Despite What Is Depicted In Popular Culture

Representation: Culture & Perception

When it comes to forming our opinions of people, media, entertainment, and other kinds of popular culture are important factors to consider. A large number of us learn about individuals who are different from us through popular culture, which is the major means by which we do so. A major difficulty, however, is that many depictions are based on cultural stereotypes, which have the effect of marginalizing and caricaturing people who belong to nondominant groups. We gain a restricted and skewed perspective on others as a result of these representations.

Characters from nondominant racial and ethnic groups frequently fall into formulaic clichés on television and in movies, and their plots are frequently based on hackneyed tales, particularly in drama.

For example, black men and boys are often shown badly in both news and entertainment programming, regardless of their race.

According to one study of local news coverage, black people are disproportionately shown as criminals, but white people are more frequently depicted as victims of crime than black people.

These portrayals, despite the fact that they are erroneous in terms of facts, are frequently left unchallenged because they correspond to dominant cultural preconceptions.

Popular culture is an important vehicle in this effort because it may be utilized to promote more nuanced and diverse images of people of color.

As part of its research, the Perception Institute evaluates cultural items to identify their influence on implicit prejudice, racial anxiety, and behavior in order to inform policy and practice.

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The Mafia in Popular Culture

Beginning with Al Capone and Vito Corleone and continuing with John Gotti and Tony Soprano, mafia figures, both real and fictitious, have caught the public’s interest since the 1920s. In spite of their reputation for being ruthless and aggressive, these individuals are frequently observed upholding their own particular standards of honor and decency. In this sense, they might be compared to the outlaw heroes of the Wild West, such as Jesse and Frank James or Billy the Kid, who lived in the nineteenth century.

The Mafia has, nevertheless, emerged as the dominant pop cultural embodiment of the Italian American identity, much to the displeasure of the majority of ethnic Italian Americans.

As a result of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 Academy Award-winning smash hit film “The Godfather” (based on Mario Puzo’s novel) and its reinvention of the gangster movie genre, there has been an abiding effect on the genre.

Early Gangsters on FilmTV

During the transition from the Prohibition period to the Great Depression, the first wave of gangster films reflected the rising anger and frustration of many Americans over the deteriorating economic realities of the time. Despite the fact that the main characters in films such as “Little Caesar” (1931), starring Edward G. Robinson, “The Public Enemy” (1931), starring Jimmy Cagney, and “Scarface” (1932), starring Paul Muni, suffered the consequences of their law-breaking, many of whom were based on real-life mobsters such as Al Capone, many audiences identified with their willingness to work outside the traditional system in order to make a living.

It was not until 1950 that a Senate committee established to examine organized crime began holding public hearings, which marked the beginning of a shift.

A soldier in the Luciano “family” organization, Joseph Valachi, had a prominent role in later televised proceedings, which were broadcast in the early 1960s.

It was the same year that the novel that would do more than any other to create the mafia’s mythology in popular culture was published: Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.” “The Valachi Papers” is a novel by Peter Maas that was published in 1969.

“The Godfather”Its Legacy

The novel by Mario Puzo chronicles the narrative of Sicilian immigrant Vito Corleone and the family and “company” he founded in Next York, as well as the tribulations of his son Michael, who would replace him as the new “Don” of the crime family. A young Italian-American director named Francis Ford Coppola was tapped to direct the adaptation of the novel when Paramount Pictures purchased film rights to the novel. (Coppola and Puzo also collaborated on the script, which was written by Coppola.) In “The Godfather,” which starred Marlon Brando as Don Corleone and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone and featured a stellar cast, the film provided a fuller, more authentic, and more sympathetic glimpse into the Italian-American experience than had previously been seen on screen, despite the fact that it did so through the lens of organized crime.

  • It also created an obviously romantic vision of the mafioso as a man of contradictions, who was merciless against his adversary yet loyal above all else to his family and friends.
  • In this sense, “The Godfather” redefined the gangster film, and it would go on to influence all subsequent gangster films.
  • (19) “The Godfather, Part III” (released 16 years after “The Godfather, Part II”) was a critical and commercial failure.
  • In addition to dramas such as “The Untouchables” (1987), “Donnie Brasco” (1997), and particularly Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” (1990), which revealed the darker side of “The Godfatherromantic “‘s view of Mafia life, there are a number of other comparable films.
  • As a result of “The Godfather’s” long-lasting popularity, the Mafia was depicted in everything from animated films to animated children’s cartoons, video games to gangsta-style hip-hop or rap music.

