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AS Sociology
What is Culture
Part 2…read more

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OK ... in this slot
· We will look at the nature of Mass Culture
· Then we will look at some of the theory
underpinning it (including the Frankfurt
· Then onto popular culture…read more

Slide 3

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Mass Culture
"The cultural commodities of mass culture
­ films, TV shows, CDs etc are produced
and distributed by an industrialized
system whose aim is to maximise profit
for the producers and distributors by
appealing to as many consumers as
Fiske (1995)…read more

Slide 4

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Mass Culture Theory
· Concepts of Mass Culture and Mass Society based on
divisions into:
1. High Art ­ not for commercial gain (supposedly).
Beethoven, etc.
2. Folk Art- from below as an expression of the people
3. Mass Media/Mass Culture
· Mass culture theory holds that through `atomisation'
individuals can only relate to each other like atoms in a
chemical compound. Individuals are vulnerable to
exploitation by core institutions of mass media and pop
culture. (example of rise of Nazism in 1930s and Orwell's
1984)…read more

Slide 5

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Mass Culture Theory continued
1. Mass culture is popular culture produced by mass
production industrial techniques and is marketed for a profit
to a mass public of consumers.
2. The main determinant of mass culture is the profit that
production and marketing can make from the potential
mass market.
3. Standardised, formulaes and repetitive products of mass
culture are then sold to a passive audience, prone to
manipulation by mass media
4. To sell, the product must be bland and standardised to a
5. Both folk and high art at risk from mass culture
6. However an artistic avant-garde can play a defensive role,
as by definition,…read more

Slide 6

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Mass Culture Theory continued
OK .. So now you tell me what you know
about Mass Culture Theory…read more

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