Popular Culture Influencing Perceptions
Please post 2 peer responses.
In the response post, include the following:
· Respectfully share your own perspectives and ideas with classmates you may disagree with.
· Add new ideas to the discussion instead of just agreeing that something in the reading was interesting or reiterating what others said in the discussion.
· Find an additional source online or in the library that adds a new perspective to what has already been said.
· Offer an opposing viewpoint that is supported by facts and research.
Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with citations and references in APA format.
Estimated time to complete response posts: 2 hours
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50% of your grade for this discussion.
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Popular culture plays a pivotal role in shaping and reflecting societal perceptions of religion, race, gender, sexuality, and morality. Media, including television, movies, music, and social media, serves as a powerful tool for disseminating ideas and influencing public opinion. For instance, television shows like “The Simpsons” and “South Park” often use satire to comment on religious practices and beliefs, challenging societal norms and encouraging critical thinking about faith. Moreover, the representation of race in blockbuster movies like “Black Panther” and TV series like “Fresh Off the Boat” contributes to reshaping stereotypes and promoting diversity. Popular music often tackles issues of gender and sexuality, with artists like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé challenging traditional norms and advocating for inclusivity. Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, provide spaces for discussions on morality, with movements like #MeToo shedding light on issues of sexual harassment and assault. These examples illustrate how popular culture serves as a mirror that reflects and shapes societal attitudes, either challenging prevailing norms or reinforcing existing ideologies. As individuals engage with these cultural artifacts, they become active participants in the construction and transformation of societal perceptions, influencing how we view and understand religion, race, gender, sexuality, and morality.
Popular culture plays a dual role in shaping and reflecting societal norms, often serving as both a mirror and a mold for stereotypes. On one hand, it has the potential to reinforce existing stereotypes by perpetuating certain images and narratives. For instance, film and television have historically portrayed certain racial and gender stereotypes, such as the hyper sexualization of women or the portrayal of ethnic groups through narrow, caricatured lenses. These representations not only reflect prevailing biases but also contribute to their perpetuation, influencing public perceptions and reinforcing harmful stereotypes. On the other hand, popular culture can also be a powerful force for challenging and breaking down stereotypes. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for diversity and inclusion in media, leading to more nuanced portrayals of various identities. The success of films like “Black Panther” and the increased visibility of LGBTQ+ characters on television are examples of pop culture challenging traditional stereotypes and promoting more positive and authentic representations. In conclusion, popular culture’s role in emphasizing or minimizing stereotypes is complex, as it simultaneously reflects and shapes societal attitudes, with the potential to both reinforce and challenge prevailing biases.
One striking example of a counter-dominant portrayal in pop culture is the character Devi Vishwakumar in the Netflix series “Never Have I Ever.” Devi, played by Maitreyan Ramakrishnan, challenges stereotypes associated with South Asian girls. Instead of conforming to the meek and submissive stereotype often portrayed in mainstream media, Devi is outspoken, ambitious, and unapologetically assertive. The show, co-created by Mindy Kaling, defies traditional expectations by presenting a nuanced narrative that explores cultural identity, family dynamics, and teenage struggles through a lens rarely seen before. Devi’s character not only breaks free from the constraints of cultural clichés but also contributes to a more authentic and diverse representation of young women, particularly those of South Asian descent, in the media landscape.
Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2014). Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior. Cengage Learning.
Hooks, B. (1994). Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. Routledge.
· How can popular culture influence society’s perceptions of religion, race, gender, sexuality, and morality? Share specific examples from pop culture to support your argument.
Popular culture has a significant impact on society’s perceptions of religion, race, gender, sexuality, and morality. It shapes the way people view themselves as well as others. Especially in movies and TV shows, certain racial and gender stereotypes are often portrayed which can affect how people think or perceive who they are. Or it can define our perceptions of what is normal and abnormal, what is funny and not funny, and what is beautiful and not beautiful. One example that will support this is that in movies or TV shows the African American/black person is mostly always perceived as a drug dealer or some type of criminal. Another is that the Muslims since 911 have been portrayed as terrorists and this makes the Muslim religion seem as if it is unworthy or portrayed in a negative light.
· What is popular culture’s role in emphasizing or minimizing stereotypes? Does pop culture reinforce popular stereotypes or break them down? Share examples to support your position.
· Popular culture plays a significant role in emphasizing or minimizing stereotypes. If a certain group or ethnicity is being portrayed in a positive light it is going to have a minimized stereotype, and if it is shown or talked about negatively can reinforce the stereotype given. It often reinforces popular stereotypes rather than breaking them down. Just as I mentioned above how African Americans are always portrayed as criminals or gangsters and that reinforces pop culture racial stereotypes. But there are some instances where it helps break stereotypes and I believe that pop culture is doing a lot with movies and TV shows portraying a wide variety of ethnicities as superheroes now and also princesses. Disney now I believe has a princess or has made a movie for a lot of different ethnicities in which is minimizing the stereotypes.
· Share a unique example from pop culture of a counter-dominant portrayal of gender, race, or religion (one that has not already been shared by a classmate).
· The example I came up with for pop culture of a counter-dominant portrayal of race is the TV series “Insecure”. This show is created by Issa Rae. The show follows two African American women, Issa and her best friend Molly, as they navigate their lives in LA. One of them is trying to find her place in the community by making a name for herself and the other is a lawyer trying to make a name for her in a field where African American women don’t get enough shine. The show also portrays African Americans in a positive light and challenges that the stereotypes have associated with the community. The show is known for its realistic and subtle portrayal of African American characters, and for addressing issues such as race, gender, and sexuality in a thoughtful and thought-provoking manner. It has been praised for its representation of African Americans in a way that is not often seen in mainstream media. This was one of my favorite shows when it was on TV.
POP CULTURE POWER. (n.d.). Byu.Edu. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from
to an external site.
Wikipedia contributors. (2023, October 19).
Insecure (TV series). Wikipedia.
to an external site.