“NYPD Blue” and “Law and Order” both featured mobsters on a regular basis, as did other crime dramas like “NYPD Blue.” In 1999, however, the premiere of a cable television show depicting a mafioso unlike any other had been broadcast before.

“The Sopranos”

David Chase, the creator of the HBO series “The Sopranos” and an Italian-American from New Jersey, has succeeded in creating a new sort of gangster in Tony Soprano, a character that has become iconic. Tony (James Gandolfini) sees a psychiatrist in the New Jersey suburbs to deal with the demands of job and family life, and Chase relocated the action away from the conventional metropolitan setting (including wife Carmela, mother Livia and two teenage kids). Gangsters like Tony are merely attempting to live the same type of luxurious lifestyle as their fellow suburbanites in the world of “The Sopranos,” all while suffering with a sense that something is missing, that things aren’t the way they were before.

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To acknowledge Chase’s debt to other works of Mafia-related popular culture, the series included many references to such works, including “Public Enemy,” “Goodfellas,” and, notably, “The Godfather,” over the course of the series.

Negative Stereotyping

One of the most stunning parts of “The Sopranos” was its vividly detailed image of first- and second-generation Italian Americans, as seen through the perspective of one extended family, which was reminiscent of “The Godfather” in its portrayal of the same. The fact that both of those families were organized crime families, on the other hand, meant that many Italian Americans had conflicting feelings about these pieces. In 1970, the Italian American Civil Rights League staged a demonstration to demand that the film “The Godfather” not be produced.

Even if pop culture’s infatuation with the Mafia has unquestionably fuelled some negative preconceptions about Italian Americans, great works such as “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Sopranos” have instilled a feeling of shared identity and experience in many Italian Americans.

Pop culture can no longer ignore our climate reality

In Fix’s What’s Next Issue, which looks ahead to the ideas and breakthroughs that will affect the climate discourse in 2022, and questions what it means to have hope now, this article is included as part of the theme “What’s Next.” You can read the entire issue here. “The animals are dying,” says Australian author Charlotte McConaghy as she starts her bookMigrationon a somber note. “It won’t be long before we’re alone here.” The best-selling novel chronicles the story of biologist Franny Stone, who has left her home and husband behind in order to track down what is thought to be the last flock of Arctic terns on Earth.

  • A highly intimate story about a lady who is repeating a traumatic event from her past is told against the backdrop of the status of the environment by McConaghy.
  • It has long been a mainstay of science fiction to examine the effects of the Earth’s shifting climate on its inhabitants.
  • This is how literature may be used to transmit lessons and context, as well as to depict the world in a new perspective, among other things.
  • Fiction and story have the ability to influence and modify attitudes, make ethereal concepts understandable, and assist in the development of answers to the challenges that we face.
  • In recent years, however, as the crisis has become more pressing and its consequences more intrusive, it has begun to find its way into everything from the novels of authors such as McConaghy and N.
  • Jemisin to television shows such as The Expanse, films such as Don’t Look Up, and video games such as the forthcomingWe Are the Caretakers.
  • Climate change is an unavoidable element of everyday life, and popular culture must represent this reality, as evidenced by all of the above.

It will become increasingly unrealistic if individuals do not incorporate it in their modern realism books as time goes on, says the author.

Fiction becomes reality

Despite the fact that Mohamed is speaking explicitly about novels, her statement applies to fiction in all of its forms, whether it be literature, film, television, or any other kind of artistic expression. It is hard to identify exactly when climate change began to transcend science fiction and enter other domains of culture, as is the case with every artistic movement. When Jules Verne wrote The Purchase of the North Pole in 1889, he was one of the first authors to consider how mankind can affect the earth.

