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The Term Mass Culture - Essay Example

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Mass Culture Introduction Mass culture, as the name indicates, is the culture of a large population of people; as large as to include the whole world. The term, as such, is hard to define. “Given the overlapping, often contradictory meanings of both “mass” and “culture,” sharp definitions aren’t possible” (Naremore and BrantJinger, 1991, p…
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The Term Mass Culture
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Download file to see previous pages Spread of Mass Culture Culture, particularly the mass culture, has spread rapidly with the passage of time. There was a time when there was little or no globalization in the world. Even the concept of national culture was non-existent in a vast majority of countries because of the fact that regional differences dominated. Within the same country, people belonging to different regions had possession of different kinds of regional resources. This gave rise to the development of subcultures in the same nation wherein people were classified into different communities with distinct values, norms, and principles. Regional culture was stronger than the national culture and the mass culture was non-existent. This was predominantly the time till the mid 19th century. The onset of industrial revolution brought a change in the trend and national culture started to gain dominance over the regional cultures. With the development of technology and the identification of new opportunities of employment and business, people developed acceptability towards external cultures. As technological trade amongst countries improved, consumers in different countries started using same products. This trend continued over the centuries. People from the underdeveloped countries started migrating towards the developed countries in large numbers in search of better opportunities of employment. The technological exchange was followed by the cultural integration and unification across nations. This happened since the start of the industrial revolution till the late 1900s. Then came the era of massive exchange of cultures; particularly the 21st century. While all kinds of technologies contributed towards the development of mass culture, one technology that played the most important role in the spread of mass culture was the Internet. Internet provided people with the opportunities to communicate with one another almost free of cost from different parts of the world. Many of the brick and mortar businesses also got transformed into virtual businesses because of the reduced costs and increased profitability of businesses. The development and introduction of the social media websites aided in the creation of a virtual self of their users. Today, a vast majority of the people all over the world have similar lifestyles in that they use same products, are the employees of same organizations irrespective of geographic variations, speak same languages, and understand and respect one another’s values. This is what has fundamentally promoted the mass culture. There is a very small percentage of people who have not merged into the mass culture. Mass Culture and Popular Culture People sometimes use mass culture and popular culture interchangeably. “The development of the idea of popular culture is linked to arguments about meaning and interpretation which predate but become strikingly evident in the debates over mass culture” (Strinati, 1995, p. 3). There is a very thin line of distinction between the mass culture and the popular culture. The popular culture is the totality of the norms, values, and perspectives of a given culture. “Popular culture is made from within and below, not imposed from without or above as mass cultural theorists would have it” (Fiske, 1991, p. 2). Mass culture can be considered popular culture in a vast majority of cases, though mass culture is not necessarily always popular, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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