1 Portfolio Analysis Giacomina Acquaviva

Portfolio Analysis
Portfolio Analysis
Giacomina Acquaviva
Southern New Hampshire University
IDS 404 – Popular Culture
Benjamin Olson
August 19th, 2018
Spider-man viewed through the History lens allows specific historical
artifacts to come to life. Early in the 1900’s women were objectified as
housewives, caregivers, and dependent upon men. As women were
becoming more independent in society, since WWII, the traditional idea of
the typical women was evolving as well. In Spider-man, Aunt May is the
prototypical housewife providing everything for Peter and Uncle Ben. Once
Uncle Ben dies, Aunt May develops into an independent woman because she
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Portfolio Analysis
is forced to. To make ends meet, Aunt May gets a job at a local diner, Peter
helps her when he can, but he is not well off either. Mary Jane, the love of
Peter’s life who exemplifies a younger modern woman, displays independent
characteristics. She is a free-lance actress struggling to make a living at
first. Initially, she works in a diner while trying to make it as an actress. As
fans watch this show, cultivation theory implements this idea in society and
helps subliminally accept women’s independence.
This period of History, when Spider-man was first developed, was the
middle of the Vietnam war. The Since this mystical figure, Spider-man, is
committing violent acts for the greater good, his violence is justified.
Theoretically, the simulated violence in Spider-man could subliminally
implement a nonconscious justification of violence in society. The idea of
Spider-man conditioned the public to accept the “justified” destruction of the
Vietnam War because the ends justified the means mentality. The war was
receiving massive opposition from Society, so I believe that subliminal
propaganda was implemented to condition the public to accept the war.
With President Kennedy representing a mythical figure amongst the
public, his death caused nationwide panic and slump. Kennedy fought for
social injustice, eliminated the threat of Cuba with the Bay of Pigs invasion,
and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The public looked to find their next hero,
fictional characters like Spider-man temporarily comforted the minds of
society and implemented the ideas of the following judicial savior.
Spiderman conditioned the public that a radical savior can clean up society.
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Portfolio Analysis
Unification against the enemy was another theme that was presented in
Spider-man. Spider-man helped individuals that needed the assistance not
necessarily organizations though. This ideal theory of helping the little guy
against the terrors of society filtered through to people as well. This helped
to encode society to support one another against organized crime and
oppressing organizations. The periods in history influenced their artifacts,
and the objects helped to shape their audiences. This represented a cyclical
pattern where artifacts affect society and society affects its artifacts.
This leads to the Natural Sciences Lens where Spider-man was
morphed by the medium he was presented through. In the early 1950’s,
after the industrialization period of America, society began to convert into an
electronic age. Spider-man gained popularity as he was presented through
multiple mediums. The first medium was comic books which are an
intermediary form between a pictureless book and a television show.
Spider-man had success within the comic book realm, so the writers
developed television shows to express this artifact. Putting Spider-man on
television increased the range of audiences and exponentially increased
Spiderman’s popularity.
The Electronic Age sparked an American evolution to the point where
everyone longed to have a television, and it became a part of the American
Dream. As technology evolved, Spider-man’s character became more
interactive with American minds, specifically their subconscious. As people
watched television, they are watching it in an Alpha state of mind making
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Portfolio Analysis
them more susceptible to subliminal programming. Producers figured this
out and began to implement social and political ideologies into television
programming. Technology is a key to the evolution of Spiderman’s artifact.
As the mediums that Spider-man appears on increase his popularity
proportionally increases as well.
Modern technologies that are displayed in the artifact condition the
public to expect new advents of technology. Cell phones, radios, televisions,
communications, computers, and other mobile devices have influenced
society to expect new methods at a rapid rate. Technology has shaped the
way society operates, communicates, and conducts its daily operations.
Technology is making the world a smaller place making information readily
available helping the popularity of artifacts spread instantaneously.
As the technology increases so do the sensory transmission of specific
subliminal messaging. For example, as you view Spider-man on television,
you are receiving audio and visual stimuli with limited responsiveness. This
is because this is more of an observant medium. When people play an
interactive video game, they engage on a conscious level and use reactive
senses, such as hand-eye coordination to engage. Virtual reality technology
takes it a step further in fooling you that you are in the simulated
environment. Since video games and virtual reality are a simulated reality,
your decisions that you make in the games simulate decisions you would
make in reality. Spider-man video games have affected violence and seem
harmless but, they blur the line between fact and fiction, subliminally
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Portfolio Analysis
influencing violence. This is a result of Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), the
transfer of simulated fictional actions into reality. Therefore, Spider-man
video games, phone games, and virtual reality amplify the subliminal
influences of violence.

