Popular culture Defining Moments, 1945–present
Setting the scene
1. A popular culture survey
‘Popular culture’ refers to the most commonly held attitudes, entertainment, sport, values and activities of a large group at the time.
For example, attending football games would be part of today’s popular culture, but attending the ballet would not.
Try this survey. Mark down which of these you prefer, then compare your answers with those of the rest of your class. Then ask the same questions of a parent, guardian, or someone of a similar age, and see if popular culture has changed between the time of their youth and yours. You could even compare it with that of a grandparent or other older adult as well. Think about what similarities and differences, or changes and continuities, you find.
Which of these are/were an important part of your life as a youth:
When you have analysed your results you will probably find some continuities, and some changes. List some of your key findings:
Your task in this learning module is to investigate and explain aspects of changing Australian popular culture after 1945.
The main areas of popular culture that you will investigate are likely to involve film, TV, sport and music.
Whatever aspect you study, you need to be able to answer certain key questions, listed on the next page, to show that you have a knowledge and understanding of the developments, and an empathetic awareness of their impacts on people.
As you explore various developments, use this set of questions as a checklist that will help you decide where any gaps in your investigations exist.
You can start by looking at one or more of the five Defining Moments in Australian history in this learning module, answering the specific comprehension and analysis questions about them, and then seeing which of the checklist questions you have covered, and which need more information.
You can then use this approach as a model for exploring your own choice of developments.
Developments in Australian popular culture: Key questions
Television introduced to Australia
Australia wins the America’s Cup
Nicky Winmar’s protest
Adam Goodes is driven from AFL
National Gallery of Australia buys Blue Poles