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Folk and Popular Culture


Early 1700s settled in Pennsylvania Early 1800s settled in Illinois, Ohio, ... (isolated) Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Folk and Popular Culture

Folk and Popular Culture
  • Two Features of Material Culture
  • Survival activities
  • -food, clothing, shelter
  • Leisure activities
  • -arts, recreation
  • Habita repetitive act an individual performs
  • I.e.wearing jeans to class everyday
  • Customa repetitive act of a group, performed to
    the extent that it becomes a characteristic of
    the group
  • I.e.American college students wearing jeans to
    class every day

Folk and Popular Culture
  • A custom is a habit that a group of people have
    widely adopted
  • A collection of customs produces a groups
    material culture
  • A custom refers to a specific element of material
    culture, whereas culture refers to a groups
    entire collection of customs
  • Two basic categories of material culture
  • Folk culture
  • -traditionally practiced primarily by small,
    homogeneous groups living in isolated rural areas
  • Popular culture
  • -found in large heterogeneous societies that
    share certain habits despite differences in other
    personal characteristics

Folk and Popular Culture
  • folk culture typically covers smaller scales of
    territory than popular culture
  • Two Focus Points of Geographers On Culture
  • Each cultural activity has a distinct spatial
  • The relationship between culture and the physical
  • -origin, diffusion, and integration with other
    social characteristics
  • Each cultural group takes certain elements from
    the environment into its culture and creates

Folk and Popular Culture
Landscapes dominated by a collection of folk
customs change relatively little over time Groups
develop distinctive customs in a place that is
isolated from other groups -electronic
communications systems facilitate frequent
changes in popular customs Folk culture is more
likely to vary from place to place at a given
time, whereas popular culture is more likely to
vary from time to time at a given place Because
of globalization, popular culture is becoming
more dominant, which is threatening the survival
of unique folk cultures
Folk and Popular Culture
  • 4 Key Issues of Folk and Popular Culture
  • Where do folk and popular cultures originate and
  • Why is folk culture clustered?
  • Why is popular culture widely distributed?
  • Why does globalization of popular culture cause

Folk and Popular Culture
Where Do Folk and Popular Cultures Originate and
Diffuse? Social customs originate at a hearth (a
center of innovation) Folk cultures often have
anonymous hearths, unknown sources,
unidentifiable dates, anonymous
originators -they may also have multiple
hearths, in which they developed independently
in isolated locations Popular culture is most
often a product of economically more developed
countries -North America, Western Europe,
Japan -includes popular music and fast food as
examples -result of a combination of
advancements in industrial technology and
increased leisure time
Folk and Popular Culture
leisure time has increased due to a shift from
predominant agricultural work to predominantly
service and manufacturing Origin of Folk
Music Music is a good example to show the
differences in the origins of folk and popular
culture The earliest known music invented by the
Chinese -according to legend, in the year
2697BC -Emperor Huang Ti sent Ling Lun to find a
piece of bamboo poles that, when blown into,
would produce a sound matching the call of the
phoenix bird
Folk and Popular Culture
Folk songs usually have been composed anonymously
and have been transmitted orally -they may be
modified from one generation to the
next -content usually about events found in
daily life familiar to the majority of the people
Folk and Popular Culture
  • Common Folk Music Themes
  • Daily activities (farming)
  • Lifecycle events (birth, death, marriage)
  • Mysterious events (storms, earthquakes)
  • Many folk songs provide advice regarding these
  • Geographer George Karney recorded the birth
    places of country musicians and found that there
    were four separate hearth regions of country music

These independent origins merged together
Folk and Popular Culture
Origins of Popular Music Popular music is
written by specific individuals for the purpose
of being sold to a large number of
people Originated about 1900 in United Kingdom
music halls and United States vaudevilles
Folk and Popular Culture
Tin Pan Alleya district found in New York
City -created an industry to provide music to
music halls and vaudevilles -named from the sound
of pianos -home to songwriters, music publishers,
orchestrators, and arrangers -originally tried to
sell as many printed song sheets as
possible -after World War II, Tin Pan Alley
disappeared as recorded music became more
important than printed song sheets
Folk and Popular Culture
The diffusion of American popular music worldwide
began when the Armed Forces Radio Network
broadcast music to American soldiers and citizens
of countries where American forces were
stationed -English became the international
language for popular music -many popular
musicians around the world perform in
English -few in their home country may be able to
understand the lyrics
Folk and Popular Culture
Hip Hoporiginated in South Bronx in late
1970s -neighborhood quickly changed from mostly
middle-class whites of European origin to
predominantly poor African Americans and Puerto
Ricans -late 1980ship hop spread to Oakland (CA)
and Atlanta (GA) -then spread to other large
U.S. cities Hip hop is a return to a very local
form of music expression -yet, it has dispersed
all over the world
Folk and Popular Culture
  • Diffusion of Folk and Popular Culture
  • Popular culture typically follows the process of
    hierarchical diffusion from hearths (nodes)
  • Examples of popular culture hearths
  • Film industry (Hollywood, CA)
  • Advertising agencies (Madison Ave., New York
  • Popular music (Tin Pan Alley)
  • Folk culture diffuses from one location to
    another, more slowly
  • -primarily spread through migration rather than
    electronic communication (relocation diffusion)
  • Hip Hop is now considered popular music because
    of the way it has diffused

