Pop Culture Article

 I came across a “Pop Culture” article this week. I am not saying that I agree or disagree with what it says, but I figured that I would throw it out there. This is just meant to be thought-provoking… :)


Here it is:


Pop Culture is Market Driven

The children and youth market is the most aggressively targeted market segment in the world. The reason? They have more disposable income and purchasing influence than any other age group. Consequently, marketers both use and shape the pop culture in an effort to influence the values, attitudes, and spending behaviors of our kids while developing lifetime brand loyalties. By using market research to better understand kids, marketers are then able to turn around and use what they’ve learned to connect with and influence those most vulnerable in our society.


Pop Culture is Fluid

In order to grab and maintain the attention of children and teens, pop culture must constantly reinvent itself. What is new, edgy and exciting today (styles, music, ideas, icons, etc.) will be obsolete tomorrow. Because kids are conditioned to look for and embrace whatever is fresh, the purveyors of pop stay busy examining their research in order to shape and develop the next big “thing.” As a result, pop culture is specific to place and time. While there is always some overlap, it’s necessary for those who study culture to look hard for and identify the specific nuances of the popular culture in their unique place and time.


Pop Culture is Pervasive

Wherever there are people, there will be popular culture. It is inescapable. Students cannot be sheltered from it. Even if they don’t engage the primary outlets themselves, they live and move in a peer society influenced by the pop culture. In today’s world, the advent of MTV and the Internet has facilitated the effective exportation of North American youth culture around the globe. While there are unique aspects from place to place, popular culture is everywhere and as a result, has facilitated the growth of a globalized youth culture. It has touched and shaped virtually all social institutions including the school, church, home, and community.


Pop Culture is Entertaining

Because it is market driven, pop culture must grab the attention of children and teens in order to survive and develop. It enters into their lives through a plethora of outlets, grabbing and holding their attention and allegiance by design. In the increased absence of stability and influence from the traditional institutions of home, church, and school, young people seek out pop culture to fill their time and, in some cases, help them forget their pain. Because it must be constantly developed and updated, pop culture’s “newness” increases its effectiveness to entertain.


Pop Culture is Unifying
In a world marked by relational breakdown, young people long for connections. Pop culture serves as a common thread that runs through the lives of children and teens, giving them a common experience, shared allegiances, and a place to belong. Pop culture binds children and teens together.

One Response to “Pop Culture Article”

  • Hi Kevin – my name is Sean Marston and I the International Youth Consultant for SIM (Serving in Mission). SIM is an interdenominational mission working in 46 countries across Asia, Africa and South America. I am based in New Zealand and my role is to help make youth and student work more effective with the partner churches in the countries we work in. I am also involved in helping our sending offices know how to relate and work with Gen X and Y. I came across your website and thought it was interesting. I found your latest blog about Pop Culture very true. It is permeating across all countries and religious and social economic areas in Africa, Asia and South America. It is creating a global youth culture that is creating a common ground for youth from diverse countries and backgrounds. I have a website – http://www.youthmesh.org that is my blog and has articles in but it also has a wiki where I am aiming to develop an online dictionary about youth culture and youth and student ministry in most countries around the world. The idea is not to get definitive ideas but articles and people’s experiences about working with young people in these countries. Just thought you might be interested in having a look.

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