Trent”s Topic Selection: Astrology and Pop Culture

Trent Shadduck

Popular Culture

Professor Osborn

Topic Selection Paper


Fascination with Astrology

        While traditional modes of superstation such as organized religion are becoming less prevalent among younger generations, an interesting phenomenon is sweeping across society which is equally devoid of truth and evidence.  Pseudo-science is an increasingly important aspect of modern society and some producers are capitalizing on this widespread phenomenon.  One of the most popular forms of pseudoscience among the younger generations is actually a practice which is centuries old which has enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent decades.  Astrology claims to interpret events and the nature of humans based on the observation of constellations from our viewpoint here on earth.  It is believed by many to be a way obtaining information from a divine source.  Although less dogmatic than conventional religion, it is still a belief system not supported by evidence.

Astrology is for the most part, harmless and many people find it fun and entertaining.  In most instances, the results are inconsequential and people continue going about their daily lives.  But it contributes to an increasing market geared towards satisfying the astrological craze.  Astrology has caught the attention of populations for thousands of years and the most recent wave of interest can largely be attributed to the speed of social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, and tumblr.

        There have been times in Western society when world leaders have consulted with astrologers to help them determine important decisions.  This is true even in more recent times.  For example, Ronald Reagan commissioned a White House astrologer during his time as president of the United States.  A 2005 Gallup poll revealed that around 25% of U.S. adults believe in astrology.  When you look on social media, it is impossible to ignore all of the posts regarding Taurus and Capricorns and how they must conform to a certain idea about who they should be because they read it somewhere.

Social media is an increasingly viable and effective way to spread ideologies and astrology is no exception. The relationship between social media and the spread of ideas which may not necessarily be beneficial should not be ignored.  I want to explore how such an ancient belief system can be recycled and repackaged in such a way that the younger generation finds it appealing.   

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