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Popularity

From Academic Kids

A person, action, decision or thing becomes popular if many people like or use that entity/object. Thus popular means both "well liked" and "common" or "mass". Popularity figures as an important part of many people's personal value systems, and forms a vital component of success in people-oriented fields such as politics.

The term's earliest use in English was during the fifteenth century in law and politics, meaning "low", "base", "vulgar", and "of the common people" till the late eighteenth century by which time it began to mean "widespread" and gain in positive connotation. (Williams 1985)

Many different variations of popularity exist, and many ways in which to gain it. General popularity usually involves respect in two directions: the popular person is respected by his peers, and will simultaneously show them respect, thus reinforcing their belief that he is deserving of his popularity. Likewise, amicability is an important component of popularity, as a person who does not like others is unlikely to be liked by others. This reciprocal nature of interpersonal popularity is often overlooked by people (particularly the young) who are attempting to become popular: being loud or a show-off may be successful in gaining attention, but is unlikely to provide the necessary mutual respect characteristic of "true popularity".

Humor may also be a viable means of increasing one's popularity, as there are few people in the world who do not warm to somebody who amuses them. However if taken too far this strategy can result in one being seen as a clown or buffoon, who ends up laughed at rather than laughed with, and who misses out on the crucial component of respect.

See also

Sources

  • Hassabian, Anahid (1999). "Popular", Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture, eds.: Horner, Bruce and Swiss, Thomas. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0631212639.
  • Williams, Raymond (1985). Keywords: a Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195204697.

Member parties of the coalition European Popular Party are usually demochristian parties like the Spanish Partido Popular and the Italian Partito Popolare.


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