Popular culture consists of generalities that hinge on daily events and activities in the society. Fundamentally, popular culture is composed of societal beliefs, norms, behavior, values, ideologies, rituals, and stereotypes that define and shape humanity. The emergence of cell phones has resulted into a culture of cell phone application with a great deal of rituals and stereotypes.
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Bowne (2005) defines stereotypes as, generalities of a certain phenomenon aimed at favoring or disfavoring given groups, but mostly employed for negative reasons (p.102). Thus, the use of phones and texting while driving has triggered rituals and stereotypes amongst people. The theories of mass society and culture industry are the two theories that explain rituals and stereotypes of mobile phone usage such as texting while deriving.
According to the mass theory, popular culture is a reflection of dominant beliefs, norms, values, and general behavior of societal members. Bowne (2005) contends that, due to democracy, culture of majority plays a considerable role in shaping popular culture (p.4). Given that rituals and stereotypes are a part of beliefs, values, and norms that society holds at a given instance of history, the use of phones in texting while driving has rituals and stereotypes associated with it.
For instance, despite the danger associated with texting while driving, rituals and stereotypes perceive it as prowess of multitasking. Moreover, the theory of the culture industry postulates that popular culture is an expression that various societal classes contradict each other. For example, youths have the ability to multitask; for instance, they can easily text while driving, while old people cannot do the same.
Therefore, the two theories show that texting while driving is a ritualized and stereotyped behavior that has become a popular culture, and depicts a society as exceptionally busy and youths as having unique abilities of multitasking. Based on the two theories, I have realized that rituals and stereotypes form a significant part popular culture.
Bowne, R. (2005). Profiles of Popular Culture: A Reader. Wisconsin: Popular Press.