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Pop Culture and Music Critical Essay

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Updated: Dec 30th, 2019


The modern world has brought about many changes in the way popular music is created and interpreted. It is also significant how the culture of a certain place is reflected in the music.

Recently, gender roles and the way they are manifested in music are critically observed by the society. The media has a lot of influence on people’s demand for the types of music.

A book titled “Pop Music, Pop Culture” introduces several important themes that relate to the social makes-up of a culture, modernized views of status and gender, as well as the influence on the local population.

The title specifically prepares the reader for the interconnection between culture and popular music, as it is one entity that is a great part of human society and the music industry (Rojek 2011).

Summary of content

The first part of the book starts off with the social division that the music and the demand create. The author mentions that for some time, certain genres and whole cultures of music have been dominated by different people. There are also specifics about gender.

Women are shown to play the role of possessions while men are shown promiscuous and are judged by the amount of women they can get as a form of social status.

The second part looks at theoretical perspectives, and how the society is “moved” into a certain direction that is dictated by the social views mixed with the unique nature of the popular music created.

The subliminal messages specifically target people who are easily influenced by the pop culture and its negative side.

The third part addresses the relationship between the organizations that produce the music with society and culture. Unfortunately, popular music has become a great business opportunity and people are looking to get rich fast, be it organizations or individuals with talent (Rojek 2011).

Analysis of the text

There is no denying that rap and hip hop were originally created by African Americans, and they are still dominant in the culture. Rock is associated with European/American white population and pop is becoming more mixed every day.

Even a great number of jazz compositions are not aligned with the white population. But most recently, the music has become much more open minded. However, this has not taken away certain genres from groups of people.

There are individual artists who might become prosperous in a different genre but other than that, there is a division. The division between genders has been evident for a long time, with history to support this fact (Perry 2004).

This is a force which is dictated by the growing population. It is much more liberal in the selection of styles and the types of music. Profanity and vulgarity have become desensitized and people are used to seeing inappropriate images and portrayals in the music.

It has become divided between artists and there is some agreeing with Rojek. It seems as if certain music types have been registered with specific artists and portrayals of social life.

The end result leads to an understanding that the originality of music will be attributed to artists who are best at their own representation of style (Rojek 2011).

Evaluation of the text

An extremely valuable point is made that a civilized society should not portray anyone as objects, especially in sexual terms (Rojek 2011).

When a society represents inappropriate views through music, it gets predisposed to the roles that people have, leading to most negative effect of the lyrics and videos which will influence the younger generation. The book is valuable and practical, as it gives people a warning.

Young children will expect individuals to be a certain way and will repeat such behavior in schools. Even though the society and laws have accepted the modernized culture, there is still much predisposition and discrimination (Gatens 1996).

Partly, this is due to the freedom of expression and the open mindedness that has been so welcome in the modern times. People are given an ability to do almost anything they want, and this has led to a few bad choices which must be rooted out from society.

I liked the book because it presents the relationship between the culture and popular music clearly and without any aversions.

It is true that there is a close connection between the lyrics and social views, provocative and derogatory language has had a significant influence on the conversations and labels that people apply to each other.

Since people often repeat the behavior they encounter, whatever is said and done in music transfers over to real life without a fully conscious choice (Biagi 2011). Music was always an important part of any society and its effects can be observed in all instances of life.

In order for the music to change, people must raise the standards in how individuals are shown in the entertainment industry. “Pop Music, Pop Culture” does a great job in familiarizing the leaders with the causes and effects that can be seen in the modern society.

People have become engulfed in status and reputation that is made and stabilized through the music industry (Rojek 2011).

It is a must for any society to realize that the exhibited changes can be directed and controlled, as to have the best influence on the surrounding environment, and teach others a valuable lesson, instead of displaying how immature and inappropriate culture and popular music are.

Reference List

Biagi, S 2011, Media Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media: An Introduction to Mass Media, Cengage Learning, Boston.

Gatens, M 1996, Imaginary Bodies: Ethics, Power & Corporeality, Routledge, New York.

Perry, I 2004, Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop, Duke University Press, Durham.

Rojek, C 2011, Pop Music, Pop Culture, Polity, Malden.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Pop Culture and Music." December 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/pop-culture-and-music/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Pop Culture and Music'. 30 December.

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