settle in one place and established civilization. Because he depended on agriculture for his survival we see him mark time and seasons with greater care and many festivals hence coincide with the agrarian season cycle.

Over period other occupations flourished too however the greatest flourished came in form of established social structures and religious and we see festivals begin to be formed or based around religious events/days etc. hence we can broadly categorised festivals in 2 types.

Seasonal festivals: Eg: Narali Paournima is celebrated immediately towards the end pf monsoon. Post this celebration safe for entry for the fisherman.

religious / Cultural festivals: Ganapati festivals or durga festival are extremely famous in indian. While they are celebrated all over the country, ganapati festival is characterised to Maharashtra and Durga Pooja more popular in West Bengal.


Media and Cuisine

Lalla la. Food Ads on TV are unsafe Lalla La It is all moh maya and entangles us. Lalla la MAGGI DOES NOT HAVE ADS. ITS HELLA SAFE AM I RITE?

Mass media which includes radio, television and the print media is a great source of information for the society. Every day we are bombarded with images that come out of the television, advertisemens, social media, magazines or the newspapers.

Advertising is the primary source of income for the media. Through advertising, we see several messages on a daily basis. A majority of them will be connected with food and the food industry as a whole.  Millions of dollars are spent by manufacturers in order to make their advertisements attractive. Techniques like attractive jingles, catchy phrases and attractive photography are employed to create an illusory world where the food item that is being marketed will seem irresistible.

Such aggressive advertising can have a very adverse impact on children and teenagers. This is because children and young adults may not have the intellect to understand that advertising is not for marketing a good product but for selling a product that does not sell well. They will be attracted to the product without even being aware of the ramifications that it may have on their health. In fact, even babies are not spared. The mass media has made young mothers believe that formula feeding is better for the child whereas doctors advise that breast feeding is the best for the baby.

Media instruments like television are also directly responsible for obesity and overweight. Children who watch a lot of television will demand the food items that are in commercials. These need not be healthy food items. Television viewing has even been inversely related to the intake of healthy food items like fruits and vegetables. It also needs to be said that media can also have a positive influence on food habits. When the messages that are being transmitted are accurate and promote healthy food choices, it may have a positive impact on the food habits of the general public. It can be said without any doubt that the media does have an impact on our food habits. It is therefore important to ensure that the messages that are broadcast are accurate and advocate healthy diets and healthy food.

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