Wednesday, September 9, 2009

High & Low Culture

The differences between high and low culture are easy to observe, especially in New York City where we encounter many different people daily. Even though the line between these two cultures has been slightly blurred through the integration of media such as music and art, there are still distinctions between the two. 
Herbert Gans describes those who engage in high culture typically as upper-middle class people. They have the privilege to spend more money on high-quality/prestigious/exclusive events and usually a higher-education in order to appreciate them. 
On the contrary, low culture appeals to the mass population. Many people do not receive an extensive education in music or literature so they are less likely to relate to and value these forms of media. 
As a result, the media must be able to send its message to the right audience. For example, the information desk at the Plaza Hotel is filled with advertisements for tours of New York City by helicopter and upscale restaurants while the information desk at The Holiday Inn features brochures for double Decker bus tours and discounted Broadway tickets. If the placement of these advertisements were switched, they would probably not be as well received. 

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