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is mass culture debasing the culture of ordinary people

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Introduction

Is mass culture debasing the culture of ordinary people? The mass media is constantly around us, through newspapers and magazines, the internet, television and film etc. these are used by us everyday in our spare time and academic work. So are we influenced by this form of secondary socialisation in our lives to create a 'mass culture'? And does this 'mass culture' debase 'ordinary culture'? In this essay I will use secondary research and my own opinion to answer this question. The media itself plays a big part in creating images through the way they report and advertise consumer products and moral panics. I feel that the type of media presentation demonstrated influences different subcultures into believing that what they are seeing is true, hence the change in their attitudes to different topics, music and fashion. Especially young people today can be na�ve and believe everything they see or hear on television or the internet, which could cause primary socialisation to change for the children, because of these views. ...read more.

Middle

He states that mass culture is standardized and a commercial kitsch (popular culture which could be considered worthless) used by business to create a profit. This shows that Macdonald as well as I believe that mass culture is "kitsch"- worthless babble used to sell products, which also influences or "brainwashes" people into believing that anything merchandised is right or "sick" as teenagers of today say. Dwight also stated that mass culture takes 'less mental effort' and that it 'tended to undermine high culture'. So basically he is saying that mass culture is maybe for a different class of person. Dominic Strinati criticizes the whole 'mass culture theory'. He says that the theory gives 'popular culture a homogeneous feel', without taking into account all the varied subcultures around today. This comment slightly changes my whole view on mass culture being "babble"; you get varied subcultures in life, true. Mass culture is not homogeneous, true. However there is nothing here which is full proof to state that ordinary people are being debased by the mass culture. ...read more.

Conclusion

They have control over the public; they create the concept of subcultures and a 'mass culture'. Thanks to the media people's idols are over night celebrities, not historic figures of the 20th century. Before the media took control of our lives, we had primary socialisation which we remembered and respected. People feel more respect for their peers in their subculture than their family. The public are being influenced to believe what the media want. This doesn't mean that primary socialisation is going to disappear, just the manners and what new parents believe will. The 'ordinary culture' of the 1950's is dying out; their traditional view won't be used because life as we know it is constantly changing, and after time so will our concepts and our actual outlook on life. Our society is soon going to become a mass society and then the mass media will have total control over us. By Helena Collins O' Connor 08/09/08 12BW 1 ...read more.

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