PR, Films and Fantasies

Mass civilisation and Minority Culture (F.R. Leavis)

Posted on: February 17, 2010

A few main ideas from one of my readings this week. I decided to present the fragment in a different way as I hope it will raise further questions and curiosities and also to make its statements clear and simple.

Appreciation of art and literature depends on a minority as not every member of a society has the competence and authority to judge what is or isn’t a cultural value…

Artists as critics of society… how important is their impact on a culture’s values? Do they change the way we behave or think?

Fast changes and improvisation damage the standard of living, leading to the disappearance of important cultural norms…

The worst trend is Americanisation = mass production and standardisation… adopt US ideas and make them part of yourself.

Press, film, broadcasting, advertising, language… all aspects of the media that influence the consumer and set his living and cultural standards have been affected by globalization and superficial change…poor media content leads to a weak intellectual heritage.

As making “culture” becomes easier with new technologies, the modern being is attacked from all sides by so-called cultural products… but which of them can actually be called “values”? Also, is culture all about high-class intellectuals? Is there a difference between high-brow and low-brow creations? Should the artists create for the mass, for the elite or for both?

All in all, the future of culture is very unsure. In our attempt to bring it to the masses and declare it a democratic good, we risk in loosing it’s very essence, the minority in charge with its survival. However, as we are now part of the “global village”, it is obvious that the way we act, think, and judge will be affected by our neighbours. The danger is loosing our identity to a worldwide standard.

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