Wednesday, September 9, 2009

High Culture vs. Low Culture: Dietary Restrictions May Apply

High culture is isolated from popular culture in that it is seemingly practiced only by the elite, a select few who have the high economic and educational backgrounds to partake in it. Low culture, on the other hand, is more common, and its elements accordingly reflect the lower statuses of its participants. High culture is more selective and may require a higher status in factors such as education and wealth in order to fully achieve. In turn, low culture is known for its easier access.

My example of low culture has to deal with a basic human necessity: food. Ideally, those who practice low culture would have less money to spend on food, while the participants of high culture would have more room to splurge. Therefore, low culture, in a culinary sense, would be largely represented by the fast food industry. While restaurants such as McDonald's and Taco Bell may be frowned upon in condensed areas of high culture, those who practice low culture may not see it that way at all. In fact, a McDonald's restaurant in a 'low culture community' could be the after school/work hangout spot, or a perfectly normal location for a first date. It is my assumption that those who would consider themselves to be of 'medium culture' would maybe consider a dine-in restaurant such as Applebee's a normal place for the aforementioned events.

Accordingly, a high culture-worthy restaurant would most likely be rated 5 stars on some ritzy scale, and would require a higher economic status of its participants. Because selectivity is valued in high culture, this restaurant in question may require months of waiting to get a reservation, and not only would wealth be an issue, but social status/occupation would also play a role whereas it wouldn't (shouldn't?) matter at a place like McDonald's if one's occupation is a plastic surgeon or a sanitation engineer, because both should be able to get their Big Mac's at the same time. :)


  1. Such a good example! So then it terms of buying food, would low-culture groceries be walmart, middle culture be Whole Foods and High Culture be Brooklyn's very own Park Slope co-op. I mean having to attend not just one, but four Orientation's before you can even buy groceries! Does their self-importance know no bounds?!