Comparing Approaches to communication and culture in high culture and mass society theory as well as classical marxism and the frankfurt school

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Compare and contrast the approaches to communication and culture dealt with in Topics 2 and 3. Evaluate their respective strengths and weaknesses. The main objective of this paper is to define several terminologies to use as tools in an attempt to better understand the differences between high culture and mass society theory as well as Classical Marxism and the Frankfurt School. First off, one of the more prevailing yet selective views is that of an idealist concept of culture – that is, one that synonymous with what is perceived to be the high arts, and is seen as operating independent of societal relations. This view presupposes that culture comes from literature, philosophy and art, as clearly distinguished from natural sciences as a set of ideals that exists and operates outside and above society – this is what is commonly termed as high culture (Dearman, 2008). Culture was famously described as the best that has been thought and said in the world, whereby reading, observing and thinking were seen as a means toward social good and moral perfection (Arnold, cited in Barker 2008). Culture and civilisation set against the ‘anarchy’ of the uncultivated masses (Barker, 2008). Arnold also suggests the selectiveness of culture with relation to art, whereby art came from access to a superior reality, something that came from within, and not something that was the outcome of an acquired skill; available only to a gifted few – which is what is now recognised as ‘high’ culture. Arguably, one of the largest weaknesses with the Arnoldian concept of ‘high’ culture would be the question of who would be given the mandate to determine what was best for everyone else. This particular view also seems to discount the reality of the differences between social groups that would not magically merge with the themes of general humanity and common brotherhood termed in the
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