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Explain and briefly evaluate why high culture is seen as superior to low culture.

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Introduction

Explain and briefly evaluate why high culture is seen as superior to low culture. Culture means the language, beliefs, shared customs, values, knowledge, skills, roles and norms in a society. It's the way of life of a social group or society. Culture is socially transmitted (passed on through socialisation). Many sociologists believe culture can be split into "high" and "law" and that thus high culture is superior to low culture. Other sociologists say that there's no such thing as low culture and thus say there is nothing to be superior of. Many sociologists say you can divide culture up into "high culture" and "low culture". The ("high culture") elite (better educated, with more money and power) tend to have a distinct culture from the masses ("low culture"). Shakespeare, opera, sophisticated restaurants and arty French films are the type of things that are associated with "high culture". ...read more.

Middle

In education a person's social class (upper class = high culture, working class = low culture) determines all sorts of things. For example, those in high streams, or band in school are seen as superior. Those who are from upper class backgrounds are often it the upper streams and bands. Those from working class backgrounds are often in the lower streams or bands. Primary socialisation also has different ways of socialising individuals dependent upon their social class. For example, the upper class are socialised into deferred gratification (planning for the future) whereas the working class are socialisation into immediate gratification (having fun here and now). Those values (deferred gratification) are seen as superior. However, some sociologists say there's no such thing as "low culture". The ideas of mass culture and low culture are very negative. Some sociologists have argued that this view is based on an elitist perspective. ...read more.

Conclusion

They assume that the audience is being manipulated by the media and doesn't have much control. "Popular" culture is a concept that is based on the idea of an active audience. This audience shapes and changes the culture. The CCCS has done a lot of research into the way this happens in youth fashions and subcultures. In conclusion, although culture may have been separated into "high" and "low", this divide does not appear to exist in today's society. I have looked at the division of high and low culture (what sort of thing fits into which category - high culture, opera, low culture, bingo). I have look at agents of primary socialisation (the family) and secondary socialisation (education) and looked at what is seen as low and high culture within those and why it is seen that way. I have also examined the view that there is no such thing as high or low culture, and finally I have criticised it. ...read more.

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