What is pop culture?

I’m trying to explain to someone what pop culture, and they don’t get it. He wants an actual definition, not just the examples I keep throwing out (“Pop culture? It’s Prince, and Ab Fab, and Quentin Tarintino, and David Bowie. . . !”). Can anyone help me out here? I feel like Winona Ryder in that movie (Reality Bites? )where she gets asked what irony is and she says “I’m not sure, but I know it when I see it!” See?! That was really pop culture. . .
By the way, I’m not sure if this is the right forum, but when in doubt, I go here.

Pop culture is the reason I haven’t turned on the radio to anything but NPR in months.

(Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.)

Well, culture is a hard thing to define. I consider pop culture anything that is produced for entertaiment, but becomes a viable conversation piece outside of that. It’s anything that defines the popular state of trends at that point in history. And trends are always based on the underlying societal currents. Prince is pop culture because he played the sexual androgony card in the 80s, which was abounding. Robert Smith of The Cure, Boy George, Annie Lennox. It was a pop culture reflection of something that was going on in society, the ultimate deindividualisation of a ultra-consumerism, until even gender lines are irrelivant.

Or something.

I can offer only this : “as per usual” the American sense of Pop is lead (thats the Zepplin type) by 13 year old girls and their parents money , the famous violence, some media hype, and maybe about 15% of what the public is thinking.

I work in media and music.

Isn’t ironic ? Dont’cha think ?

It’s like rain . . . on your wedding day.


Hmmmm. Well I guess I just felt You Outta Know.

  • NM

Culture is defined as intellectual and artistic activity, and the works produced by it. Pop is short for popular. Put it together. Movies, tv shows, fads, and top forty music are, as you pointed out to your friend, examples of pop culture.

“Pop” culture is entirely pressure dependent.

Put any pressure on it to define itself and; “POP”!