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Philippine Popular Culture

 Way of life of a group of people who share similar beliefs and customs
 Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion,
cuisine, social habits, music and arts
o Language
 Language is the most important symbolic aspect of culture
 There is a cultural thought pattern behind the language of communication
 Language is a collector of culture
o Religion
 Is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when
considered as the creation of a superior human agency or agencies devotional and ritual
observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
 Encompasses religion  Subset of culture
 Acquired body of knowledge  Belief system
 Focused on a people of society  Associated with the supreme being
 Evolution of humans and their  Revelation of the supreme being to
traditions humanity
 Practical  Written in texts
 Changes through time  Fixed from the beginning

o Social Habits
 According to Charles Duhigg, A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and
the strong ties between close acquaintances. It grows because of a habits of a community,
and the weak ties that hold neighbourhoods and clans together. And it endures because a
movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create sense of identity and a feeling of
o Cuisine
 A style of cooking, food that is cooked in a particular way
o Music
 Culture changes, fashions change, customs change. Great music is immortal( Michael
 Having a good time is a part of Filipino culture. Music and dancing expresses an underground
culture and shows versatility of Filipino youth.
o Arts
 Arts … reacts or reflects the culture it springs from ( Sonia Sanchez).
 Arts and culture do not really have a geopolitical boundary. So it is probably one of the best
ways of cultivating understanding between people( Diana Lee)

 Culture can be defined as the collective norms, rituals, and behaviors that a group of people share
o Collective Nrom
 Informal guide about what is considered normal ( What is correct or incorrect) social
behaviour in a particular group.
 Collective norm is the typical behaviour everyone expect from one another. ( Example,
everyone else is expected to act somewhat to everybody else’s ideas of collective norm.
o Rituals
Value of Ritual Example
Reflection, affirmation Prayer, meditation
Connection, community Football game, Hackaton
Behavior change, follow through Waiting to be designed
Lightning, freshening, purification Wudu, Turkish cologne ritual
Charging, strengthening, enforcing Pre-race rituals, pre-game rituals
Enlightening, meaning, ‘higherness’ Prayers, theatrical performances, nature
discovery, hikes, etc
o Behaviors/Behaviours Franz Boas “ The behaviour of an individual is determined not by his racial
affiliation, but by the character of his ancestry and his cultural environment.
All cultures have at least five characteristics in common: Other characteristics:
 Culture is learned  Highly complex and overlapping
 Culture is based on symbols  Entail consciousness or ideologies
 Culture is shared  Experiences through texts
 Culture is patterned or integrated
 Culture is usually adaptive

o Well liked by people
o Inferior kinds of work
o Work deliberately setting out to win fvour with the people
o Culture actually made by the people themselves
o Quantitative Dimension: Culture which is widely favoured/favoured or well liked by many people
o Originates from the people
o Is one by recent thinking that postmodern culture is a culture which no longer recognizes the distinction
between high and popular culture
o According to Berkley “Popular culture has been defined as everything from common culture, “to “folk
culture,” to “mass culture.” While it has been all of these things at various points in history, in post war
America, popular culture is undeniably associated with commercial culture and all its trappings: movies,
television, radio, cyberspace, advertising, toys, nearly any commodity available food purchase, many forms of
art, photography, and games.
o Is always defined, implicitly or explicitly, in contrast to other conceptual categories: folk, mass culture,
dominant culture, working class culture, etc.
o In the beginning of the 20th century, “high art” was the realm of the wealthy and educated classes while
popular culture or “low art” was considered commercial entertainment for the lower classes.

o The culture of the Philippines is a combination of cultures of the East and West
o Filipino identity was created primarily as a result of pre-colonial culture, colonial influences and Asian (
Chinese) traders intermixing together, gradually evolving into a uniquely Filipino identity.
o Is the summation of indigenous forces and foreign influences that had come to bear upon the people in
varying degrees during the last centuries.
o The culture of the Philippines comprises a blend of traditional Filipino and Spanish Catholic traditions, with
influences from America and other parts of Asia. The Filipinos are family oriented and often religious with an
appreciation for art, fashion, music and food.
o Popular culture is power, and whoever wields it to manipulate minds is likely to find its literary and
technological machinery turned against him when the minds it has manipulated discover its potency as a
political weapon. ( Lumbera, 1984)


