Category: Culture & Society

Culture & Society: Pornification of Culture

I think the pornification of culture is becoming increasingly evident in recent years. With the increasingly acceptable. Reading an article by Rashida Jones titled ‘Why is Everyone Getting Naked?’, she speaks about the influence from the pop culture on today’s world and thus goes on the pornification of culture. Examples including Miley Cyrus’ twerk, Lady Gaga’s album cover with her bum crack or Blurred Line’s objectify women in the music video.

I find that yes these ideas originating from porn have now become very much accepted in today’s society. I also think that; the thinner than paper challenge, sending naked photos via Snapchat and the social perception that women must always have some make up on, prove that there are effects of this. And for a younger audience; the sexualizing of lead characters in PG movies which a majority of viewers will be children, e.g. Scarlett Johannson’s “very important” camera angles in ‘The Avengers’ differ from her male co-stars to sexualize her. I think it is a process that needs to stop, it is not worth the negative impacts on our society.

I have seen evidence among peers, being friends with a lot of men it is evident that there is some objectifying such as ‘rating them out of 10’ or trying to have sex with them for a night only to sneak out after. The idea of trying to get nude photographs of women is appalling because it is almost seen as a normal thing to do, if you manage to get the photo’s then you’re great and your male friends will admire you for it. Although I can not speak about it from my female friends perspectives (because they would not be as open to discuss it), I do imagine it would create some amount of pressure.

I do not believe the threat of a sexually dysfunctional society is real. It is a danger of affecting certain people but not everybody, just like other influences. For example video games such as Call of Duty didn’t create  a world filled with murders and machine guns, however it may have had an unhealthy influence on a certain amount of people. One article which talks about this is from ‘the Telegraph’ which talks about the abnormality of children ‘sexting’. And I completely agree that this is wrong, children should not be learning about this kind of behavior from the internet in their pre-adolescent days, which may make a bad impact on them later in life. One example they talk about is young girls feeling pressurized into exposing themselves. Especially if this happening at the age 11 which is the age studies show when children start watching porn in Australia.


Culture & Society: Directioners

So after watching the documentary on Channel 4 called ‘Crazy About One Direction’, I had a few questions to answer. The first being; what do they get from being a fan? I find that from the documentary it seems like what the fans get it some sense of hope. As stated multiple times, they like to fantasizes about the members of the band. It gives them this (however unrealistic) hope that they can become the wives or best friends of these members of a boy band who they look up to as ‘angels’ or perfect humans. I think it can have a negative effect on the young women though, such as when Harry was going out with Taylor Swift, one of the girls reactions was that she didn’t like Taylor Swift now.

I believe there is nothing wrong with being a fan. It’s actually a good thing in my opinion to be a fan and have an idol/idols. However when the line is crossed to becoming a hyper-fan, I believe that is where the problem occurs. Such as when one girl in the documentary was talking about dying if they didn’t ‘re-follow’ her on Twitter. Or when another girl said that she was walking around in heels covered in blisters because she was waiting outside for the band. I mean to go through pain or threaten death for a band? A group of people who don’t know your name? That is when I see the problem.

Although I am open to the idea that the media and documentary makers, or anyone working in media for that matter may try to skew the truth (as seen many times before in the world) I do believe that the girls in this documentary do not portray themselves great on their own. What I mean is, the documentary makes may have tried to paint a picture about these girls by showing their screaming fits, their poster covered bedroom walls and their incredibly cringing interviews. Especially calling the documentary ‘CRAZY’ about One Direction. I do believe that they were right. It was an accurate word to use for these ‘Directioners’. I believe that they do act crazy. The documentary simply documents it.

The part of this (not really a sub-culture) which annoys me the most is that it is on a time relapse. What I mean by that is that it will change soon enough just like the past has shown us. I mean how many of these Directioners originally obsessed over Irish singers Jedward. Or how many thought Justin Bieber was ‘the whole world’ before this. I say this from experience of watching my little sister (who is thankfully just a regular fan not a hyper-fan) jump from these 3 different musician groups. I believe this is the main reason why it is not considered a sub culture.

one direction.jpg


Culture & Society: Election Results

So the candidate I chose Barry Martin did not make a seat. The Independent party got 17 seats all together. It was his first time and he was representing the Balbriggan area. He was excluded in count 8. I can not really speculate why he did not get a seat. Maybe because of public recognition since it was his first time, making him an unfamiliar name. Another Independent candidate he worked and promoted closely with is Clare Daly. She however did get a seat. They share similar views in regards to the; water charges being dropped, college fee’s being paid to by government, and taxes. Clare however has been active as a candidate since 2011 for the Socialist Party who she later left, making her a familiar name. She was elected in count 4. This makes me think that even though they share similar views and worked under the same party, it simply came down to the popularity of the name and how well known they are.


Culture & Society: Moral Panic

The moral panic I am going to write about is one of the biggest ones to affect me and enrage me personally. The one I am talking about is the ‘refugee crisis’. Circumstances in Syria and other eastern countries were steadily on the rise, until recently when it seemed to explode in the news and throughout Europe. Everyone suddenly knew every detail and fact about what was going on. Or so they thought.

When I say this I am talking about the people who jumped to the media’s stories and conclusions in certain cases. For example with the attacks on women in Cologne Germany. The media reported it as being linked to the refugee intake from Germany and that the blame should be pointed at them. Even though it turned out that out of the 56 people arrested, only 4 of which were refugee’s. Although it was reported that some of the men involved in the attacks did not speak German or English, it did not mean that it was the refugee’s. This was a conclusion people and the media jumped to.

