Culture And Its Impact On Society Essay example

Culture And Its Impact On Society Essay example

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“Culture” is a term that over the years, has taken many forms, served many purposes and has been defined in a variety of contexts. At the rise of the industrial era, inhabitants of rural areas began to migrate to cities, thus starting urbanization. As this new era began to unfold, urbanization, mass production, and modernization became key ingredients in the transformation of culture. As more people became literate and the production of mass media such as magazines, pamphlets, newspapers etc. increased, many had the option and desire to identify collectively – popular culture began to rise. Popular or “mass” culture can be described as a “dynamic, revolutionary force, breaking down the old barriers of class, tradition, taste, and dissolving all cultural distinctions” (Macdonald 25). Today, it encompasses the most direct and contemporary aspects of our lives via outlets such as entertainment, sports, news, politics, technology, fashion and more. Culture as a whole has shifted from a means of educating or distinguishing the elite minority from the masses to appealing to popular tastes, customs, beliefs, and entertainment; it serves as a common denominator for the general population. The roles portrayed by popular culture are numerous and considered by some to be detrimental to the advancement of society. Whatever the case, the function of popular or mass culture is a significant factor in both past and contemporary development of civilization.
Firstly, popular culture serves as an outlet for entertainment. It is incorporated in the music we listen to, the shows we watch, the movies we pay to see, etc. This role of popular culture is twofold because while it serves as entertainment, this entertainment is marketed or ‘mass produced’ ...

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...ansgression and like any other ingredient, has to be implemented in moderation. Dwight Macdonald states, “The only time Mass Culture is good is at the very beginning, before the ‘formula’ has hardened, before the money boys and efficiency experts and audience-reaction analysts have moved in . . . then for a while it may have the quality of real Folk Art” (35). The motive of the implementers of mass culture is mostly driven by profit. In the eyes of many, this reduces the value of Culture as a whole and the development of intellectual processes. But, because it is such a powerful part of our culture, we must filter what we absorb and what we pass on to others. As our society becomes more modernized and advanced technologically, popular culture will continue to play a larger role in defining how we live our lives; it is up to us whether or not it adds or reduces value.

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