How Does the Line Between High and Pop Culture Become Blurred?

2009 Words 9 Pages
In this essay I intend to explore what is meant by the terms popular culture and high culture. I will also look at how the relationship between these two terms has become distorted and blurred over time. In order to reinforce what I am saying about popular and high culture I will be using a range of examples from the music industry to show how the line between high culture and popular culture has become ambiguous. I will also call upon the work of John Storey to give my work an academic foundation. Although Storey is the main academic I will be looking at, I will also include references to a number of other academics who have written about popular culture and high culture.

The term ‘popular culture’ is a particularly difficult one to
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Once this is established, the format of the programme changes and viewers are coaxed in and persuaded to vote for the contestant that they wish to stay in the competition. Even when the show has finished, the viewers are urged to buy the records of the winning contestants. The person who benefits the most from this is Simon Cowell, who takes a certain percentage of whatever the show makes financially. This is also known as mass culture and sometimes commercial culture. Mass culture is a form of culture which is produced purely to make a profit. The profit is made by exploiting the mass members of the public into consuming a product (e.g. The X Factor). (Strinati; 1995)

This is a contradiction to the types of popular culture which are made ‘by the people and for the people’. An example of this would be the services which are provided by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). T o start with, the BBC is a non profit organisation; in effect the money which it makes is put back into the corporation and consequently used to make the services that the BBC provides. Also, the BBC takes the majority of its funding from the public. Each household in the UK which owns a colour television set must pay for a TV license, which currently costs £145.50 ( The money from the public also goes towards producing the BBC’s TV, radio and online services. The BBC also is for the people as the majority of its programming is made
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