Good Example Of Examination Questions Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Culture, Women, Sociology, Rhetoric, Discourse, Gender Equality, Women's Rights, Feminism

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/30

Popular Culture

Popular culture refers to the complete universe of behaviors, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that circulate in a certain society or part of the society. It may also be defined as a set of largely available artifacts. Both these definitions set popular culture apart on the account of its accessibility/relevance to the common people and its difference from the high cultural forms. Further, the definitions emphasize the central role of the audience in giving meaning and relevance to popular culture. The popular culture audience is often referred to as the mass society, which is often seen as lacking sophisticated taste for high cultural arts like opera, classical music, and ballet dancing. Effectively, whatever is preferred by and linked to the masses becomes popular culture, and while high cultural arts may also qualify, the fact that they are not readily accessible to the unsophisticated masses rules them out. To catch on with the masses, it is a must to reduce the art to the level that can be accessed by the least sophisticated audiences, which means that such culture may not always adhere to established artistic rules. Further, the obsession with the popular identity, such culture does not always represent legitimate taste, which explains the stereotypical portrayal of women, a tendency that has been bitterly challenged by feminist media critics.

Women’s Popular Culture Assumptions

It is assumed that women have a different relationship to popular culture compared to men and that women play a central role both as consumers of popular culture and as subject matters of the same culture’s consumption for both men and women. For instance, women are often portrayed as sexual objects, who take pleasure in the knowledge that they can use their feminine/sexual power to gain control over men. Effectively, women have a dual role as subject matters of popular culture and consumers of the same, along with men. Secondly, it assumed that understanding the working of popular culture for a patriarchal culture and for women is critical if women hope to gain ownership of over their own identities and alter the established popular stereotypes. As a social critique, feminist social studies have sought to counter the assumption that women are willing participants in perpetuating feminist and oppressive identities. It has challenged the representation of women in the media and the effects of such representation forms epicenters of feminist media, cultural and film studies, which ultimately find their way to popular culture.

Ideology and Discourse

Ideology is a socializing vehicle for dominant ideas within a given society in order to reflect the needs of the dominant classes of people and thus is represents foundational beliefs that underlie the collective social representations of the dominant social groups. The resultant representations form the basis discourse as well as other social practices. Effectively, ideologies find expression and are adopted by discourse (written or spoken communication). The production of biased discourses stems from multiple assumptions founded in the discourse processing theory. These assumptions include the assertion that language is dependent on and influenced by the communicative situations as subjectively interpreted by users, mediated by knowledge (social beliefs, ideologies, and attitudes). The objective of critical feminist discourse studies is to demonstrate the intricate, subtle and unsubtle ways in which commonly taken-for-granted assumptions about gender and patriarchal/hegemonic power relations are discursively produced, negotiated, challenged and sustained in different communities and contexts (Knight, 2010; Lazar, 2007). Feminists have attacked the mechanisms that ultimately socialize and sustain patriarchal social order (which disadvantage, disempower and exclude women as a social group) that find themselves in popular culture, not least because such low art forms are mostly a reflection of the masses as against the other way round.

Postmodern Society

A postmodern society refers to the contemporary society characterized by the belief that notions of truth are contrived illusions created and misused by interest groups and other parties to gain power over others. The power held by traditional authorities including governments, monarchies, and the religion has withered in the face of the perceptions that traditional authority is both corrupt and false. A similar disillusionment with science, social institutions, and technology are evident. Error and truth are synonymous because facts are compromised. Postmodernist societies also spurn traditional objectivity and traditional, and instead preferring to rely on rationalizations and self-conceptualizations as against facts. The erosion of the traditional sources of identity/self-conception and authority has been replaced by consumerism, which is in turn driven by advertising that creates distinctive perceptions of belonging, class, self-reinvention and symbolisms around which people’s lives revolve. People are equal to what they purchase, according to how it is advertising. If diamonds and private jets are positioned as classy, then consuming them confers class to the consumers.

Interlocking Effects Model of Identity

This refers to the diverse, marginal and intersecting identities e.g. gender, sexuality, economic class and race combining to create a unified identity for an individual or group. With time, the distinct differences or distinguishable attributes are lost and instead, a link is created among them, in such a way that no single identity is superior to the other. Television programs present a wide range of programs and variety, including news, entertainment, and documentaries, etc. Ultimately, however, all this variety becomes interlocked to create a unified identity such that the consumer of the products does not discern distinct differences among different programs.


Asimow, M., & Mader, S. (2004). Law and Popular Culture: A Course Book. New York: Peter Lang.
Hunter, M. A. (2010). All the Gays are White, and all the Blacks are Straight: Black Gay Men, Identity, and Community. Sex Res Soc Policy 7:81.
Knight, G. L. (2010). Female Action Heroes: A Guide to Women in Comics, Video Games, Film, and Television. London: ABC-CLIO.
Lazar, M. M. (2007). Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Articulating a Feminist Discourse Praxis. Critical Discourse Studies 4 (2), 141 — 164.
Malpas, S. (2005). The Postmodern. New York: Routledge,.

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