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Folk and Popular Culture
Where are leisure activities distributed?
Chapter 4 – Key Issue 1 (Music & Sports)
Remember back to Unit 1… What is Culture?
A lot can be determined about a peoples through their
material traits, customary beliefs, and social forms.
The food we consume, clothes we wear, shelters we live in,
music we listen to, and leisure activities we participate in can
tell us a lot
Material Culture – Anything that can be seen
❧ Non-material culture – the intangible (language, religion,
philosophy, superstition, etc.)
The Cultural Landscape
The interactions of a group in relation to their own
cultural practices as well as to the values of a society
as reflected through artifacts and architecture.
Geographer Carl Sauer coined the term
Culture influences our behavior…
Habit is a repetitive act performed by an individual.
❧ Custom is a repetitive act performed by a group.
❧ Taboo is a forbidden or restricted social action
Is this a custom?
What is Folk Culture?
Anonymous and potentially multiple hearths
Hearths are the center of a cultural innovation.
Unknown or questionable dates and originators
Small Scale and Slow Diffusion from one location to
Diffusion is the way in which culture spreads
Folk Culture moves through relocation diffusion.
Folk Culture – Sports & Leisure
The Distribution of Folk Culture
Why is there such distinctly
different folk culture in such a
close proximity?
What is Pop Culture?
Product of a developed countries
Origin can be traced to a specific person, place, or corporation
Diffusion is rapid and extensive, and often uses modern
communication tools.
Pop Culture moves through hierarchical diffusion.
Hierarchical Diffusion is the spread from larger places to smaller
Can things transition from folk to popular?
The origin of futbol is hotly contested, it is accepted that at one time it was an
English folk sport from 11th Century-19th Century
Is futbol (soccer) popular culture?
(Green is 1st Sport, Red is 2nd Sport, Blue is Tertiary Sport
Popular Culture – Sports & Leisure
Can “Popular” be folk?
Folk Music
Diffuses with individuals as the migrate
Though songs modify over time the style and themes are left intact.
Often utilize instruments that are specific to a culture or region
Popular Music
Cultural Diffusion
Hierarchical Diffusion
Contagious Diffusion
The rapid spread of ideas (Through the internet???)
Stimulus Diffusion
From minority to majority
The application of a concept to another product
Relocation Diffusion
The spread of a cultural aspect through migration
The Diffusion of Music
Case Study – Pop Culture in the
Arab World
Can you see culture?
Culture can be seen…
in the items we own,
❧ in the leisure activities we take part in.
❧ in the music we listen to,
❧ in the clothes we wear,
❧ In the food we eat,
❧ In the ___________...
What Materials Do We Have?
Inspired by the Peter Menzel photographs
United States
South Africa
What Materials Do We Have?
Inspired by the Peter Menzel photographs
Take a picture that incorporates both folk and pop culture items
and materials that are distributed around your home. You are to
bring these items to a centralized location and take a picture of
your items with yourself in it.
Make sure to choose items such as family possessions,
electronics, or other items that define your family and your
Email it to
Denote in your email if you do not want it to be shared with your classmates.
An Interview on Music & Culture
Read the Vivek Shah interview with
Moby & Hans Zimmer then respond to
the questions on a separate sheet of
paper… Turn it into the tray
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