Popular Culture Glossary

Alienation The sense of estrangement and lack of meaningful connection between the individual and his or her surroundings, thought by many to be the defining condition of modem existence.

Amateur In sport, someone who does not compete for money. The definition has broadened this century, as athletes who are funded by educational colleges or governments may still be considered amateurs for selection purposes.

Anti-establishment Opposed to rightwing or conventional values and opinions, typically those reflecting tradition and authority; see also Counter-Cultural.

Apartheid The policy of racial segregation, enforced by the South African government, whereby the country's white minority dominates and exploits its non-white majority.

Applied arts The design or decoration of functional objects.

Art deco Style of decorative art fashionable in the 1920s and 193Os, which takes its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et lndustriels Modernes (Paris, 1925); typically expressed by geometric or stylized shapes.

Art nouveau A decorative style that flourished from the 1890s to the outbreak of World War i; a sinuous line based on plant forms was characteristic.

Avant-garde The vanguard; those who create or support innovation or experimentation in any field, but particularly in the arts.

Bauhaus Founded by Walter Gropius in Germany in 1919 (and closed by the Nazi party in 1933), a school of architecture and applied arts, which attempted to marry fine design with the commercial and technical requirements of industrial production.

Beat generation A Term coined by American novelist Jack Kerouac, to identify an anti-establishment element in US society of the late 1940s and 1950s.

Bebop Also bop; a jazz style which flourished in the 1940s and 195Os. Compared to earlier jazz, bebop's rhythms were more subtle and complex; melodic improvisation was stressed.

Blues "A state of mind and a music which gives voice to it", the blues evolved from the folk music of black Americans. Usually slow and melancholy, and with a 12-bar structure, most blues are sung laments on living and loving.

Boogie-woogie A style of blues piano, at the height of its popularity in the 193Os. Fast and energetic, it featured a rolling left-hand bass pattern.

Cable television Transmission via cable, commonly paid for by the user.

Chain store One of a group of shops under the same company name, ownership and management.

Consumer society One that sets very high value on the consumption of goods and services.

Convention The agreed or customary method by which something is represented; for example, that "white" is "good" and "black" is "bad".

Counter-cultural Opposed to the mainstream, different to the usual or the expected, and of ten subversive; see anti-establishment, hippy.

Cover version In popular music, a remake of an earlier recording, often adapting the musical style to contemporary taste.

Cultural imperialism Spreading or imposing a foreign culture (usually white, European or American) and its values at the expense of an indigenous culture.

Culture Often assumed to refer only to what is called "high culture" in this book, culture is here used to indicate a particular way of life, and the non-utilitarian objects through which people living that way of life identify themselves. This sense is most easily recognized in the term subculture, which describes the culture of a distinguishable smaller group.

Decorative arts The creation of ornaments and other decorative objects, such as pottery, furniture, carpets; an applied art.

Director In film production the person responsible for staging the script and orchestrating actors performances, usually seen as the most important creative role.

Diskjockey Also DJ; someone who introduces and plays recorded music (especially popular music) on radio or television, or in a discotheque.

Disco music From "discotheque", a musical style characterized by insistent thumping bass patterns; enormously popular in the late 1970s.

Disposable income The part of a person' s income left over after tax has been deducted.

Documentary Factual depiction of actual events or real peoples' lives, in a film or in a radio or television program.

Entertainment Commercial leisure activity, produced by professional performers for sale to an audience, who consume it for pleasure, relaxation or amusement. Usually expected to be undemanding of its audience, entertainment, in such forms as cinema, music, literature and television has become a major industry in the 20th century.

Feminism The belief that women are men's equals, and that society should embody that equality.

Film noir A term coined to describe Hollywood thrillers of the 1940s and 1950s, which portrayed the dark underworld of crime and corruption.

Flapper A young woman of the 1920s, often one who defied social conventions. Flappers cut their hair short and wore short skirts.

Folk music Traditional songs, dance or music; in the 1960s applied to the work of Bob Dylan and others who revived traditional forms and wrote new words to old ballads to express contemporary social consciousness.

Franchise Permission to sell a company's goods or services, usually within a particular geographical area, under that company's name.

Futurism A movement in the visual arts, music and literature, which originated in 1909 with the publication of the Italian poet F.T. Marinetti's Futunst Manitesta. Its adherents made a cult of speed and the machine.

Generation gap A lack of communication and understanding between people of different age-groups.

No comments: