Essay on What is Culture?

Submitted By alanarichelle69
Words: 547
Pages: 3

What is culture? 9/12/2013
Culture is a term we use without precision
Raymond Williams on culture: “one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language”
We use culture in two broad ways
To indicate cultural artifacts
As discourse
Thoughts, conversations, behaviors
our words are largely tired up in what they do
broadcast is originally an agricultural term for the sowing of seeds (to cast them broadly)
we use culture to talk about bacteria
culture is used as a metaphor, which is something we struggle with
highbrow/lowbrow culture
authentic culture – what is real/not real
what messages are being sent
Critical, Cultural Studies
Marx & Engels: the ruling ideas reproduced dominant social interests and serve to naturalize and normalize existing institutions and values. Those in power are able to introduce (and control) the new ideas
Mid 19th century, Writing out of Europe, where factories were beginning to create more than one thing at a time
They were against this, wanted to overthrow it
Collaborated on a communist manifesto
Wanted the majority to be in charge
Seeing divisions of power within a shared space
The ruling ideas reproduce dominant social interests and naturalize and normalize existing institutions and values
Those in power are able to introduce and control new ideas
“the ideas of the ruling class are in every epic the ruling ideas” – from the communist manifesto
Those who run society are also in control of the ideas of society
In western societies we value thought and rationality over labor and production
Hegemony – one social group maintains dominance over another
The rule of class is the rule of ideas comes to an end if and when a society organized by class comes to an end. Therefore, as long as societies are marked by class distinctions and divisions, the ruling class and ruling ideas will continue to rule.
Is there any society that is not explicitly/subtly organized by class?
The quantity of bodies should have a greater say, those who are in charge do not want to share their profit
Separate ideas from rulers
We don’t stay like this for too long, because the factory system takes over
Horkheimer & Adorno: the culture…