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Popular Culture Resistance: Causes and Goals Essay

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Updated: Jun 7th, 2021


Global society has entered the era of globalization. The evolution of means of transport along with the fast development of technologies provided people with multiple opportunities to travel and learn about other cultures. This resulted in increased diversity and offered numerous options for the further development of the world and its various aspects. Among other spheres that experience significant changes, culture can be considered the most important one.

There is an outstanding growth of a so-called popular culture that is characterized by the emergence of universal trends peculiar to all regions affected by mass media. The scope of this phenomenon is evidenced by the fact that today people in various countries discuss the same events and admire similar things. However, along with the apparent contribution to the development of globalization, this fast rise of popular culture poses the question of authenticity as the unique image of various peoples is being lost. This paper will discuss the causes and goals of society’s emerging resistance to popular culture.


Speaking about the problem, it can be stated that the situation becomes contradictory. Popular culture is a set of practices, beliefs, values, and objects that are dominant in a particular society at a certain period of time (Osborne 45). On the one hand, it leads to improved cooperation between people globally because of higher understanding levels. However, from another perspective, it can result in the complete elimination of less popular or less strong customs or ways of living under the impact of the existing patterns that are promoted and cultivated by media and TV.

Additionally, at the very first stages of its evolution, popular culture emerged as a form of resistance to multiple cases of inequality that were still peculiar to communities. These differences were preconditioned by such factors as social class, income, local living conditions, gender, and race. That is why the popularization of various ideas that promoted tolerance and equality along with the creation of appropriate culture became a potent tool to support this movement (Sellnow 55).

However, in the course of its development, popular culture lost its initial meaning and transformed into a phenomenon used by various actors, including corporations and governments, to achieve particular strategic goals (Sellnow 57). For this reason, today, we can observe the shift of priorities and the rise of resistance to popular culture.

Preservation of Authenticity

One of the central causes of this growing opposition is the desire to preserve authenticity. Surprisingly, this problem becomes one of the most topical issues for contemporary society. The dominance of popular trends preconditioned the creation of the specific unified culture that affects global intercourse and eliminates aspects that traditionally have been associated with different regions for decades (Sugihartati).

From this perspective, the further development of this notion will mean that many unusual customs and traditions that do not belong to popular culture will perish. For this reason, one of the main causes of resistance is the growing level of people’s awareness and consciousness as they want to protect their traditional values and beliefs.


Another important cause is the high level of tiredness peculiar to many individuals nowadays. The development of technologies provides an outstanding opportunity to guarantee constant access to every product of the pop culture that exists today. Moreover, being used as a potent impact tool, it becomes an integral element of various advertisements and campaigns aimed at the promotion of a particular object (Grazian 76). That is why individuals in different parts of the globe are constantly exposed to popular culture and its manifestations. It preconditions the growing dissatisfaction and tiredness levels as people have the need for something new to enjoy the diversity and benefit from fresh experiences. This cause also stipulates the emergence of resistant moods.


Regarding the reasons mentioned above, there are several goals that are pursued by people who try to slow down and resist the further evolution of popular culture. The first aim is to be different and avoid behavioral patterns peculiar to the majority of populations affected by the discussed phenomenon. Interviews show that more and more young people start to disregard popular culture events preferring another sort of objects that become more valuable to them (Grazian 23).

Accepting the fact that the youth is the major indicator of change and new moods, it can be concluded that there is a growing tendency towards differentiation and attempts to find unique ways to express oneself, which becomes the central goal of resistance.

Cultivation of Local Cultures

Another important goal is the preservation of the authenticity of local cultures and the creation of the background for their future rise. The modern globalized world with the dominance of mass media and the Internet leaves little space for the growth of other customs and traditions different from the popularized ones. For this reason, there is a threatening tendency towards the disappearance of a set of unique values.

In this regard, the growing resistance to popular culture aims at the alteration of this situation and demonstration of the unique opportunities that are associated with understudied or less discovered traditions (Danesi 65). It becomes an important goal shaping the evolution of the modern world and its future perspectives.

Respect for Roots

Furthermore, currently, there is a comparatively new trend that presupposes people’s turning back to their roots. Sociologists admit that the growing number of individuals start to show more interest in the culture of their predecessors as one of the possible ways of self-actualization and self-realization (Danesi 54). The emergence of this tendency is associated with resistance to popular culture, which means that this process can be considered one of the main goals of opposing dominant ideas. The desire to investigate the cultural background and cultivate the traditions of their forefathers indicates the reconsideration of the role of popular culture and marks all forms of resistance to it.


Altogether, the modern world is characterized by extreme globalization and the dominance of popular culture with its values, ideas, and objects. The fast rise of this phenomenon can be explained by the fact that it appeared as a form of resistance to inequality in society and attempts to create a new environment characterized by the existence of equal opportunities for people to self-actualize and cooperate.

However, in the course of its development, pop culture became an integral part of society and the dominant notion influencing almost all spheres of people’s activity. For this reason, it preconditioned the appearance of various forms of resistance with the primary goal to preserve unique customs and traditions peculiar to people in different regions and cultivate their own values and beliefs. The growing popularity of this tendency can be explained by people’s tiredness of the ideas emphasized today and their desire to find some unusual ways of self-realization.

Works Cited

Danesi, Marcel. Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives. 4th ed., Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018.

Grazian, David. Mix It Up: Popular Culture, Mass Media, and Society. 2nd ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2017.

Ousborne, Jeff. Reading Pop Culture: A Portable Anthology. 2nd ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015.

Sellnow, Deanna. The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts. 3rd ed., SAGE Publications, 2017.

Sugihartati, Rahma. “Youth Fans of Global Popular Culture: Between Prosumer and Free Digital Labourer.” Journal of Consumer Culture, 2017. Web.

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