Popular Culture

A scene from "The Dybbuk"

Lila Downs on an Album Cover

Popular culture is commercial culture based on common tastes. It focuses on the culture for the masses rather than elitest classes. It is a component of informal, mainstream culture in a given society, and mainly includes varying forms of entertainment, images, and ideas.((Storey, John (2006). Cultural theory and popular culture. Pearson Education.))

Mexican popular culture shares an integral connection with Jewish popular culture. While the fascinations—and even mediums—of the cultures differ, they both are the results of dangerous, confusing revolutionary epochs. The Russian Revolution of 1905 resulted in East European Jews temporarily attaining freedom of expression. This freedom fueled the desire for Jewish literature, theater, and art for the masses. The Mexican Revolution did the same, causing many forms of art and expression to explore history, the blending of cultures, and new ideas of the revolution. These manifested in paintings, murals, music, and dance. Both the Russian and Mexican Revolutions developed culture for the people.

That said, it is important to note that because of the chronological disparities between Jewish and Mexican pop cultures (during the periods we’re studying), Jewish pop culture mainly transpired in writing, theater, and art, while Mexican pop culture has exploded in multimedia.

By  Krishan Sharma (Jews) and Nico Grant (Mexicans) from Judith Friedlander’s CHC150 class. Click the picture on the left to learn more about Jewish popular culture, or try the picture on the right to hear more on Mexican popular culture.

One comment for this page

  • f says:

    even though mexico and europe are far removed between themselves in terms of distance I am surprised there is similarity. oh then I realized it is because of people from Europe immigrated long time back.

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