The article, “Leadership, Culture, and Social Change,” defines the terms “culture,” “popular,” and “popular culture” respectively. These explanations hold significance as the article uses this terminology to explain the significance of the phrase “popular culture” with respect to societal conflicts and social change. Rather than simply categorizing popular culture as “vulgar entertainment,” the article encourages individuals to recognize its value to society as a whole. Popular culture has the ability to prompt introspection. Moreover, popular culture calls attention to present societal and political issues. The article describes the positive correlation between a work of popular culture’s audience size and influence: the larger the audience, the larger the possible impact. Using Uncle Tom’s Cabin as an example, the article reiterates the negative consequences of writing off popular culture as entertainment; Uncle Tom’s Cabin illustrates the atrocities of slavery and serves as a call to action. The article concludes by revealing “a profound disconnect between what influences us the most and what we identify as influential” (Bezio, 2018).
The quotation above directly relates to a discussion I had in my Theories and Models class last Thursday. Dr. Goethals described a social science experiment that he conducted regarding attitude change and memory. The study found that individuals’ perspectives on a particular social justice issue were altered by their peers. As a result, individuals with changed standpoints were unable to correctly recall their previous opinion on the matter. These findings parallel the aforementioned disconnect as individuals in the study were unable to recognize the influence that their peers had on their perspective. This evident disconnect reveals that individuals in our society must begin to recognize what impacts us the most; specifically, starting to recognize popular culture and our peers as influencing agents.