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ERIC Number: ED170814
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
On Critiquing the Critique: Another Look at the Debate over Mass Society and Popular Culture.
Rosenfeld, Richard
The mass culture critique of advanced industrialized society calls forth such images as an omnipresent media; demagogic politics; a bleak, standardized aesthetic landscape; routinized work; and empty leisure; but the mass culture critique suffers from conceptual ambiguity and a paucity of research. The mass culture critique, from both radical and conservative perspectives, encompasses the arguments that mass culture creation has a negative character, and that it negatively affects high culture, its audience, and society at large. Research shows the empirical assumptions of the critique (the structural distinction between mass and high culture and the impact of mass culture on high culture, on its audiences, and on the larger social structure) to be largely unfounded. It is recommended that the terms "mass culture" and "mass society" be dropped and that popular and high cultures be decomposed into their constituent taste cultures. Also, the heavy reliance on content analysis to inform the mass culture critique should be discontinued. It is not sufficient to study content alone to gauge the impact of cultural content on audience; audiences must be studied as well. (DF)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 5-7, 1979)