Reflection Paper on Popular Culture
The influence of popular culture can not be simply underestimated. Its attributes arising from general societal and world perceptions creates stratifications that render individuals fit or unfit within such stratifications. These stratifications become the defining foundations of individuals’ appropriateness and character and therefore force people or societies in which they occur to consider aligning themselves towards the desired stratifications for the purposes of gaining relevance and thus acceptance to such groupings.
In most instances, individuals who remain reserved or unchanged by popular culture are given low regard in societies they live and therefore become socially affected. Those who continue to challenge the changes brought by popular culture without adequate analytical approach to the issue eventually find themselves entangled in forces that separate them from the societies in which the stratifications occur. However, with a deep understanding of popular culture through theoretical perspectives, its agents of familiarizations, its effects and its changes on individual minds due to self-positioning, it is imperative that a reflection that entails the learning outcomes consider these approaches, in order to create a niche that makes people fit into a given setting without side effects of misalignments.
As most people, I have previously fallen victim to the influences of popular culture, which affected my life in one way or the other, in perspectives I would call positive and negative. As any other child growing up, one can not escape the influences from the media, the surrounding societies, peer pressure and the concepts of wanting to fit into the changing trends. The influences are normally accelerated by various media exposures as shown on television and other forms of media. During one of such encounters, I learned to accept fashion as exhibited by various popular cultures such as hip hop music.
At most times, I made ‘top-fashion’ purchases from local merchandisers and consequently considered myself as fitting in into the world of fashion. My perceptions of the type of car I would drive changed from just an ordinary car to classy cars like Lamborghini or sport-cars such as McLaren. Also, my dream-house became more aligned towards the ‘crib style’ houses usually shown on popular culture shows such as MTV. My acceptance of the society became aligned towards this style and thus people with these perspectives would only matter while those who had achieved the desires from within me were considered as heroes. This concept greatly affected the way I thought, acted and looked forward into the future.
Although the fashion aspect is considered as commercialization of fabric, the aspect of using the media and other forms of popular culture to familiarize it and gain widespread acceptance is often unquestionable and consequently, many people including myself take it for granted that in order to fit in into the desired societies, one has to take into consideration these aspects as the only acceptable ways of living. The consequences are often unspoken too. Although the aspects of fitting in are notably conspicuous, the silences that accompany the sways of popular culture by individuals doing it cause more emotional effects than is understood. The associated beliefs of such popular cultures are also highly controlling. Given the kind of culture I believed in, I carried the view that there was no literal ethics to follow and therefore everyone decided a suitable destiny. Although this remained largely unspoken, it had a huge impact during my internship years and later the initial years of work experience.
At a certain point, urges from within make people want to communicate and share the experiences of encountering challenges that contradict their fundamental beliefs. Although the work place was not autocratic, the concept of following guidelines and carrying out routine was quite intolerable. This had a serious effect on my completion of tasks required within the work place. Continual delays in such completions continued to worsen the situation and rendered me almost eligibility-questionable. The unspoken feelings from within continued to create more bitterness and assertions about life, work expectations and ethical guidelines.
However, I later realized that the silence only worsened the situation. The negative attitude developed from youth periods only continued to create illusions through assumptions about life and the way life should be. On further reflection, I made a deeper realization that these effects only arose from the inflexibilities that were held inside about the absoluteness of the beliefs attained from immersion into hip hop culture and associated fashion.
The absolutism social construction, from the perspective of self-positioning towards the conventional beliefs in order to gain social acceptances can create negative instances in the future for an individual, especially in places requiring flexibilities as regards beliefs, perceptions and can actually create unpleasant rigidities for that individual within a given work place. The end result might be reduced productivities, continuous inaccuracies and unwillingness tendencies for accepting change. All these create detrimental effects towards one’s overall output. This is one of the biggest lessons I have learnt in my career regarding the influence of popular culture.
However, on the positive side, I realized that such undeterred attitudes could help an individual accomplish even the most complex tasks, with the perception of proving oneself. During one such situation, I was involved in one of the most complex tasks within our organization. Given that the task had proved beyond completion by any available human resource, it was declared fit for outsourcing. However, given the allocation expenses that had to be spent on completing this task,
From this lesson, it is obvious that situations are full of changes, which do not require specific predetermined destinies. Most of the influences of popular culture that change the ways individuals act or think may have negative impacts of employee careers, to the extent of affecting them to fail completely in duty discharge. Situations thus require application of diverse theories including change management. Given that change is only mutant, it is only imperative that always situational variables be taken into consideration. The taken-for-granted do not create any change but rather limit chances of change. In order for an individual to adapt to situations, it highly advisable that openness to situations is adopted to ensure that change takes time and course in the required direction. This way, it becomes possible to handle situations better with appropriate responses, including future plans.
This possibility has enabled me to perceive the future differently, considering imminent situations and those at the present, indicating the possibilities of them becoming highly desirable characteristics in given popular cultures. This experience has immensely influenced my take on given popular cultures and their influences on the societies. My current undertaking is to understand better how the available forms of popular cultures have impacted our societies and the consequences associated with this effect, with a view to carrying out research that would produce action for careful adaptations of all elements of popular culture by societal individuals.