Glee, Breaking Bad, and Parenthood
Chapter 3. What Do Popular Culture, Television, and Youth Have to Do with It?
← 46 | 47 →Chapter Three
What Do Popular Culture, Television, and Youth Have to Do with It?
Few subjects range as far and vary as frequently as does popular culture. It seems to embrace all and to discard much. Its consistency is change. Like the escalator that is now so essential to the shopping center, sports arena and airport, it moves regularly, conveying us all up and down to different levels of engagement and distraction, to goods and pleasures regularly arranged to attract, to appeal, to entice. (Betts, 2004, Preface)
Patterns of television viewing and practices have changed dramatically over the last 60 years. To better understand this trend, I begin this section with a working definition of popular culture. In academia, the debate over the validity of the concept of popular culture continues. For example, some researchers of popular culture (Steinberg & Kincheloe, 2004) have argued that it reflects the attitudes of the younger generation, and we need to include it in educational forums (i.e., the school ← 47 | 48 →curriculum, everyday interactions between teacher/student), whereas others (for example, Storey, 2001) have pointed out that popular culture is the residue of what is left over from “high culture” or what is considered well renowned by the upper classes of society (those individuals with wealth, distinction, and power) with respect to art, music, film, and literature. Nevertheless, in the past 30 years, the study of popular culture has evolved to become a...
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