  • The protagonists in Louis Pope Gratacap’s 1908 novelEvacuation of England: The Twist in the Gulf Stream make the mistake of reversing the Atlantic gulf stream, resulting in a catastrophic outcome.
  • In 1962, as the contemporary environmental movement was gaining momentum, John Christopher published The World in Winter, a fiction in which he explored society breakdown with the coming of a new ice age.
  • Ballard the same year, looked at a London that had been drowned by increasing sea levels.
  • By the mid-1990s, science fiction and environmental fiction were gaining in popularity.
  • Butler’s seminal novel The Parable of the Sowerimagined a chillingly accurate world of the 2020s ravaged by devastating fires and rising seas in her seminal novel The Parable of the Sower.
  • Jemisin, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Rebecca Roanhorse have created novels in which characters must deal with the obstacles of a rapidly changing environment.
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When it comes to science fiction, “what is happening in the real world is playing off the changes that are happening in the fiction,” says John Scalzi, author of the Interdependencytrilogy, in which an interstellar civilization faces an existential crisis caused by the collapse of the hyperspace lanes that held humanity together.

Ignoring these shifts would result in stories that are removed from reality and border on fiction in their content and tone.

The mainstreaming of climate change themes

The mainstreaming of climate change themes is due in large part to the growing recognition of the problem, as well as the shortening amount of time we have to address it, says Gerry Canavan, an associate professor of English at Marquette University who teaches contemporary American literature and popular culture in the context of contemporary American literature and popular culture. As Canavan explains, “We’re viewing it as part of the ambient radiation that is creating what the future will look like right now, in a way that you could not have imagined 20 to 30 years ago.” Author N.K.

  • A new generation of authors has no qualms about fusing genre motifs with the stylistics of “serious fiction,” and they have no reservations about it.
  • The theme of climate change is becoming more prevalent as it becomes unavoidable in all aspects of life, and we’re beginning to see it emerge more broadly as authors beyond the literary world strive to analyze our relationship with the status and health of the globe.
  • Although books and literature have been in the forefront of portrayals of climate change, the theme is becoming increasingly popular in other media.
  • Game of Thrones and The Expanse have both featured environmental collapse as a backdrop to fanciful storylines, while the Norwegian series Occupied placed environmental collapse in the center of a political drama set in the current day, respectively.
  • As we go on into an unknown future, the arts will follow, attempting to express our quest to comprehend and interpret our relationship with the natural world via representations of nature.
  • Storytelling classics such as Willa Cather’s 1922 novelOne of Ours and both the bookGone With the Wind and its film version, among others, assisted people in making sense of the situation after the American Civil War.
  • Because to the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, television programs such as Battlestar Galactica, 24, Generation Kill, and Person of Interest, as well as films such as The Hurt Locker, have all but established a new genre.

It is not difficult to find examples of this in the CSIfranchise and other crime series, which place an excessive reliance on forensic science.

TheLawOrderfranchise serves as an excellent gauge in this regard: In the latest season of Special Victims Unit, which was recorded during the COVID-19 epidemic, characters don masks and express dissatisfaction with the consequences of lockdowns and other limitations.

Other contemporary series, such as The Rookie and S.W.A.T., have tackled similar topics in the past.

Examples include seeing the sky obscured by wildfire smoke or hearing characters debate climate denialism, even if it is just in symbolic terms, in the series.

It’s reasonable to anticipate that entertainment will influence how readers, viewers, and, in the case of video games, players, perceive our climate-changed future, so changing what is still considered a theoretical problem for many people into a concrete one.

Following such scenarios through books and on screens of all sizes may encourage individuals to rethink their own behavior and habits, increasing the likelihood that we will escape the future that Charlotte McConaghy and so many others have been warning us about.

Find out more about Fix’sWhat’s Next Issue by visiting their website.

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Australia – The ascendance of Australian popular culture

End of World War II saw the beginning of the formation of an increasingly unique Australian popular culture. Beginning in 1941, the advent and stay of more than 100,000 United States forces in Australia had a significant influence on postwar culture and society. As a result of the United States’ alliance with Australia during World War II, tight relations developed between the two nations, and Australia began to rely on the United States for both military support and economic progress. Pre-war Australian society had been heavily impacted by conservative British culture, which was reflected in entertainment, music, and sports, as well as social views, and this continued after the war.