1. Produced by cultural industries: Ex. Disney corporation produces movies, cartoons, amusement, park, and
2. Differs from folk culture: Folk culture; traditional activities that are not financially driven
3. It’s everywhere: T.V., movies, radio, commercials
4. Fills a social function: It serves as a cultural form. Examples are friends and family ask about your reaction to
a new movie or show

Locations Small isolated communities Covers large areas and multiple communities or societies

Origins Has a hearth, but no recorded reason for where, Almost always documented beginning, event or people,
when or why a tradition is formed that started a tradition

Diffusion Relocation diffusion Hierarchical diffusion

(spread) - Resistant to diffusion from outside sources - Meaning: Spread of an idea from persons or
- Meaning: spread of an idea through nodes of authority or power to other persons of
physical movement of people from one places
place to another like spreading Christianity - Ex. Fashion trends, music genres like rap, hip hop
etc, types of dance

People Unique and easy to distinguish from people from People are some sorts of activities and occupations are
other places. connected
Connect to family, tribe, traditions

Psychology People know their place and role in society. People have to find their role engage in “voyage of
Feel free insider their traditions. discovery”
Coming of age ceremonies Feel free in ability to shake off the past
(people in popular culture are easily persuadable, reject
tradition, thus, look for something to believe in)
Sociology People are committed to the health of tribe or People are committed to own well being.
community Youth focused.

Clothing and Styles passed down from generation to generation Created for entertainment.
fashion High degree or professional expertise.
Probably focused on love

Food Unique and related to what can be grown in Multiple sources of ingredients.
physical environment. Many different kinds of ingredients.
Food tends to be blander (tasteless, flavorless or
Housing Materials are restricted to local environment. Many styles, created in mass, less connected to local
Design is distinctive, limited styles and easier to building materials, and local environmental conditions.
build. May have engineered design and be built by
Adapted to local environment. professionals.
May have a religious influence.
Probably built by home owner.
Physical Connected top physical environment. Tends to shape the physical environment to needs.
environment Stewards of the land. Less concerned with "using up" the land.
May have religious sites in local landscape

How does Popular Culture tends to overwhelm and destroy Folk culture provides sources for popular culture to draw
each folk cultures constantly changing ideas.
influence (Popular culture loses sources to draw ideas from as it
each other? destroys folk.)
More Characteristics of Pop Culture
 Consists of artifacts and events and products
 Surrounds us
 Reflects audience beliefs and values
 Is commercial
 Is often imitative (of itself)
 Shapes audience beliefs and values
 Constantly changing
 Based in large, heterogeneous groups of people
 Based mainly in urban areas
 Material goods, mass produced by machines in factories
 Found in large heterogeneous societies
 Large territory as compared to folk culture
 Usually product of developed countries
 Rapid diffusion facilitated by technology
 Changes rapidly and frequently
 Popular, commercialized, trendy, dependent upon tastes of youth ( ages 14 yrs – 26 yrs)

Why popular culture is widely distributed?

 Diffusion of popular clothing and food
o Rapid diffusion of clothing styles through inexpensive clothing styles. Examples are the American
jeans vs. Soviet Union Communism. ( Jeans were a symbol of Western Popular culture)
o Popular food customs. Example is the consumption of large amount of alcoholic beverages and snack
foods that characterize large societies.

The Nature of Popular Culture:

 Reality television is a genre of television programming presented through real life and unscripted events. It
generally documents humorous and dramatic situations faced by ordinary people. Reality television consists
of genres such as: documentary- style, competition/game show, self-improvement/makeover,
dating/relationships, social experiment, challenge/fear, etc.