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Essay about How Does the Line Between High and Pop Culture Become Blurred?

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In this essay I intend to explore what is meant by the terms popular culture and high culture. I will also look at how the relationship between these two terms has become distorted and blurred over time. In order to reinforce what I am saying about popular and high culture I will be using a range of examples from the music industry to show how the line between high culture and popular culture has become ambiguous. I will also call upon the work of John Storey to give my work an academic foundation. Although Storey is the main academic I will be looking at, I will also include references to a number of other academics who have written about popular culture and high culture.

The term ‘popular culture’ is a particularly difficult one to define. The word ‘culture’ alone is, according to Ray Williams, “one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language” (Storey; 2006, 1). Popular culture must also be a term that is equally hard to define. Popular culture is an ambiguous phrase in cultural theory. In its simplest form: popular culture can be seen as the culture of the working class and minority cultures such as; folk and youth culture.(Brooker; 2003).

Popular culture is often referred to as being produced by the mass media ‘for’ the public, who are seen as consumers. An example of this would be the television programme ‘The X Factor’. The X Factor is produced by a large television company which is owned by a multi millionaire music mogul. The programme is shown extensively throughout the winter months, when people favour staying indoors to going outside. The concept of the show is that it entices people in during the first couple of week. This is done by showing the contestants’ auditions. The reason for t...


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...nment. Oxford. Wiley-Blackwell.

• DiMaggio, P. (1992). Cultural Boundaries and Structural Change: The Extension of the High Culture Model to Theater, Opera and the Dance, 1900-1940. Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

• Storey, J. (2003). Inventing Popular Culture: From Folklore to Globalization. Oxford. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

• Storey, J. (2006). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction. Oxford. Prentice Hall.

• Strinati, D. (1995). Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture. New York: Routledge.

Websites:
• http://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/licencefee (Last Accessed: 21st March 2011)
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Boyle (Last Accessed: 21st March 2011)
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_Rhapsody (Last Accessed: 21st March 2011)
• http://www.journoblog.com/2010/05/cultural-differences (Last Accessed: 21st March 2011)


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