About culture – mass culture and high culture (Blog week 1)

Damen, L. (1987). Culture Learning: The Fifth Dimension on the Language Classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

“Culture: learned and shared human patterns or models for living; day- to-day living patterns. these patterns and models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. Culture is mankind’s primary adaptive mechanism” (p. 367).

Hofstede, G. (1984). National cultures and corporate cultures. In L.A. Samovar & R.E. Porter (Eds.), Communication Between Cultures. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

“Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another.” (p. 51).

Kluckhohn, C., & Kelly, W.H. (1945). The concept of culture. In R. Linton (Ed.). The Science of Man in the World Culture. New York. (pp. 78-105).

“By culture we mean all those historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational, and nonrational, which exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of men.”

Cultural Differences

Defining ‘high culture’ presents its own problems. Many examples of that which is considered to be high culture today have existed for hundreds of years. Often, the reason that these things have lasted for so long is that their producers and consumers had the wealth and influence required to preserve them. This is the reason that the works of people such as Tchaikovsky have survived to this day where many of the efforts of the poor from the same era, such as folk music, are long forgotten.  As these forms of entertainment have survived, so has their reputation for being high culture.

the world of media can be divided into three categories: ‘High culture’ captured by the elite, ‘mass media’ as defined by Carroll, and the ‘popular culture’ which, if left behind by the elite and ignored by the media industry, would now be called ‘folk culture’.

 For examples,video games provide one of many good examples of this. Modern video games often bring together art, architecture, classical music , actors and writers to name a handful. Most if not all of these things would be classified as ‘high culture’ if they were to stand alone. And yet when they are used to make a video game, the product would certainly be considered a piece of mass media.





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