Popular Culture, a theory which when split into two have quite detailed explanations. John Storey (2015, p.1) suggests that to define popular culture, you must first define culture on its own. Storey states this through the definition by Raymon Williams (1983) ‘a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development’. Alexandra Howson (2019) views popular culture ‘as a distinct set of practices set apart from economic, political or social practices; that which is differentiated from art, or high culture.’ News, entertainment, sport, and politics are all sources of popular culture. In which I find myself consuming a wide variety of these sources of popular culture in my day to day life.
A popular culture I find my consuming most frequently is Sports, typically sourcing through AFL. Growing up I was exposed to AFL more than any types of popular culture. Living in Melbourne the AFL communities are larger than any other state in Australia. Going to games almost every weekend and spending the weeknights watching the AFL news, analysis shows and talkback radio. My passion for the sport grew fonder the older I got and the more I appreciated it. Whilst still widely viewed and watched across Australia, AFL is not the most popular sport. By introducing AFL to overseas audiences, the sport not only gains a larger audience but it also encourages Australian’s to back their team, therefore increasing popularity in Australia. This intertwines with the key theory that was introduced this week of Globalisation. Globalisation is characterised by a ‘worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information’ (O’Shaughnessy, 2012 p.458).
The AFL (before COVID-19) was on track to start sending teams to places such as China and America as a way to expand their audience and assist in further developing the sport. But as COVID-19 made such a sudden occurrence these plans were paused. Although the plans were stopped, COVID closed down almost every sport overseas and this created an opportunity for the AFL, being one of the only sports continuing, AFL was able to be streamed free online, worldwide as a way for people to get their sporting fix during the global pandemic. American athletes took to twitter after the first AFL games were aired and to say the responders worked well in the AFL’s favour would be an understatement as these tweets soon went viral… read more here
The idea of imagined communities through globalisation can also relate to this source of popular culture as it enables the feeling of being a part of a group of which you share the same interest, value or purpose with (Middlemost, 2020). Being a part of an imagined community in AFL is unlike any other. If you’re a club member, just your average supporter or just enjoy watching the sport, you feel like you are a part of a family. I’ve supported the Carlton Football Club since birth and being a member and just an average supporter, it is amazing how close and connected you feel to other people following the same team. A memory that I replay in my mind frequently really connects the imagined community to the sport. As an 8-year-old walking down the large ramps of the MCG after a big win, FULL of Carlton supporters singing the team song, is something that I have always held as a fond memory and I will for the rest of my life.
Howson, A. (2019). UOW Library resource access. [online] login.ezproxy.uow.edu.au. Available at: https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=7f4b0219-0169-49eb-981d-7e67ad463950%40pdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=ers&AN=89185627 [Accessed 20 Aug. 2020].
Middlemost, R. (2020). BCM111 Lecture 2. [online] moodle.uowplatform.edu.au. Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/2451398/mod_resource/content/1/BCM111%20Lecture%202%202020.pdf [Accessed 20 Aug. 2020].
O’Shaughnessy (2012). Globalisation. [online] moodle.uowplatform.edu.au. Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/2425476/mod_resource/content/1/W2%20BCM111%20oshaughnessy-2012-458-471.pdf.
Storey, J. (2018). Cultural theory and popular culture an introduction. London New York Routledge.