The advent of digital technologies has allowed for a global diffusion of national popular cultures. This multi-directional distribution of cultural products has blurred boundaries between nations and people are now able to enjoy geographically dispersed pop cultures through worldwide digital media platforms.
Popular culture and its wide array of genres like music, sports, advertising, television, literature, and even fads like memes provide opportunities to people for both individual happiness and communal bonding. Remember Bernie Sanders and his brown knitted mittens that popped up on various forms of social media platforms? Also, the dalgona candy craze after ‘Squid Game’ became a viral trend and a general obsession worldwide! We are all familiar with the exploding worldwide popularity of Korean wave (Hallyu) and the international success of Korean films, pop music, and online games since the early 2000s. Oscar award-winning films like ‘Parasite’ and K-Pop stars like ‘BTS’ and ‘BlackPink’ have dominated the entertainment industries across the globe. Similarly Japanese animation, or anime, is a huge industry nowadays, even in the United States.
How do pop cultures spread around the world so quickly? What is the history behind the rise of pop cultures? How do these influence and stimulate cultural and social changes within society? Do they only work towards global communal bonding or are there some downsides as well? Read the module to find out!