Topics: Culture, High culture, Low culture Pages: 2 (721 words) Published: April 20, 2012
First it would be profitable to try to define culture; for a cultural studies researcher not only it includes traditional high culture (the culture of ruling social groups) and popular culture but according to Raymond Williams also everyday meanings and practices.As stated in Matthew Arnold´s "Culture and Anarchy" culture is “the disinterested endeavor after man's perfection”.It was James Clifford in “Collecting art and culture” that defended that what we gather for culture is not always the same because objects of study vary according to power discourses which define the value of the studied object.This being said, it is commonly known that we live in a time of consumption, so naturally art is seen from that perspective.Theodor Adorno defends culture is being sold as you would with commodities. The autonomy of works of art is eliminated by the culture industry they become bound to be trade as commodities. In a Marxist view, he defends that those who control the means of production, essentially control the culture. Adorno approaches the spheres of mass culture in a simplistic way, production (industry) and reception (consumption) – strip away individuality. Adorno also distinguishes high / low art. He says that high art has been diminished by "speculation about its efficacy”.. In this sense, high culture would be the art worth of serious academic study while low culture would be the culture of the masses. Walter Benjamin speaks about the way we define art is determined not by ideas but by theories. He reflects on what art is and the way it is being altered by technical means. W. Benjamin starts his essay by quoting Paul Valéry: “our fine arts were developed by men whose power of action upon things was insignificant in comparison with ours” – so it is something questionable. In addition, Valéry states that the idea of Beautiful is constantly changing due to the growth in techniques and their precision. Benjamin corroborates this view by pointing out that...
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