Looking at this picture you know straight away that the city is New York. Pictures can tell you of the place and the landmark items make you recognize it. This is the cultural significance of New York City.

''The city is constructed  as much by images and representations as by the built environment, demographic, shifts and patterns of capital investment'' Lapsley, 1997

NYC became a culture space because of the space, the sites and the idea that the media have given the city over the years. Famous shows such as Friends and Sex and the City have leading to people thinking that the living in the city is glamorous and interesting.  Both shows have been cultural phenomenons across the globe.

Sex and the City showed that women where not afraid to admit that they came to NYC for love. It showed that women were not afraid to discuss the topic of sex and know that their friends would be there for them. It explored the culture themes of fashion, love, money three themes and cultures that NYC is famous for.

Fashion was a prominent figure in Sex and the City with the girls needing all the latest must haves in shoes clothes and accessories. Many people now visit NYC on shopping trips. Love played a major part in Sex and the City as the women ventured out to find the man of their dreams among the men of the big city.

''And there, in the same city where they met as girls, four New York women entered the next phase of their lives dressed head to toe in love. And that's the one label that never goes out of style.'' Carrie Bradshaw

Now women across the world go to NYC to look for the two L's: Labels and Love in the culture city that never goes out of style.
Supermodernity is the ability to understand, control and manipulate every aspect of human experience.  It is a modern concept that makes us look at things. The rise of technology has grown during the post modern era and we have learned more because of this. 

Supermodernity improves freedom through plausible truths, It leads to expanding wealth better living standards and media advances.

Key Theorists
  1. Marc Auge
  2. Sebastien Charles
  3. Terry Eagleton
Reading Lists

  1. M. Auge (translated by J Hove) 1995: Non Places: An introduction to an Anthropology of supermodernity.
  2. S. Charles 2007: Hypermodern Consumption and Megalomania: Superlutives in commercials. Journal of Consumer Culture: 9 307-327
  3. S. Charles and G Lipovetsky Hypermodern Times 2006
Media Text

The media text that supermodernity can relate to is Reveal Magazine. The reason supermoderinty belongs to this media text is due to ''ability to understand, control and manipulate every aspect of human experience''.

Reveal Magazine do this by knowing there audience. They know what their audience want to read therefore they will print what they want. Therefore becoming a bible among their readership.

Readers want to know what the latest celebrity diet is and how they can follow the trend hence Reveal writing stories about the lastest celbrity diet and how you can get that beach body by using Abby Clancy's latest get fit DVD.

This is the manipulation of the human experience.

We all know that Birmingham is the second city in England. Parker and Long during this reading look back at Birmingham and the new expanding waves of buildings that erupted since the 1960's.

''A series of 20th century  visions of what a good city should look like and how it should function are been buried''

That was the vision of the reading. That all these new buildings and the ever expanding roads are leading to Birmingham becoming a concrete maze. 

The images that the city center  now provide a narrative of the modernization both of what was set out to be achieved and what has been achieved.

Birmingham has progressed in everyday life and reinforce the image of the city. The image of Birmingham now is a Cosmopolitan city of Europe but Parker and Long describe it as a working class life located in a seedy mise-en-scene.

Birmingham is still in an ongoing transition and the building of East Side determines that. 

The free Deirdre Campaign was even talked about in the house of commons
I have chosen to do a post structuralism analysis of the popular culture of soap operas.

'Hyper Reality' the term introduced by Jean Baudrillard plays a major role in the culture of soap operas. It is said that it is a term to describe how real life and fiction are becoming less important.

Soap Operas are a perfect example of this. You have people who play characters that that are fiction but who are based on real life and issues. The audience of theses programmes begin to sideline fiction and see the show as a reality. You have people writing to these actors and sympathizing with them over a storyline that they have played. Some fans have even asked them to marry them. It has become daily parts of peoples conversations that even the media cover them.

Take Coronation Street and the Free Deirdre Rachid campagin back in 1998 when she was wrongly jailed for fraud. The media ran a campaign ''Free the Weatherfield One'' with t-shirts and a petition avaialble to sign. It got that much coverage that even then Prime Minster Tony Blair promised to intervene.

''But this time, unlike many who have gone before her, this victim of judicial failure is a fictional character.'' (BBC)

The quote shows how Hyper Reality has torn reality from fiction and been able to distinguish between the two. It shows how the culture of Soap Opera's are becoming more and more real in some peoples minds.
In John Storey Cultural Theory and Popular Culture he sets out to try explain the term postmodernism.

Storey explains that the term 'post modern' started to circulate in the 1870's, It was not until the 50's and 60's that saw the beginning of what we as a cultured world understand the term to be. It can be argued that postmodernism shows that the distiction of th high and low cultures are failing to exist in the modern society. He relates it all back to the term of popular culture.

During the reading Storey introduces us to three main thinkers of the term 'post modern'.

The first been Jean François Lyotard,

''Knowledge is no longer seen as an end in itself, but as a means to an end''

From the quote I think that Llyotard is trying to admit that because of post modernism that we are living in anything goes culture, leading to a new way of modernism.
Free Deride Campaign received national coverage
Secondly were introduced to Jean Baudrillard who believes that there is little distinction between original and the copy. For example mass produced pop music has the same beat and rhythm but with different lyrics. Therefore been hard to distinguish been the original and the copy.

