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Assignment 2 for CLS325 - Coursework Example

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Assignment 2 for CLS325

Essentially rooted in the attempt to achieve a more accurate definition, arguments have been pushed forward regarding the differences between popular culture and mass culture. Despite all these conflicting theories and subsequent debates, most of these theorists, with the exception of those who uphold post-modernist views, accept the fact that the cultural condition of an individual is reflective of social status. Culture cannot be detached from other material conditions that surround individuals and peoples. This is proven by the emergence of different and contradictory viewpoints on the definition of culture. Those who adhered to the concept that culture can only be attributed to the arts, customs, and refined manners of the elite in society are those who themselves belong to such a class. On the other hand, those who believe that culture is not exclusive for the rich are those who represent or who belong to the lower strata of society. According to Graeme Turner, “ideology not only produces our culture, it also produces our consciousness of our selves.” (British Cultural Studies 20) Ideology may be the most important factor for the development of culture. However, ideology or mindset is the sum or the combined product of all the material conditions that surround an individual. These material conditions greatly vary depending on the social status. In this regard, it is very likely that differences in opinions regarding culture would emerge. When elements or concrete forms of what is now known as popular culture began to emerge, the definition of high culture also became more pronounced. Such definition was apparently made in an effort to distinguish the culture promoted by the elite in society from the one embraced by those who belong to the lower classes. High culture is the label often used in referring to the works of classical literature, music, and other art forms. In fact, the theorists who uphold to this perspective call this as the ‘real’ culture while naming that of the lower classes as popular culture. Such differentiation points out that “popular culture is a commercial culture, mass-produced for mass consumption” and that it is “supposedly consumed with brain-numbed and brain-numbing passivity.” (Storey 264) It may be true that this so-called popular culture has its weaknesses in terms of quality, as can be observed from its various material forms when compared with those of what the elite consider as ‘real’ culture. This perspective, however, definitely serves only the interest of the elite in society. It is clear that culture is the embodiment of the interests and aspirations those who defend and promote it. Therefore, by criticizing so-called popular culture, the elite may just be fortifying their stature in society. People belonging to the lower classes, on the other hand, may just also be asserting their own identity and relevance in society while they continue to embrace popular culture and promoting it among their ranks. However, notwithstanding the arguments presented in favor of its existence and the challenge that it poses to high culture, popular culture is also the subject of debates among those who accept its relevance. There are theorists who believe that popular culture does not really represent ...Show more


On the Mass and Popular Culture Debate Scholars and theorists in cultural studies have long been divided into conflicting camps. The said camps have been established due to the lines drawn according to the differences in perspectives regarding the definitions and classifications culture…
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Assignment 2 for CLS325 essay example
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