Types of culture

  • Created by: holly6901
  • Created on: 20-01-20 15:58


  • A subculture is a minority group who share values, norms, beliefs and dress codes etc. which mark them out as different from the dominant culture which they exist alongside
  • Sometimes they are opposed to the dominant culture and consequently, they may experience hostility and discrimination

Within the UK there are subcultures based on;

  • Age eg. teens
  • Political beliefs eg. extinction rebellion
  • Ethnicity eg. members of cultural societies
  • Religion eg. congregation at a church

A society with many subcultures is culturally diverse

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High culture

  • This refers to cultural products and activities which have a high status
  • Products represent the highest achievements of humanity eg. Shakespeare, opera, ballet etc
  • Seen as superior to other forms of culture by some
  • Often appreciated by those with a high level of education and social upbringing
  • Usually expensive
  • Enjoyed by the elite of society
  • Said to be the 'self-consciousness of society'
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Popular culture

  • Refers to cultural activities enjoyed by the majority of the population eg watching TV, going to the cinema, playing football
  • Some would argue these are more shallow activities  and are therefore inferior to high culture
  • 'Mass culture' is sometimes used to represent perceived shallowness
  • Some feel it is manufactured, fake and a form of brainwashing or 'dumbing down'
  • Some writers such as Bordieu (1984) argues the distinction between high and popular culture and how worthy they  are lies in the power of the group who access them - high culture is the culture of the higher classes economically and isn't necessarily better
  • The media is credited with  creating and spreading popular culture
  • The distinction between popular and high culture is slowly breaking down
  • The media gives everyone access to activities formerly seen as high culture and raises the status of formerly working-class activities
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Consumer culture

  • It is argued we have a consumer culture due to the increasing availability of, and emphasis on, the consumption of goods and services
  • In a consumer culture, consumer goods are widely available and excessive consumption is acceptable
  • Shopping is a leisure activity in its own right
  • 'Conspicuous consumption' - where individuals consume branded goods in an attempt to construct an identity and gain status in the eyes of others and are now the norm
  • This is encouraged and reinforced by the advertising industry and celebrity culture
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Global culture

  • Refers to the growing trend of culture becoming universal
  • Where brands, food, films and other cultural products are identical across many different countries and cultures
  • National cultures lose their distinctiveness
  • This is linked to the trend of globalisation
  • Globalisation  - The world becomes more interconnected and activities in different countries influence each other
  • McDonald's, Nike, Microsoft and Coca-Cola are examples of global brands and are instantly recognisable around the world.
  • McLuhan (1964) We now live in a global village that has been driven by multinational industry, travel, a globally accessible media and the internet.
  • A number of sociologists have noticed the emergence of global culture
  • Cultures can no longer be seen as separate
  • What happens in one society is increasingly connected to others
  • In remote parts of the world, global culture can still be found
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Types of culture

Types of culture

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