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Friday, July 25, 2014

Popular Culture in the study of History

Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011, at 5:08 PM

Cultural History is a relatively new field of study in history. It is so new that there is no widely accepted starting point for the field. Some put it sometime in the 1970s, while others pinpoint it directly to the releasing of the essay Interpreting the French Revolution by François Furet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_history) in1978. Whenever it's actual start day was it is fast becoming a very interesting field.

There is an even more distinct field within cultural history and that is popular culture.

While most of history has been solely focused on decisions that were made by leaders and wars, and politics; cultural history looks more at the people that were affected by those decisions or living during those times.

I recently wrote a paper in which I had hypothesized that because of the popularity of the Andy Griffith Show, the town of Mayberry (where the show was set) had become America's hometown. It was actually a very fun research project that allowed me to re-watch several episodes of the show because it was apparent that the creators and writers of the show had the same sense.

When looking, for instance, at popular culture of the 1960s a very distinct pattern emerges of two different time periods of the 60s. At the start of the decade the dress of people was still very conservative in nature. Men wore suits to just about every thing they did. They wore their hair short and typically kept their faces clean shaven. Women wore mostly ankle length dresses that, for the most part, hid their natural curves.

By the end of the decade that style of dress was out. Men began wearing their hair long and usually had facial hair (whether it was a mustache or beard) and women were wearing skirts that typically ended above the knee.

The other night I happened to watch two classics, The Time Machine and Logan's Run. The Time Machine was released in 1960 and the dress for the movie was very conservative especially for the women of the future. The movie was initially set in 1899 but when the Time Traveler traveled to the future the dress remained fairly conservative for both men and women.

Logan's Run was released in the early 1970s and it was very apparent that the style of dress had changed. It was set in the future and the women wore very short dresses that left little to the imagination. The men in the movie almost all had longer hair than would have been seen had the movie been made around the same time as The Time Machine.

By looking at Popular Culture throughout history it can be easily seen what were the norms of the times. It is a very interesting and unique field to study that is for sure.

"For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

*First paragraph fixed for mistakes.


Comments
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interesting post Michael

-- Posted by doodle bug on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 5:35 PM

Other than the first paragraph appearing as if it was written in Spanish and then plugged into an internet translator, I agree, interesting post.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 8:14 PM

Wow you are absolutely right speaker that first paragraph is horrible.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 10:00 PM

All better now.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Fri, Jul 1, 2011, at 7:45 AM

Shenanigans, Shenanigans!!

I thought about pointing that out, but I didn't want you to take it as another "attack, attack, attack". If I had commented on your poor word choice you would still be complaining about it. So I call "shenanigans" on Michael.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Jul 1, 2011, at 9:09 AM

Mr. Armchair Historian Pot,

I'm curious, do you get all of your ideas for blogs from Daily Kos? If so, this may explain the difficulty you have in explaining your thoughts fully. I can't help but find the coincidence between your project about the Andy Griffith Show as popular culture history, and an blog about the Andy Griffith Show as popular culture history found on Daily Kos a bit too much to ignore. This is particularly interesting to me because of the number of times you accuse "conservatives" of always getting their ideas from conservative sources and not ever thinking of anything on their own.

Here is the posting from Daily Kos posted a month or so before you announced your project.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/18...

I hope your professor doesn't think you were plagiarizing other writers. There is the similarity between the two blogs and also an interesting phrase you use: "I had hypothesized that because of the popularity of the Andy Griffith Show, the town of Mayberry (where the show was set) had become America's hometown"

I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but this isn't a new hypothesis, again I hope you aren't trying to pass this off as your own idea as you seem to be here.

http://www.mayberrync.blogspot.com/

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Jul 1, 2011, at 10:47 PM

If you are going to charge me with plagiarizing my paper SW just say it instead if hiding behind words.

Also, once again, you are arguing against a statement I never made. I never claimed it to be a new hypothesis. It was simply a hypothesis.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Jul 2, 2011, at 12:52 AM

"I never claimed it to be a new hypothesis. It was simply a hypothesis."

