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03 JANUARY 2013

The Value of Culture: Mass Culture

"Melvyn Bragg considers how technology and increasing access to education made possible the rise of a true mass culture in the twentieth century. He examines how the rise of cinema and photography opened the cultural realms to millions, and how our understanding of what culture is, and what it's for, was transformed by the work of scholars such as Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams."

(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)

"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 4 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Thursday 03 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.

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TAGS

20th centuryaccess to educationAngela McRobbie • Arnold Bennett • art • art and entertainment • cinemacultural diversity • cultural realms • cultural studiescultureculture and society • culture theory • David Puttnam • educated classes • Emile Zola • Englishness • entertainmentEuropean cinemaeveryday cultureF R Leavis • free public education • George Bernard ShawGeorge OrwellGustave FlaubertH G Wells • half-educated • highbrow • imperialism • John Carey • lowbrow • mass civilization • Mass Civilization and Minority Culture • mass culture • mass reading public • mass societymedia technologyMelvyn Bragg • minority culture • modernist intellectuals • overpopulationphotographypop-culture • provincial culture • Raymond Williams • regional cultural • Richard Hoggart • Robert Hewison • science fiction literature • semi-educated • silent cinemaStuart Hall • The Intellectuals and the Masses • The Time Machine • The Uses of Literacy • The Value of Culture (radio)Thomas Stearns Eliot • travel photography • working class culture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 MAY 2011

Individual output would be no more than that-an individual output

"The social demassification of newspapers–targeting an audience of one–is made possible by physical demassification, and it is no less problematic. The immutability and mobility of print on paper across a society (ensuring that the 'same' news is available to everyone at roughly the same time) turns items into 'social facts'–common to a broad readership, not merely selected by individuals. If news items were gathered individually out of a vast data base, even if the resulting copy looked like a conventional newspaper, imitating its fold and front page headlines, it would lack the social significance that arises from editorial juxtaposition. A senator is disturbed to find his or her scandalous behavior splashed across the front page not because the story is news to him or her, but because it has become front–page news to 100,000 other people. The newspaper is essentially, as Anderson (1991) described it, a 'one–day best seller' (p. 35)–and, as with a best seller, the point is that 'everyone' is reading it. The personally tailored, genuinely unique 'newspaper' selected privately from a data base–the ultimate outcome of the social and physical demassification of the newspaper as we now know it–offers neither physical, nor social continuity. Each individual output would be no more than that–an individual output. The juxtaposition of the senator and the pork bellies would then be not a composite, if oblique, social fact, but merely a result of personal serendipity."

(John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid, p.24–25)

1). 'Lionel Luthor Reading Newspaper'

2). Brown, J. S. and P. Duguid (1994). "Borderline Issues: Social and Material Aspects of Design." Human–Computer Interaction 9: pp. 3–36.

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TAGS

Anderson • audience of one • borderlinedemassificationdistribution • editorial juxtaposition • expression • genuinely unique • headlines • individual experienceindividualisationJohn Seely Brownmass societymassificationmedia spacenewsnewspapersPaul Duguid • personally tailored • physical demassification • printreadershipshared discourseshared understanding • social continuity • social factssocial fragmentationsocial glue • social significance • the Daily Me

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 NOVEMBER 2008

New technical possibilities causing the individualisation of modes of media consumption

"In the current society of knowledge and communication, marked by the exponential increase of information, one might expect an even stronger hierarchy (of knowledge) within the audience than it was the case in industrial mass society – at least according to prevalent opinion (see 91). Brian Loader, for example, speaks of the 'information poor' (see 92), who, according to him, form a kind of new 'underclass' of computerized society, in which issues of access become crucial (see in addition 93). On the other hand, several empirical studies verify that differences in knowledge have remained rather constant (see 94). In compliance with a thesis of Ulrich Beck (see 44) one might, therefore, perhaps call it a 'elevator–effect': we all (perforce) are absorbing ever more information. At the same time the relative inequality remains stable (or is even enlarged) – but information use is 'lifted' to a higher general level. This shows a significant effect: on account of the generally higher level of information and the new technical possibilities for realizing individual preferences there comes about an individualization of information patterns and modes of media consumption, which finally results in a diffusion and fragmention [sic] of the public sphere."

Anil K. Jain, Heiner Keupp, et al. 2002, pp. 131–157)

Anil K. Jain, Heiner Keupp, Renate Höfer, Wolfgang Kraus (2002). "Facing Another Modernity–Individualization and Post–Traditional Ligatures". Vol. 10, No. 1/2002, pp. 131–157. European Review 10(1): 131–157.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Mia Thornton
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