The reason why I chose this moral panic is because I live in Balbriggan, which is beside one of the towns which was planned to be used to house the refugees. This affected me personally because of when I would talk to other people about this and hear their opinions. Although none of the opinions I heard were based out of solemn racism, they were all misconceived in my opinion. It was words I read in the newspapers being said back to me through them. This and the ‘Paris Attacks’ were the only times in recent years that a moral panic happened I could relate to (since I was too young to understand 911 at the time it happened).

I would hear people in work, straight up blame the refugee’s for the problems in the world (the same as the media does) and say that ‘they should come back where they came from’. With the media coverage of the Islamic state and the refugee crisis increasing in recent years I do not blame them or think of them as stupid for this response, however I do feel as though they do not understand all the facts. I think they read one or two of the articles on terrorism then jump to understanding all sides of what is going on in the world.




Culture & Society: General Election

So not knowing much about politics in Ireland in general I decided to use the website given to us in class called “smart”, to narrow down the most suited candidate for me in my are which is Fingal. After answering all the questions I arrived at the conclusion ‘Barry Martin’.

So I first found out a little bit about him such as, he lives in a town close to me called ‘Rush’ and he is one of 40 members of Fingal. Then I decided to try find out as much as I could about his interaction with the community, especially online. I found him quickly on Twitter, with 265 followers. He seemed to be very active on Twitter tweeting around 2 or 3 times a day with important information, such as gathering people for the march against the water charges.

On Facebook however he has 1232 likes on his page, 12 of these I knew. In his posts he can be vary from common to uncommon, with a post a day for a week and then a week of silence. However his posts are very engaging with the public, half the time though it is to ask (very politely) for help with his campaign such as handing out leaflets.

From his social media I also found he does the research needed for his job. He shares links of useful information and insight for people such as a blog post titles “democracy is a fragile flower”. Although the amount of likes on his posts can vary from one to a hundred, his online presence on both of these platforms seems very strong. Also from seeing which of my friends have liked his page, I have noticed that they are all my own age. He seems to connect with the younger generation, he even went visiting the local Loreto school. Another aspect I had looked into which really confirmed this for me was that when I began looking at a few of the comments directed at Barry, there was a like or reply to the comment, meaning he is listening back.

I do not think that this is a page run by someone else as a PR stunt, it seems too personal, especially in the photos uploaded. Although he is not the most well known candidate I do predict him doing well in the future, however not as well as he should in this election due to the attitude of young people (his main audience) when it comes to elections.



Culture & Society: Popular Culture

Popular Culture is the ideas, perspectives and attitudes within the mainstream of culture

I would see popular culture in my own life as being very colorful and artistic, in a good way and a bad way. Both through the way I observe ‘high culture’ such as my brothers art exhibitions, with the “please be quiet” signs and the well dressed individuals admiring the different meanings you can take from the forms on a canvas. And ‘low culture’ with the street art throughout my town, which expresses such passion and skill, yet is rewarded with the scowl’s of the locals.

I’m sure that there are many other forms of popular culture both high and low around me, such as the fancy restaurants I never dare to ask for a price or the local football team screaming every foul word possible as they play beside the local church, however I am much more interested in the arts.

For example, the numerically popular Kardashian’s. I can’t cope with hearing their name or seeing their faces plastered on a news headline. However I do understand how their popularity works, how it is skillfully plastered to gain media attention. Everyone knows who they are and what they do (or don’t). I see this as being a big difference from the world 10 year’s ago, with the less developed internet and social media. In that world I cannot imagine, people going home to log onto their computer and have to search for an update on the Kardashian’s, rather than having them appear in your hand on Facebook, as you commute home with your smartphone.

However their is the kind of popular culture that I prefer more which is the ‘critically popular’. When I think of this I think of a more hard earned or deserving aspect of society such as upcoming actors like Tom Hardy. Ten years ago Tom Hardy was still acting. Debuting in classic movie’s such as ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Black Hawk Down’ his climb to fame was not a catapult effect similar to other actors, it was hard work that made him a critically popular character in the media. This is the type of popular culture which I prefer most, the type where regular people like me decided as a whole, rather than the media circulating certain characters such as in numerically popular characters or popular aesthetic characters such as the boy band ‘One Direction’.

I am so sick and tired of hearing about “this latest boy band” that all teenage girls will go into screaming fits for, or give away thousands of euro to get a ticket to their gig. Whether it’s Justin Bieber, Jedward or One Direction, these characters who try to make themselves popular, are marketed in such a way to appeal to this single audience makes me so mad at society. It is as if society feeds this train of “popular aesthetic” people so that the minute they are recognized they are already more know than the likes of “Arctic Monkeys” who have worked hard, earned a good name for themselves without the help of the media.

Again without the way the media is today, with the internet being accessible anywhere and in some cases inescapable (such as when Kim Kardashian’s photo “broke the internet”), I feel that ten years ago I would not have such views. I would of heard of the Arctic Monkey’s through word of mouth or perhaps smaller advertisements, whereas the Kardashian’s or One Direction I could happily avoid. But now on Facebook you cannot go ten minutes without them being plastered on some news site for a ridiculous reason such as a restaurant they ate at.

From researching online I have found that the best examples of ‘popular culture’ in 2016 are; Leonardo Di Caprio winning the Oscar for ‘The Revenant’, Rihanna’s new album and ‘the dab’ dance move.

Pop Culture