  • The United States had a significant cultural impact on other Western nations, particularly Australia, and this had a long and lasting effect.
  • American values and cultural goods, such as movies and music, spread fast throughout Australian culture, accompanied by a shift away from the old, restrictive ways of prewar living and toward a more emancipated and expressive way of existence.
  • In Australia, 151 million movie admissions were reported in in one year, in 1945 alone.
  • In the early 1950s, there was a severe scarcity of films produced in Australia.
  • This exposure had an unquestionable influence on impressionable teenagers, resulting in the emergence of a new youth culture in Australia as a result.
  • Television swiftly rose to become one of the most popular kinds of entertainment in the country, as well as one of the most prominent media platforms in the world.
  • In the early years following the introduction of television, not many Australians were able to buy the new technology.
  • Despite television’s immense popularity, a minority segment of society was hostile to it, primarily because the vast bulk of shows were produced in the United States.
  • This worry was addressed to some extent in the mid-1960s when the need for increased Australian content resulted in the broadcasting of more Australian shows, notably Australian dramatic series, on television.
  • By the early 1960s, Australia was producing more than 500,000 recordings every month, according to official figures.
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The arrival of rock and roll in Australia is usually dated to the release of the filmBlackboard Jungle in 1955, which featured the hit single “Rock Around the Clock” by the American bandBill HaleyandHis Comets, whose Australian tour in 1957 was a sensation; the film was a critical and commercial success.

  1. With the introduction of thrilling new music came the development of expressive new dancing techniques as well as the introduction of fashionable young attire.
  2. They blamed rock & roll for the increase.
  3. A moment of affluence and significant accomplishment for Australian sports occurred during the postwar period of the 1950s.
  4. Following the war’s conclusion, Australians found themselves with more free time, and their enthusiasm for sports was renewed.
  5. The coverage of the Melbourne Olympic Games on television served to bring Australians together in a shared sense of pride in the accomplishments of their athletes at the first Games to be held by their country.

Swimming and track and field competitions were among the highlights for Australian competitors, who also placed highly overall.

Domestic politics to 1975

In July 1945, following the death of John Curtin, another ALP stalwart, Joseph Benedict (Ben) Chifley, was appointed prime minister in his place. Influenced by Keynesian ideology, their governments kept tight control over the economy and even considered nationalization of private banks in the 1970s. Welfare measures were increased, as was the power of the commonwealth government over the states, while the latter continued to play an important role in the overall picture. In all of these levels, as well as at other places, it was clear how much larger and more knowledgeable the federal public service had grown.

Anxiety over the Communist Party was fueled by the disruptive methods used by sympathizers, particularly in labor unions.

In December 1949, he was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Menzies served as Prime Minister until 1966.

His governments continued to keep a close eye on the economy, which proved to be beneficial.

He proceeded to portray himself as a warrior against communism and to charge that Labor’s leaders had failed to restrain the spread of its nefarious tendencies.

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) suffered under the unpredictable leadership of Herbert Vere Evatt (1951–60); an anticommunist section, influenced in part by theCatholic Social Movement (see above), broke away to establish the Democratic Labor Party.

His longtime subordinate, Harold Holt, took over as Menzies’ successor, although he had little time to leave a lasting impression before his tragically in a car accident in December 1967.

Gorton’s popularity with the people and his parliamentary colleagues waned, and he was replaced by another Liberal, William McMahon, in the first months of 1971.

He symbolized the importance of an intellectual inside the party, which had been politicized in a minor degree by liberationist and countercultural forces of the day, as well as by more conventional left-wing sympathizers, at the time.

Whitlam’s governments were extraordinarily active, though not always effective, in their pursuit of their goals.

A greater feeling of Australian identity won the day, and certain imperial symbols were thrown out the window in the process.

For many, Whitlam looked to be guiding the nation toward a better and more prosperous future.

Some of its members did have a tendency to be irresponsible at times.

The administration lacked a majority in the Senate, which as a result withheld ratification of the revenue supply with the intention of forcing Whitlam to call an election in the near future.

Kerr had been nominated (for the Queen’s consent) by Whitlam, but on November 11, 1975, he sacked Whitlam and appointed Fraserinterimprime minister. Kerr’s actions created excitement, and among Whitlam’s fans, fury. An election in December provided a comfortable victory to Fraser.

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