Encoding and Decoding Culture

The Dominant–Hegemonic reading is the obvious meaning of something. It’s the passive understanding of what something means, the face value. Negotiated meaning is a different interpretation than the dominant meaning. Oppositional reading is the opposite view, disagreeing with the ideological position or rejecting the dominant.
Example: The pop idol tv talent show. Dominant -It’s about talent, succeed, star power, competition. Negotiated- voting  for talent is democratic, national identity in the name of show, it’s local. Oppositional- there’s product placement,   it’s cheap programming with no writers/ no actors/ no special effects.
Something/everything means all these things at once.

Bricolage means changing the way something [like a consumer product] is used, so that it serves a different purpose.  Like using safety pins as a fashion statement. This is how subculture fashion and counter-culture trends happen. Doc marten were 1940s orthopedic work boots, and then it became punk fashion. Fashion mining from previous decades, is pulling out old trends and reusing them as current fashion.  Some things eventually pick up in mainstream-culture. Hipster style/Vintage style. Tattoos and piercings started as sub-culture and became mainstream in time. Somethings are all fashion. Low-rider cars flaunt their impracticality, they are defying their function as usable cars. It’s style.        Independent-self-expression becomes difficult when companies are Marketing fashion styles that signify resistance and sub-cultures. It blurs the lines between subculture and mainstream.  ‘Traditionally preppy’ clothing is now being worn by hip-hop artists, as ironic fashion.  The Codes of Irony  is when  a style exaggerates the scale in which things are utilized to signify resistance to it. Like, excessively ridiculous fashion, a dress that’s too ridiculous to wear, or a car too ridiculous to drive. Culture Capital can trickle up as well as down, starting as high-class and becoming low, Or starting low-class and becoming mainstream.
Appropriation and Cultural Production: Appropriation is defined as taking something for oneself without consent, borrowing and changing the meaning of cultural products, slogans, images, fashion.  Like Political art, when you Refabricate well-known images to show social exclusion and inequality.  Applying someone else’s slogan in a different context. Some Fan Cultures re-edit shows and changing the meanings, like slash fiction and Parody media.
Re-appropriation and Counter-Bricolage is the other direction from the last idea. Re-appropriation is when ‘producers/manufacturers’ incorporate fan ideas back into their products. It’s what happens when manufacturers Mine the Counter Culture styles to market  that Subculture to the mainstream masses. Those products lose their political meaning when they switch sides,  and don’t mean anything specific after they become mainstream fashion.  Appropriating strategies go back and forth until  the distinction between the margins and mainstream is unclear. High and low end cultures have been rendered meaningless because of the class-crossover.   It’s fluid and ever changing.
Culture is not a set of objects that are valued in some way, but  IS a set of processes through which meaning is constantly made and remade. Reordering, Redisplaying, and Reusing images in new and different meaningful ways.

Reception is the way people are consuming cultural products, watching and interpreting them.  The Majority of cultural production is done through entertainment and business industries. Presented and advertised  so Viewers can interpret, reject, or reconfigure the cultural texts they see.
The entertainment industry is able to change the meaning of words from an insult to a positive meaning. Example:  Black, Queer, ect, are no longer brash insults.  These changes take time, but  have been embraced in music and cinema.  Black movies in the 70s, initially insulted the colored community, but actually showed their sub-cultures to the world, and ultimately popularizing it with the mainstream audiences.
Mainstream is all marketing.


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