According to Gans in his book Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste (1974), people make choices from the available content provided by a homogenous society and the relationship between the choices exist because they are based on similar values and aesthetic standards. This constitutes why there are diverse taste cultures and taste publics in America. Rather than belonging to one taste culture, I consider myself an omnivore because I “often make cultural choices from any menus (9),” meaning that I embody bits and pieces of different taste cultures.
Many factors can determine why someone belongs to a specific taste culture, but one factor that Gans (1974) believes is the most impactful is socioeconomic class. Growing up in a typical middle-class home with two parents who have only received a high school diploma, according to Gans, I belong in the lower-middle taste culture. However, I “turn to fiction that depicts the struggle of women to compete with men in male-dominated enterprises...and more recently, the potentialities and problems of women’s liberation (106). “ I read the New Yorker and Vogue, and shy away from Cosmopolitan or other women’s and homemaking magazines, which in essence means that I share more cultural aspects with upper middle culture. Therefore, my social class does not entirely determine which taste cultures I am a part of. Instead, race and gender have had the biggest influences on my taste cultures.
Culture & Race/Ethnicity
When thinking about the culture that I consume, it is hard to not picture my race/ethnicity. Being African American means more than just having descendants from Africa or having distinct physical features. It is about a culture that has been re...
... middle of paper ...
... in the community I find myself at the moment, it is something that I connect deeply with because I am a female in a male-controlled society. Although this culture is not mentioned by Gans, he states that culture encompasses only the practices, goods, and ideas classified broadly under the arts, whether used for education and aesthetic and spiritual enlightenment or for entertainment and diversion. In addition, according to page 6, it can be considered a taste culture because it contains shared or common aesthetic values (a variety of emotional and intellectual values that people express or satisfy when they choose content from a taste culture) and standards of tastes.
As stated before, I consider myself a cultural omnivore because I do not belong in one assigned culture. In conclusion, my race/ethnicity and gender are two factors that influence my cultural tastes.
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