Analyzing popular culture artifacts promotes thinking critically,
determining subliminal messages of the sender, and prevents receivers from
being conditioned by subliminal messaging. When considering a particular
object thinking of the sender, encoding method, medium, ways to decode,
and targeted receivers, is essential in accurately analyzing it. Analyzing
artifacts can undoubtedly translate into a psychological analysis of people as
The psychological analysis of an individual is crucial in determining
what job recruiters are looking for in potential candidates, what businesses
are looking for in consumers, even what colleges are looking for in
prospective students. Knowing how to critically analyze an individual can
provide powerful insight into what drives specific individuals. This can serve
as an advantage to benefit future encounters with professionals, colleagues,
friends, clients, customers, etc. Individuals setting expectations may not
always do so in a black and white manner, therefore reading a person is an
excellent skill in determining the drive and motivation behind those
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Portfolio Analysis
The various perspectives that popular culture artifacts are analyzed
through the mirror the different cultural aspects you can empathize with. For
example, Americanization is perceived differently from international
perspectives than an Americans. Most Americans consider Americanization a
positive movement, and they do not understand why some cultures oppose
it. Empathizing with foreign cultures and studying why they feel the way
they do will provide insight into their belief system. This holds true
throughout the macroscopic level of the societies and can translate to the
individual level as well.
Integrating all four lenses show how pop culture artifacts shape the
thinking and perception of society. The natural science lens develops the
tools and mediums that transmit artifacts to society. The speed at which
artifacts are transferred to society has created an impatient society due to
the availability of artifacts and instant gratification. The development of
these mediums has grown exponentially in the past 60 years, and they
remain in high in demand, driving the economic force behind marketing and
selling them. The history lens sheds light on how society has evolved
through history. This is important in determining past trends which can
predict future trends in society and economics. For example, the 1929 stock
market crash was caused by similar reasons as the 2008 financial mortgage
crash. If economists and people remained diligent, these economic tragedies
could have been avoided. The humanities lens is crucial to the mediums that
senders and receivers use to convey artifacts. The mediums are the tools by
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Portfolio Analysis
which pop culture artifacts are expressed and presented to society. The
social sciences lens analyzes the way people react to certain artifacts and
helps to explain societal trends and psychology scientifically.
The feedback loop between society and pop culture artifacts exists
because pop culture artifacts are encoded and presented by the senders
through various mediums, then the way receivers decode and perceive them
determines their popularity. Society’s demand dictates what senders
produce in hopes of gaining popularity, and this completes the feedback
loop. So, senders produce artifacts; society determines an artifact’s
reputation, then senders try to produce artifacts based on this data in hopes
of gaining more popularity. This completes the feedback loop.
In modern culture, the senders are united through society because of
the advent of social applications and portable mediums such as cell phones,
tablets, and cameras. Modern popular culture artifacts are a better gauge of
society’s real perception of an artifact because anyone can be a sender
which reduces corporate bias and social agendas. The data that becomes
popular is rawer than it was in the past. I am not saying pop culture artifacts
are 100% accurate depictions of society’s feelings, but I am saying they are
more accurate than they used to be pre-social media. Pre-social media
artifacts were controlled by a limited group of individuals and corporations;
therefore, this created a bias as to what was popular. Also, no instant
analytics tools existed to gage the instantaneous popularity growth of an
artifact in the past. In conclusion, people must consider the source of
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Portfolio Analysis
everything, think critically, and keep an open mind in their approach to
everyday life.
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Portfolio Analysis
Work Cited
BoxOfficeMojo.com. (2002). 2002 Yearly Box Office Results. Retrieved
on August 7, 2018 from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2002
Danesi, M. (2015). Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives, 3rd
Edition Retrieved on August 13, 2018 from
Fandango. (n.d.). Spider-man Quotes. Retrieved on August 13, 2018
Fandom. (2017). Peter Parker (Earth 616). Retrieved on August 16,
2018 from
Hope, J. (2011). How video games blur real life boundaries and prompt
thoughts of ‘violent solutions’ to players’ problems. Retrieved on August 10,
2018, from
IMDB.com. Spider-man. (n.d.). Retrieved on August 16, 2018, from
Marvel. Spider-man Wiki. (2017). Retrieved on August 16, 2018, from
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