The Evolution of Pop Culture in Recent Times 

pop culture

 

Edited by: Adedeji Oluwafemi

Pop culture, known as popular culture, depicts the evolving process that reflects changes in a society’s preferences, perspectives, and values. 

In the last few years, the world has experienced the evolution of pop culture in various aspects, such as movies, style, technology, and much more. So, it is not wrong to say pop culture also follows as society evolves, contributing to multiple changes. 

This article will discuss recent changes to which pop culture contributed and their impact on society.  Ensure you read till the end. 

What Are Some Factors That Contribute to the Evolution of Pop Culture?

Before the introduction of pop culture, the masses lived under the opinionative rulership and traditions of the local folk culture. Most people at that time resided in remote cities and rural neighborhoods, making it impossible for the development of pop culture at that period.  

Around the late 18th century (the dawn of the industrial age), many people started moving to the city, which resulted in the urbanization of these western cities. This urbanization is what gives birth to pop culture. 

Look at it this way; the people living in small towns or farms filled with the same set of individuals now found themselves in a big city filled with different people of diverse cultures. These people see themselves as collectivity because they share a popular expression. 

No wonder researchers conclude that pop culture originates from the coming together of the middle class due to the industrial revolution. 

Industrialization is another factor that aids pop culture development. The abundance of production, transportation developments, e.g., steam engine and steamship, technological advancement,  improved literacy, improved education, and health sector, and the formation of mass media such as pamphlets, magazines, and penny press. 

With all these foundations laid, pop culture began to bloom. Therefore, as the 20th century came knocking, the media industry already produced tons of illustrated newspapers, journals, detective stories, and sequential novels. 

This printed idea fuels the discussion of various topics, greatly influencing technological advancement in the twentieth century. 

It’s not wrong to say that urbanization, industrialization, the mass media, and consistent technological advancement are the vital elements that influence the construction of popular culture. And they remain the facets keeping it on track. 

What Are the Aspects Influenced by Pop Culture? 

Pop culture is everywhere. It intersects with every aspect of your life. It has also influenced various areas of society. Let’s dive into some of them. 

  1. Music 

Jazz has always been the song of the time before the 1940s until rock and roll took over the position till the 60s. Artists like Elvis Presley and influential bands like The Beatles harmonized pop and rock. 

As time goes on, disco and funky create new sounds to pop. So drums, synthesizers, and echoing songs became the norm. All these, however, did not last forever because hip-hop and rap soon dominated the music world. 

Pop music continues to advance. Each artist now gets to choose their style of music, which makes them unique. In today’s world, we have a plethora of artists with so many genres (we’re losing count these days).

  1. Fashion and Beauty 

Pop culture has a significant influence on these two factors. Most fashion and beauty trends you see today are mainly inspired by what is seen in TVs shows, movies, or from favorite celebrities. For example, Taylor Swift’s Vintage style and signature dresses like pleated skirts and Oxford shoes influenced countless fashion trends. 

Also, Alicia Keys is one of the celebrities that popularized the #embrace your natural beauty trend. Similarly, in Kdramas the actors and actresses continually use their products and beauty techniques. And boom, everyone is trying out the beauty styles and products. 

  1. Languages 

Culture and language work hand in hand. A cultural trend has an impact on both verbal and written language. The popular slangs, cultural references, and catchwords you use when speaking are all part of popular culture’s effect on language. 

  1. Advertising and Marketing 

Since the rise of mass media in the mid-20th century, pop culture has continued influencing advertisements. It shapes how companies advertise their products and services to customers. 

In recent times cultural trends, celebrity endorsement, and integrating products into the media such as tv shows, movies, and others are forms of displaying products. Memes have also become one popular way to tap into pop culture. And lots of companies use these styles for marketing their products and services with results. 

Take Nike, for example; their “Just do It” featured Michael Jordan, one of the most famous basketball players in the world. Did it yield the desired result? Of course! Nike’s status skyrocketed due to this advertisement, making them one of the leaders in the sports industry. 

  1. Globalization 

Popular cultures promote the general diffusion of cultural beliefs, practices, and values nationwide. Americanization is one popular way pop culture affects globalization. 

 

The US is the principal benefactor of pop culture because its movies and other entertainment shows are famous worldwide. For example, you can enjoy Hollywood movies while sitting on your favorite sofa in your house. 

It’s straightforward to watch your favorite American artist shows or music videos without traveling there. You can also follow them on social media. Likewise, all K-pop lovers get to follow their favorite music bands, such as BTS, Blackpink,  Exo, and the like. You can also check their food, tourist centers, and fashion. 

 

Furthermore, social media like Tik Tok allows you to create short videos connecting you to various people worldwide. Therefore it’s not wrong to say pop culture has created a shared global culture. 

What Are the Impacts of Pop Culture on Society? 

Just imagine life without all these widespread advancements; surely, you will survive. Still, life will feel bland since nothing can help you escape boredom. Pop culture exposes humans to new ideas and philosophies and builds bridges. It ignites your research spirit.

It also helps you build connections; when you see an individual wearing a shirt with your favorite band, you can easily walk up to them and start a conversation. 

However, there are concerns about the impact of popular culture on society. It often centralizes materialism and immoral values, which can cause distractions from other essential aspects of your life.

When there is constant exposure to pop culture at a young age, you may feel crowded with too much information, which can lead to burnout. 

Final Thoughts 

In today’s age of digital literacy, pop culture is a significant force that finds its way into our daily lives. It has been shaped by various factors such as technological inventions, social and political transitions, and changing cultural values. 

Leaving a tremendous impact on society irrespective of your generation. As you move into the future, it will be intriguing to know and see the evolution of pop culture in response to these forces.

 

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