Scholars and academics are often fans.
"Popular culture studies is the academic discipline studying popular culture [a.k.a. pop culture] from a critical theory perspective. It is generally considered as a combination of communication studies and cultural studies. ... Conceptual barriers between so-called high and low culture have broken down, accompanying an explosion in scholarly interest in popular culture, which encompasses such diverse media as comic books, television, and the Internet."
-Wikipedia entry on Popular Culture Studies
Here is a sample of relevant subject terms for the OPAC as well as for the research databases:
Keywords and Phrases:
Here is a sample of academic and peer-reviewed journals available in our research databases.
and many more
JSTOR is a good resource for researching historical pop culture and trends. They even have a topic page on Popular Culture.
If you are having trouble finding good quality sources on a specific trend, web site, or video game, research its history. Although it may seem as if they pop out of nowhere, all ideas have a past. Find its roots. Put it into context.
Here are are some sources:
Look at catalogs and advertising for clothing and consumer goods aimed for the middle class.
The Sears & Roebuck Catalog is wonderful resource for prices and styles for watches, clothing, appliances, tools, and even houses. Unfortunately, there is no central online archive of these catalogs. Some of them are available on the web, including:
Those sites have additional mail-order catalogs from other companies, such as Macy's and Abercrombie and Fitch.
Mail-order catalogs are still published today, such as the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.