High Culture and Popular Culture
What is the difference between high culture and popular culture? High culture consists of classical music, opera, ballet, live theater, and other activities usually patronized by elite audiences, composed primarily of members of the upper-middle and upper classes, who have the time, money, and knowledge assumed to be necessary for its appreciation. In the United States, high culture is often viewed as being international in scope, arriving in this country through the process of diffusion, because many art forms originated in European nations or other countries of the world. By contrast. much of U.S. popular culture is often thought of as “homegrown.” Popular culture consists of activities, products, and services that are assumed to appeal primarily to meet the middle and working classes, These include rock concerts, spectator sports, movies and soap. operas an? situation comedies. Although total may distinguish between “high” and “popular” social analysts believe that high culture and popular culture have melded together with the rise ora consumer society in which luxury items have become.more widely accessible to the masses. In a consumer society the huge divide between the activities and ‘possessions wealthy elites may be less distinguishable from of the middle class and working class .
Overall, most social believer hat,culture and social class are intricately gist Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984) picnic theory views high culture as a device used by the dominant class to exclude the subordinate classes, Accounting Bourdieu, people must be trained to appreciate understand high culture. Individuals learn high culture in upper-middle- and upper-class families and in elite education systems. especially higher education. Once they acquire this (rained capacity. they possess a form of cultural capital. Persons from poor and working-class backgrounds typically do not acquire this cultural capital. Because knowledge and appreciation of high culture are considered a prerequisite for access to the dominant class. its members can use their cultural capital to deny access to subordinate-group members and thus preserve and reproduce the existing class structure. Unlike high culture. popular culture is presumed to be available to everyone