Maharashtra State BoardHSC Science (General) 11th
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Classification of Culture

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Classification of Culture:

1. High culture: High culture refers to cultural creations that have high status. They are considered as the epitome of the highest levels of human creativity. For many, high culture is seen as aesthetically superior to other forms of culture.

For example:
Work of classical composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Bhimsen Joshi, Hariprasad Chourasia, Ravi Shankar, or the literature of Shakespeare.

2. Folk culture: Folk culture refers to the culture of ordinary people, particularly those living in pre-industrial societies. It is an authentic culture. According to Srinati, it can never aspire to be an art but its distinctiveness is accepted and respected.

For example:
Folk music, folk tales which are handed down from generation to generation; Bhangada in Punjab, Nautanki in Uttar Pradesh, and Lavani in Maharastra

3. Mass culture: If folk culture is seen as the characteristic of pre-industrial society, mass culture is a product of industrial societies. Mass culture is essentially a product of mass media.

For example:
Popular feature films, TV soap-operas, recorded pop music.

4. Popular Culture: Popular culture includes any cultural product appreciated by a large number of ordinary people (i.e. folk) with no great pretensions of cultural expertise.

For example:
mass-market films such as Star Wars, Potter series, Titanic, Chandoba.

5. Subculture: Subcultures refer to groups of people that have something in common with each other which distinguishes them from other social groups.

For example:
culture shared by religious groups, ethnic groups, youth groups.

Relatable example: Youth Group like the rap culture but mostly old Age club would like classical music. This distinguishes the two groups.

Difference between Mass culture and Popular culture is very simple. Mass culture is produced and Popular Culture is consumed. Let’s understand this with an example:

  1. Harry Potter is a popular culture because it has been liked by millions of people. Due to its high consumption, it is popular.
  2. A TV serial is a mass culture because it targets the mass. It is produced with the intention of mass consumption. Not all mass culture is popular.
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