AP Human Geography : Popular & Folk Culture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #113 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

The May Day maypole celebration practiced in parts of Western Europe is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

international culture

popular culture

high culture

folk culture

children's culture

Correct answer:

folk culture

Explanation:

"Folk culture" describes cultural traditions that are done at a local level and which are derived from longstanding cultural practices. Folk culture is separated from popular and high culture by its traditional and localized nature. The maypole tradition, where traditional dancing takes place around a pole on May 1st in villages and small towns, is a classic example of folk culture.

Example Question #114 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

Western popular music has been the most popular form of music around the world for which of the following reasons?

Possible Answers:

There is not a strong tradition of popular music outside of America and Western Europe.

International media corporations are largely based in America and Western Europe.

Most music fans around the world want to be more like Americans.

Western popular music is scientifically proven to be more pleasing.

Western music is much easier to play at home on instruments.

Correct answer:

International media corporations are largely based in America and Western Europe.

Explanation:

Western popular music, based off of the larger Western musical tradition, has become the popular music of much of the world. This is not due to the intrinsic quality of the music as much as it is to the influence of American and Western European media companies, which are the largest such companies in the world.

Example Question #1 : Popular & Folk Culture

Which of these is not a defined difference between folk culture and popular culture?

Possible Answers:

Pop culture is uniform over a wide geographic area; whereas folk culture varies from community to community.

Folk culture usually originates in a rural hearth; whereas pop culture usually originates in an urban hearth.

All of these answer choices accurately describe differences between folk culture and pop culture.

Pop culture experiences dramatic change over time; whereas folk culture tends to remain consistent over a number of generations.

Pop culture is aided by the influence of mass media; whereas folk culture is obstructed by mass media.

Correct answer:

All of these answer choices accurately describe differences between folk culture and pop culture.

Explanation:

All of these answer choices are accurate descriptions of the differences between folk culture and pop culture. Folk culture tends to be local, rural, consistent over time, but inconsistent over geography. Pop culture, on the other hand, tends to be widespread and uniform over a large geographic distance, it tends to be based in urban centers, and it generally experiences fairly rapid change over time. Pop culture is often used to refer to popular music, movies, and TV shows. On the other hand, folk culture is used to refer to the traditions and customs that make up the cultural identity of a local group of people.

Example Question #2 : Popular & Folk Culture

Which of the following is a true statement about popular culture?

Possible Answers:

Popular and folk culture often remain unchanged for years.

The scale of territory covered by folk culture is often much larger than that of popular culture.

Technology is reducing the scale of territory covered by popular culture. 

Folk culture is often the result of cultural isolation, while popular culture often results from cultural diffusion. 

Correct answer:

Folk culture is often the result of cultural isolation, while popular culture often results from cultural diffusion. 

Explanation:

While nonmatieral cultural deals with the intangible, idealogical aspects of culture, like beliefs, folk and popular culture are the two primary divisions of material, tangible culture. Folk culture represents homogeneity, or sameness, and is usually practiced in isolated regions, free from the influence of pop culture’s diffusion. Since popular culture diffuses over wide areas of diverse people, it is very different from the homogeneity of folk culture, and so while folk culture may remain unchanged for years, popular culture diffuses and this changes rapidly. Moreover, the Internet and television have only increased the speed and expanse of popular culture’s diffusion, and have allowed new ideas to reach farther places faster. Thus the upper-hand of technology in pop culture diffusion means it is often spread from the most-developed regions of the world.

Example Question #3 : Popular & Folk Culture

Which of the following is not typically associated with popular culture?

Possible Answers:

Celebrity influence

Urban culture

Social media

Rural culture

Western society

Correct answer:

Rural culture

Explanation:

Popular culture is typically focused on ideals including but not limited to: celebrity influence, social media, urban culture, and Western society. Rural culture is not typically associated with popular culture because less influence is placed on cultural trends in smaller towns.

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