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'High', 'Popular' and 'Low' Cultures in Everyday Life

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Samantha Rosiczkowski

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of 'High', 'Popular' and 'Low' Cultures in Everyday Life

'High', 'Popular' and 'Low' Cultures in Everyday Life
D. Inglis
Aspects of High Culture:
1. High culture as the best works that have been produced.

2. The effects the works of art have on those who are exposed on a regular basis.
Constantly challenging us and compelling us to rethink about how we see the world.
Transcendent aspect of Human Experience
Which of these are examples of High Culture?
+ Harry Potter Series
+ Shakespeare
+ the Opera
+ Lord of the Rings
+ Beethoven
+ Miley Cyrus
+ YouTube
+ the Ballet
+ Harry Potter Series: 4
+ Beethoven: 6
+ Shakespeare: 8
+ Miley Cyrus: 0
+ the Opera: 8
+ YouTube: 1
+ Lord of the Rings: 1
+ the Ballet: 8

Pop Culture:

+ Harry Potter Series
+ Miley Cyrus
+ YouTube
+ Lord of the Rings

High Culture:

+ Beethoven
+ Shakespeare
+ the Opera
+ the Ballet
The Routinization of Culture:
High Culture Today
Pop culture and low culture have more influence and power than high culture
High culture art is manipulated and altered for capitalistic consumer needs
"Easy to digest nuggets"
Great works of art make life worth living.

Pop culture diminishes our faculties.
Pop Culture = Mass Culture
Innovation is risky, repetition is lucrative.
Culture as a Product
Culture is influenced by Culture Industries
Stereotypical and stock ideas
Inescapability - leisure is not a free choice
Nice Guys Finish Last
(a.k.a) Never the Best Friend
Inside Mass Culture:
Cultural Standing Over Time
Art defined by context
High Culture defined by Upper Class
Bias of Pop Culture Critics
Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer
Consumers may be more 'thinking' than credited.
Assumed that masses are easily manipulated by Culture Industries
Should endeavor to understand lives of consumer's and how they process what they are exposed to
Mass media as enriching as opposed to debilitating.
People not so naive as to mistake media as synonymous with reality.

Recognize what is demonstrated in pop culture is not commonplace.
Response to pop culture
dependent on cultural and social background.
'Art' and Everyday Activities
Power to Define Art:
Art is defined by a select few, if not art it is ruled pop culture.
But anything can be 'art' if certain people say it is
If art is disconnected from daily life we miss how 'art' is deemed as art and the connection between how pop culture is produced, distributed, and consumed the same as high culture art.
Inside the Temples of 'Art'
In societies with a clear hierarchy between classes there is more distinction between high and low culture.

Cultural Capital:
The higher class you are brought up in the more cultural capital you have, the more cultural capital the more at ease you feel in places like museums and the more you will dislike low culture.

The lower class you are brought up in the lower cultural capital you have the less comfortable you feel in museums and the more you enjoy low culture.
'Low Culture' and Resistance
Defining Low Culture
Low Culture as the opposite of great art.
Relativity of cultural judgements creates a problem that different people classify things different.
Low Culture as a creation of Lower Classes to "cope" with difficult circumstances.
Goes against Culture Industries
Symbolic Creativity versus Fad Acceptance
Low Culture as a norm breaker.
Mocking of authority.
Anti-establishment humor.
Skepticism of elite control.

A way of questioning and mocking upper class culture.
Form of rebellion.
Cultural Confusion?
Borders between high and low culture are becoming more blurred
People as a whole enjoy different culture forms
Class will always have an effect on cultural forces and everyday life
The history of Popular Culture
By: Susie O'Brien

Popular Recreation before 1830
recreation is closely tied with work in forms of the holidays on the calenders and everyday social interactions
recreation connected the community through traditional homemade activies such as sports, games, dancing etc.)
very pure and simple minded compared to our society now with video games and television
includes more outdoor gatherings and outdoor activities
fun was free
strong attachment to the natural world
strong connection between individuals
spending money is fun
Industrial Revolution
The mythology production of working class
High class = rich
Low class= poor
According to E.P. Thompson:
class describes a material relationship to the wealth-generating sutrctures of society; it distinguishes capital owners from its labourers
one's class position has a determining influence on one's identity and social orientation

Workplace Reform
Project of rational recreation
trying to bring the classes together as a whole
hoping that recreation could temporarily forget the inequalities at work

individual freedom had given the middle class rise to power
perception of popular culture as an arena which to pursue the freedom to be oneself
Blood sports
Production of Commericial mass culture
Differences of culture industry from before to now:

they now rely on expansive form of media technology in order to reach a mass audience
mass media is now produced by a vertically integrated factor system whichis supervised by committees and executives

Developements of a mass entertainment industry"
a large urban population
developements in technology mthat made the production possible on a large scale
The printing press
Pub Culture
The film industry

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