High and low culture
Theoretical perspectives on culture – functionalism and marxism.
Culture – the shared beliefs, values, norms, customs, rituals, language, symbols, history and knowledge that make up a way of life of a social group or society. Kidd argues that all these features influence the way members of a society live their lives. Abbott noes language is the most obvious set of symbols through which members of society share meanings. .
Culture – Marshall ‘culture is all that in human society which is socially rather than biologically transmitted’, culture refers to all that is learned by others in society, when people are born they join a social world with a culture already in existence. Children learn how things are done through socialisation. Culture is not the same as society – Giddens - ‘no cultures could exist without societies and no societies could exist without culture.
Identity – refers to our ‘sense of self’, our subjective feelings, how we see ourselves and how we think other people judge us. Kidd – identity is being able to figure out who we are as people and how we are similar or different to others.
High culture – the highest intellectual achievements of a group in the fields of science, art, literature, theatre, music etc. are vital components of culture, it is suggested that these cultural creations should have the greatest status because they represent the highest levels of human creativity and are superior to all other cultural products and leisure activities.
Folk culture – refers to traditional cultural products and activities that originate with ordinary people and are rooted in re industrial societies. They have been passed down usually by word of mouth or over generations e.g. Morris dancing, folk singing.
Mass Popular culture – refers to the products of the mass media in modern capitalist societies such as TV programmes, films, popular fiction, magazines, comics and popular music. It is argued that this type of culture is manufactured, it is also harmful because it discourages critical thought, others suggest it is a corrupting influence on young people.
Global Culture – 30 years ago culture was familiar and local, travelling abroad wasn’t common most products we consumed were produced in the UK there was also a healthy British entertainment industry.
Today, globalisation has an effect on how we live our lives. Postmodernists argue that this is good for us as it offers more choice in terms of constructing our identities and lifestyles, our personal identities and cultural identity are now influenced in a positive way by a range of cultures from around the world.
Society – FUNCTIONALISM A01
• It is a structuralist and macro approach meaning they take the whole of society into account
• Believe in consensus meaning they know to behave In a appropriate manner in public
• It’s a sociological perspective that sees society made up of many social institutions
• It is associated with the work of sociologists Talcott Pearson and
• They work together to bring stable behaviour called social order
• They have an agreement called value consensus
• This means they see society lie it’s the human body made up of interrelated parts which help maintain society in general
society – FUNCTIONALISM A02
Overemphasises consensus and order. It fails to recognise social conflict such as war. And cultural differences such as Ramadan.
Ignores freedom of choice enjoyed by individual. Their behaviour is not imposed on them by structural factors out of there control. Paints an overs socialised picture of humans.
Functionalists view socialisation as a process that never fails however if this was the case then things such as child abuse and illegal drug taking would not exist.
Accused by Marxists for ignoring “power is not equally distributed in society”. As some groups