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Jul 2, 2011, at 12:52 AM

So it wasn't a new hypothesis, but an old one that you made? Which statement did you not make? this one?

"I recently wrote a paper in which I had hypothesized that because of the popularity of the Andy Griffith Show, the town of Mayberry (where the show was set) had become America's hometown."

Or was it some other statement? Does it not count if the exact spelling, punctuation etc.. is not used?

So did you come up with the idea on your own or did you "borrow" it? I would imagine that most graduate level programs frown on it. If you are going to deny borrowing ideas from others just say it instead of hiding behind attacks and prevarication.

Perhaps you didn't straight up plagarize, but at least here you imply by your statments that it is YOUR hypothesis, not that you explored the hypothesis. Se the whole "I had hypothesized" part of the statment implies that it is actually your hypothesis. Just to help you out, I know that you have some problems using syntax. Who came up with the initial hypothesis? Did you cite them on your paper? There would be no harm in that possibly, but from your immediate defensiveness I wonder....

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Sat, Jul 2, 2011, at 1:30 AM

I got an email the other day called "paraprosdokians" which are statements that end in a funny and unexpected way. I am not accusing anyone of anything, I am just sharing this one: Stealing from one ideas from one person is called plagiarism, stealing from a number of people is called research.

Another funny one I read was: A bus station is where a bus stops, a train station is where a train stops. At my desk I have a work station.

-- Posted by speak-e-z on Sat, Jul 2, 2011, at 3:39 PM

Michael,

Sir Didymus made my point before I did, but I would still like a response, you said:"I recently wrote a paper in which I had hypothesized". Inherent in your statement is the assumption that this is a new hypothesis, or at the least a hypothesis that you made originally since you are claiming it as your own invention. Once again the English language appears to have stymied you.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Jul 8, 2011, at 6:34 PM

I would pack another lunch and some snacks, SW. It appears that Mike is not answering questions. I know that sounds shocking. Remember Frings are TASTY!

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Sat, Jul 9, 2011, at 2:21 AM

"Once again the English language appears to have stymied you."

OR

It once again shows that you know no bounds in making up statements that I have made just to take a cheap shot at me.

Consider what you wrote SW. First you state that is inherent that the assumption would be that either I am claiming it to be a new hypothesis or an original hypothesis. Yet within the exact same sentence you abandon all the inherentcy and assumption and just break it down to I claimed the hypothesis as my own invention.

There is just one problem I never made that claim that I came up with the hypothesis on my own, I never claimed that it was my invention. Those are your claims, yet knowing that you made the claim that I made those claims didn't stop you from making nothing more than an adolescent cheap shot directed at me.

Here's the funny thing about hypothese that seem to escape both you and Didymus; many different people can make the same hypothesis at different times. They can often do it independently without any knowledge of the other person (or people) even knowing that they are working on the same hypothesis.

When I originally came up with my hypothesis I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds. At the time I didn't know and didn't consider that other people had developed the same hypothesis. As I did my research I realized that there were indeed other people that had come up with the same general idea.

"I would imagine that most graduate level programs frown on it."

You are both right and very very wrong. Most graduate level programs do frown on borrowing IF it is not properly cited. If someone is borrowing another person's idea but it arguing something different or actually using that idea to strengthen a point, as long as the original author is cited, there is absolutely no problem with that. As long as you give proper credit where it is due there are no problems.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Jul 20, 2011, at 10:06 AM

Michael,

Wow, you've been working on that response for a while now.

"Consider what you wrote SW. First you state that is inherent that the assumption would be that either I am claiming it to be a new hypothesis or an original hypothesis. Yet within the exact same sentence you abandon all the inherentcy and assumption and just break it down to I claimed the hypothesis as my own invention."

