10.29.09+Rock+Meanings - Rock and Mass Culture There are...

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Rock and Mass Culture There are certain times when a subculture can break the system: Rock in the 60s Listened to and created by the same people Co-opted by the mass culture for pop consumption An example of how the subcultures can have an effect on the cultural commodities of the mass culture
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Welcome Please hand in all audience assignments and extra credit. Exam grades posted on sakai If you have questions about your grade, or would like to see you exam, please come to my office hours or make an appointment
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Music We hear music all the time, where do we hear it, through what sources, and what channels? What does rock in all its various forms mean as a cultural form? What themes and subjects of rock music? Who is the author of a given song? What is the significance of labels and label structure in determining the authors? What is the significance of the advent of home recording and popularity of independent labels? What is the difference between live and recorded music as a cultural and communicative experience?
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COMMUNICATION AND POPULAR CULTURE Popular Music and Mass Culture
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Mass Culture and Cultural Commodity Selection The emergence of a “mass media” created centralized and commercialized entities that control what people hear As fewer people made music for themselves, public taste was easier to control Popular music emerged from the processes of commodity production and selection
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Mass Cultural Production The mass cultural commodity abides by formulas that limit creativity Mass produced for an audience of consumers making market choices which limit artistic response Very Fiske. Since they are choosing from the cultural repertoire, they are not responding to the commodity with subcultural struggle There are negotiations – i.e. what records sell and what don’t - but those choices are limited to the cultural commodities available
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Mass Culture/Adorno & The Frankfurt School Mass culture: Assumes audiences are passive Does not make artistic demands of audiences Assumes it can lure consumers with “stars” Mass music consumers have no real relationship with either the music’s producers or their fellow consumers Myth of the mass consumer as the “common man/woman” But like we’ve said before – we are not the “common man/woman” We are unique and discriminating consumers
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Mass Culture/Adorno & The Frankfurt School The problem with Adorno: Adorno examines: Music as cultural commodity The act of music production and commoditization Dismissed music he knew little about But, the actual use of music is scarcely examined Passivity is assumed . And while many times it may be the intention of the mass culture to produce music to be passively consumed – what is the consumer actually doing?
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Walter Benjamin Walter Benjamin to the rescue!
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