Mass Culture Of The United States : Technology And Time Off

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Mass Culture in the United States: Technology and Time-Off

Mass culture can be defined as the collective culture created by exposure to the same news sources, music, literature, art and consumer advertising. The rise of mass culture is a relatively new phenomenon that has occurred largely because of the rise of a leisure class fueled by technological innovations, the surplus in production brought about by the industrial revolution and the time the average consumer had to dedicate to non-work pursuits brought about by the delineated work schedule favored by mass production and labor laws which defined the limits of the production schedule, and created a new space for workers and their families (Jacobs 13). Prior to the advent of mass
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This consolidation of people into large pockets of receptive consumers allowed for the dissemination of information and entertainment that was previously not possible due to the restrictions in technology and the challenges of geography which served to isolate regions from each other and limited cultural interaction as a mass experience (Edlestein 100-101). The rise of mass culture, and the creation of a consumer class that would in turn define culture was the product of advances in technology (Information, transportation and manufacturing), the surplus in goods and services created by the explosion in manufacturing capacity, and the time that the predictable scheduling in production allowed the worker to explore leisure, culture and self-expression.
Technological advances in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries such as the mass electrification of entire regions in the United States, the creation of hydro-power stations to power this revolution, street cars which allowed the average person access to centers of cultural production, and communication devices such as radio and the phonograph allowed the mass dissemination of art, entertainment and news in a way that was previously the domain solely of the upper classes. Taken together, the technological revolutions in manufacturing, transportation and communication was instrumental in creating a “new man” as described in socialist literature. This form of “socialism”
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