According to Stephen Thompson (2014), it is important to break out of a cultural rut because he feels it is important that people do not lament anything of today’s culture. For example, someone may say that Hip Hop music today is terrible, however, other people actually enjoy listening to that type of music. Basically something that one may dislike, there is a high chance that someone out their actually enjoys it. I have been in a cultural rut before, but I feel the reason for this is because I was a young. As I became older I started to see that there is much more out there to enjoy. I also realized that someone not liking something that I liked is someone’s opinion that I do not have to apply to my life. In the podcast I could relate to someone not liking the same music that I like. I enjoy listening to all different types of music, especially pop and country, but majority of my friends would not agree with me.
My chosen piece of popular culture is a Television show called Hardcore Pawn, and I was able to access this through truTV.com. I chose this piece of media because I have always heard about this show while watching other TV series, but was never that interested to check it out myself. This out of my category of Television shows because I am not into pawning. Also, the people that this show is based around are all related, and I could not go into business with family because money has a way breaking up relationships.
I had an exciting feeling on the inside when viewing this film. I did not know what to expect, but when I watched the first episode and a lady was yelling at one of the workers to hurry up so she would not miss her hair appointment, I had a feeling this was a good show to watch. I would definitely seek out similar pop culture in the future because I was very entertained when watching this show. After watching this show I realized that when people go to pawn shops they are expecting what they came for to be there. Whether that is wedding bands that they loaned the shop, or if they looking for some electronic. What makes the show entertaining is when people do get what they want and they cause a big scene.
According to Raymond Williams (1961), “There is the “social” definition of culture, in which culture is a description of a particular way of life, which expresses certain meanings and values not only in art and learning but also in institutions and ordinary behavior (p.32). Williams talks about three categories of culture and the third stage shown above relates to “culture rut”. At the end of Williams’s statement, it says “ordinary behavior”, but who is to determine what exactly is ordinary. Telling people that there is an ordinary behavior, limits people to believing that the ordinary way they are used to is the only way to pursue life. For example, everyone thinks that the kind of music they listen to is the best and anything else is different, or they enjoy watching this sport but others do not. Telling people that there is an ordinary behavior makes them say something they are not use to be terrible, and one does not want to be that type of person in society because that is what leads to cultural rut.
The show Hardcore Pawn can be analyzed in a couple different ways that connect to the demographics. When watching the show, it was evident to me that everyone who was a part of the show was essentially the same demographically. This was true across race, apparent educational attainment, income level/class, and age. For example, most of the people in the store as customers were African American, but the owners of the shop were all white. Based on appearance, it also seemed as if everyone was a part of the working middle class, including the people running the store. Another thing was that everyone in the store appeared to be in the age group of 25-50. Based on the different kinds of people on the show, we can probably make predictions about the audience of Hardcore Pawn. Watchers enjoy seeing people they can relate to, therefore, the audience of this show maybe somewhat racially diverse, but have similar educational backgrounds, income levels, and ages.
Thompson, S. (2014, September 5). Pop Culture Happy Hour: Repurposing ‘The Simpsons’ And Busting Out Of A Rut [Audio blog post]. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2014/09/05/346055621/pop-culture-happy-hour-repurposing-the-simpsons-and-busting-out-of-a-rut
Williams, R. (1998). The Analysis of Culture. In J. Storey (Ed.), Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (2nd ed., pp. 48-56). Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press.