Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Culture: pop and high

The difference between high culture and pop culture is like saying Megan Fox is the poor man's version of Angelina Jolie. (or was?)

Supposedly, high culture and popular culture became two categories of culture as a result of class distinction, and it makes sense, when comparing education levels, accessibility, and income.. but that's limiting and forcing a stereotype. Consider age, gender, and race, then see how many more bubbles you'll need for a Venn diagram. And so Herbert J. Gans uses Peterson's term "omnivore" which is "indicating that people often make cultural choices from many menus."

Now you'll see there's been a convergence between the two cultures. It's like taking something that is "lame" and when a "cool" kid uses it, it's suddenly relevent and popular. It's like Miley Cyrus's face covering little girls' Hannah Montana lunchboxes, and then Miley Cyrus's face on the August 2009 cover of Elle magazine. Or maybe a better example is Miley Cyrus collaborating with Max Azria and selling their designed clothing at Walmart. It's like Chanel taking a simple, cheap mode of transportation and slapping leather on it and a price tag of $12,000.

Then I feel like the distinction is more obvious when I see TJ Maxx commercials (like I am right now) or sites like Gilt Groupe because they sell designer labels for less. So are they aiming towards people who are in the low culture and want to participate in the high culture--except it's a season behind and cost less? Or maybe there are people like me who just like inexpensive clothes, regardless of the label and high culture. Am I getting this right?

I've never seen The Sopranos, or any of those awesome shows on HBO unfortunately, but I think it's a mix of high culture and popular culture--"it" being HBO and its shows, and the conglomerate. Maybe another way to look at high culture and popular culture and the never-ending list of channels can relate to leisure time available..

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