I'm not sure what this is supposed to show. Where do you think my argument is flawed, in your response you confirmed what I said, claiming a thought as your own MEANS that you created it whether now or at some point in the past. Again, I think your mastery of English is flawed.

"Here's the funny thing about hypothese that seem to escape both you and Didymus; many different people can make the same hypothesis at different times. They can often do it independently without any knowledge of the other person (or people) even knowing that they are working on the same hypothesis."

While this is true and doesn't escape my knowledge, when a person is doing research and realizes that the hypothesis is not original they have the responsibility to cite the acknowledged "owner" of the thought. Where in your research did you first encounter the hypothesis and did you give credit? All I ask that you do is instead of saying "I hypothesized" you should have said something along the lines of "working on the hypothesis..."

I would hope a graduate student should have enough English skill to realize this.

But you may be right Prestigious Arkansas Tech University may have more rigorous standards than the schools I am used to.

It's funny you have more than once claimed I am "hiding behind words" I find this telling. I think your poor verbal skills makes you think I am doing something nefarious by simply following common rules.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Jul 20, 2011, at 6:32 PM

"Where do you think my argument is flawed, in your response you confirmed what I said, claiming a thought as your own MEANS that you created it whether now or at some point in the past."

I thought I had explained that but I will try again. You started off good by stating that one could assume ... but then you slide into a completely different thought and abandon that assumption and make the claim that I claimed to have come up with a new hypothesis.

The last half of your statement doesn't match the first half. One could rightly assume that at some point I thought I had come up with a new hypothesis. If you had stated that, you would have been correct. However, when you throw in the idea that I claimed to have come up with a new hypothesis it is simply incorrect. I never made that claim on here or in class.

"claiming a thought as your own MEANS that you created it whether now or at some point in the past."

Again, here you are creating words I have never said and then attempting to explain them to me. I never claimed anything. I had thought I had come up with a new hypothesis at the very beginning of my process. The idea proved to be wrong, which I readily admit. It does not prove your point, because, again, I never made the claim publicly, which is where the current contention is.

"All I ask that you do is instead of saying "I hypothesized" you should have said something along the lines of "working on the hypothesis...""

This is nothing more than parsing words. I gave credit where credit was due. I did hypothesize is the same as working on the hypothesis. There really is not difference.

To be honest to get stuck on the hypothesis and whether I gave proper credit rather than the actual work proves nothing, in my opinion.

Odd though, that you would raise the point here, but make no mention of it when I actually posted the work.

Don't think for a second that I didn't notice that you have done all your nitpicking over my sources and whether or not I lifted my paper on this blog and never said a word when I actually put the paper up for all to see.

Of course, what would a SW post be without the usual character attacks:

"I would hope a graduate student should have enough English skill to realize this."

and then you go one step further and advance from character attacking a person to character attacking an institution with this goldmine:

"But you may be right Prestigious Arkansas Tech University may have more rigorous standards than the schools I am used to."

I have to know, what is it you have against Arkansas Tech University? Every time you mention the school it is always in a mocking tone.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Jul 21, 2011, at 11:36 PM

I think that Arkansas Tech is a fine school.

But I have family that went there.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Jul 22, 2011, at 6:03 AM

Michael,

Your disdain of proper usage is troublesome, that you think using specific language is "parsing words" in apparently a negative way is unsurprising. "I hypothesized" is very different than saying "I agree with X's hypothesis". I didn't get a chance to read your paper, when I went to do so it had been moved. Remember when I asked you where it is? If you say you properly cited, ok.

What I have against ATU, is primarily that it allows you into it's graduate program. You try to portray yourself as an erudite, educated, elite, elucidator of elapsed eras; yet you've shown terrible reasoning and writing skills, therefore I am forced to assume that it is a low quality institution. I can find no quality almunus listed nor does it appear highly in any rankings. While I know rankings aren't everything, they can provide a clue. There may be many distinguished alumni, but like many things, I once asked you about them and never got a response.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Jul 22, 2011, at 10:08 PM


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