Baudrillard also introduced the word ''Hyper Realism''. This term means that the significance of fiction and reality is becoming less and less important in our culture. For example Soap Opera characters receive letters from fans with many starting campaigns when they don't agree with a story line. 

Finally we were introduced to Fredric Jameson,

''Postmodern culture is a culture of quotations that is cultural production born out of previous cultural productions''

From the quote Jameson is referring to the idea that we reuse ideas and texts from previous cultures thus making culture relate to capitalism.


A Frankfurt School critique of boy bands

Man Bands - Westlife, Boyzone, Take That
Boy Bands - One Direction, Lawson, JLS
The Frankfurt School is best known for their theories which when I read the work of Adorno made me think of the music industry in a way that I never thought of before.

I have always known the music industry appeals to the mass cultures of the population with genres appealing to both high and low cultures. Taking my love for boy bands of the latest generations I am aware of the hidden agenda. This agenda been money and the breaking of teenage girls hearts.

Adorno said that you didn't need a brain for pop music as it was just mass produced. Yes he is right especially when it comes to boy bands. They are all one in the same and the theory of the boy band has become standardized.

We'll start the man bands that are like the fathers of pops. If i played you a song by all three bands (check out below) you could mistake all three to be the same. Same beats melodies and topic of love to appeal to all the girls swooning at their feet. To make us think that they are singing and writing these songs just for us. You can call it mass produced rubbish because that is exactly what it is but teenage girls fall for the melodies and bam you have the power of the boy band. 
Even when you take the new era of boy bands like JLS, 1D and Lawson they are still releasing the same mass produced stuff that the industry spits out because as a business they know what sells. Why break something when it ain't broken.

To win the battle of the boy bands they have to fight to seem like they are individual to the rest of them on the pop circuit.  Take new boy band on the block Lawson using their guitars to try show they are not a standardized boy bans. JLS have thier colours of red, blue, yellow and green, Westlife had thier suits and stools to keep them up away from the rest of the competition.

You can see that Boy Bands are a standardized product of the music industry. Pop Boy Bands are just mass producing the same beats, rhythms, looks and attitudes across the genre but hey it works so why change it?
Instead of my usual response in words i decided ti make a mind map using Microsoft word for something a bit different
John Storey discusses how meanings of words and their interpretations result in a cultural agreement.  He explains how the system works by making a difference and a distinction within a system of difference and relationships. (See above diagram for explanation)

Storey goes on to tell us how words can change meaning. For instance if you take the sentence '' Mary made some cakes while thinking of her lover '' and change it to '' Mary made some cakes while thinking of her holiday ''. The sentence has a total different meaning  now due to the change of a few words.

Storey is describing the importance of structure is processed through selection and combinations. He does through various thoughts of media theorists throughout the chapter. Iit suggests that ''structure makes meaning possible''.

A point to note is that the language we speak does not reflect the material world that we live in. It suggest that language constructs our sense of reality in the material world were posseions are more important than anything else.

During the chapter we are provided with images that accompany text. It suggest that even the phrase a picture says a 1000 words is uncommon as many pictures are accompanied by some form of text which allows the

Everybody is aware of the hit Disney trilogy High School Musical (HSM) which dominated TV screens, CD sales, merchandises and eventually cinema screens over the three year franchise.  Critics called it the modern Romeo and Juliet with a twist to tell the youth generation not to stick to the status quo.

This text resembles Leavis approach on popular culture. Leavis always stated that film plays on ''cheap responses''. HSM does just that. The film is loaded with experiences that relate to its target audience with school years and the problem they face through peer pressure, self esteem cliques etc tat are explored throughout the three films.

These are emotions that the ordinary teen of today's society go through. They react to these responses that are cheap as they know that the young generation will lap it up and make Disney money by buying into the franchise.It can be argued that people learn to adapt the social norms of high school and accept what will be. There is also another argument that HSM does not portray real life.

When you think about it it is a little far fetched. Who would meet a guy on a holiday end up singing karaoke with him and then be transferred to a new school to become childhood sweethearts. That stuff only ever happens in Disney and Leavis theory of film by ''not learning, just watching'' could not be further from the truth for this particular Disney franchise.

''10 Things I Hate About You'' the romantic teen comedy from 1999 staring Julia Styles and the late Heath Ledger. A massive hit amongst the teen generation and of course critics alike. I first cam across this film in school aged about 16. We were learning about William Shakespeare which is very daunting at the age of 16. Then in cam the TV and bam out plays this film that had me laughing.

Little did I relaize that it was a modern adaption of the classic ''Taming of the Shrew'' by Shakespeare. Matthew Arnold (1869) describes some media texts as sweetness and light or as he likes to add ''the best of what's thought and said''.

I think that 10 Things I Hate About You is sweetness and light for our generation. Everybody knows the film and understands the film. It can be seen as the best because it is modern day tale of a classic. Therefor adapting the best high culture for the populist audience to allow more people to understand the work that William Shakespeare wrote. It gives people a new sense of culture identity and allowing the sweetness and light to spread across the popular culture.