Folk and Popular Culture
The AmishRelocation Diffusion of Folk
Culture Good example to show relocation diffusion
of folk culture The Amish have their own distinct
clothing, farming, religious practices, and other
Folk and Popular Culture
The Amish leave unique patterns on the
landscape -they do not use mechanical or
electric power -travel by horse and buggy and
use hand tools for farming
Folk and Popular Culture
There are about 70,000 Amish in the U.S.
(.03) Amish culture is found in 17 different
Folk and Popular Culture
  • Two Main Forms of Amish Migration to the U.S.
  • Early 1700ssettled in Pennsylvania
  • Early 1800ssettled in Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa
  • Both groups were enticed by cheap land
  • Migrated to other areas where land was inexpensive

Folk and Popular Culture
Amish lived in rural and frontier
settlements -retained their traditional customs
(isolated) Amish communities in Pennsylvania,
Ohio, and Iowa are relatively isolated from each
other but share distinct cultural
traditions Amish folk culture continues to
diffuse slowly Amish are leaving their oldest and
at one time largest community in Lancaster, PA
Folk and Popular Culture
Many are migrating to Christian and Todd counties
in SW Kentucky Amish tradition allows every son
to be given a farm when he becomes an
adult -land is becoming too expensive in
Lancaster, PA The Amish are selling their land in
PA and buying more land in Kentucky to provide
adequate land for their families
Folk and Popular Culture
Sports Hierarchical Diffusion of Popular
Culture Organized sports provide examples of how
popular culture is diffused -many sports
originated as isolated folk customs -organized
sports diffusion displays characteristics of
popular culture
Folk and Popular Culture
Folk Culture Origin of Soccer Soccer originated
in 11th century England English workers began
kicking around the head of a dead Danish soldier
following the Danish invasion of England Kick
the Danes Head was imitated by boys throughout
England -used an inflated cow bladder for a
ball A large number of people from two villages
would gather together -the winning side was the
one that was able to kick the ball to the center
of the rival village The game was later confined
to smaller, vacant field areas Rules became
Folk and Popular Culture
In the year 1154, King Henry II banned the game
from England because it disrupted village life It
was legalized again in 1603 by King James I At
this point in time, soccer was an English folk
custom During the 1800s, football clubs were
created throughout Britain
Warrenby Wednesdays Football Team taken about
Folk and Popular Culture
These clubs gave factory workers organized
recreation during their leisure time More leisure
time for the British allowed more people to
participate in these club sports (demographic
transition, Guns, Germs, and Steel) Higher
incomes allowed spectators to pay to see
first-class sporting events Players became
professional and began to get paid to
play 1863British football clubs formed an
association This marks the transition of football
from folk to popular culture
Folk and Popular Culture
Association football was shortened to assoc
and later changed to soc-ker This activity was
different from rugby football -rugby was created
in 1823 when a football player from Rugby
College picked up and ran with the ball
Folk and Popular Culture
Soccer diffused throughout Europe during the late
1800s -1870s game first played in continental
Europe by Dutch students who had been in
Britain -1893 game first played in Bilbao,
Spain by English engineers -the game spread
worldwide throughout the British Empire -1887
an English factory manager in Moscow organized a
team -after the Russian Revolution in 1917, this
team became known as the Soviet Electronic Trade
Union -became the Moscow Dynamo
Folk and Popular Culture
1869 Princeton and Rutgers played the first
soccer game in the U.S.
In 1873, college reps met to adopt rules Harvard
successfully argued for rugby rules The colleges
also modified these rules The result was an
entirely new game, which became American
football American football has diffused to
Canada, Australia, and Ireland
Rutgers defeated Princeton 6 goals to 4
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