Ritical Process PaperSkyscraper model of culture

Critical Process Paper

Surveying the Cultural Landscape
Some cultural phenomena gain wide popular appeal, and others do not. Some appeal to certain age groups or social classes. Some, such as rock and roll, jazz, and classical music, are popular worldwide; other cultural forms, such as Tejano, salsa, and Cajun music, are popular primarily in certain regions or ethnic communities. Certain aspects of culture are considered elite in one place (e.g., opera in the United States) and popular in another (e.g., opera in Italy). Though categories may change over time and from one society to another, two metaphors offer contrasting views about the way culture operates in our daily lives: culture as a hierarchy, represented by a skyscraper model, and culture as a process, represented by a map model.

Culture as a Skyscraper
Throughout twentieth-century America, critics and audiences perceived culture as a hierarchy
with supposedly superior products at the top and inferior ones at the bottom. This can be
imagined, in some respects, as a modern skyscraper. In this model, the top floors of the building house high culture, such as ballet, the symphony, art museums, and classic literature. The bottom floorsi??and even the basementi??house popular or low culture, including such icons as soap operas, rock music, radio shock jocks, and video games. High culture, identified with i??good tastei?? and higher education, and supported by wealthy patrons and corporate donors, is associated with i??fine art,i?? which is available primarily in libraries, theaters,
and museums. In contrast, low or popular culture is aligned with the i??questionablei?? tastes of
the masses, who enjoy the commercial i??junki?? circulated by the mass media, such as reality TV, celebrity-gossip Web sites, and violent action films. Whether or not we agree with this cultural skyscraper model, the highi??low hierarchy often determines or limits the ways we view and discuss culture today. Using this model, critics have developed at least five areas of concern about so-called low culture: the depreciation of fine art, the exploitation of high culture, the disposability of popular culture, the driving out of high culture, and the deadening of our cultural taste buds.

Campbell, Richard; Martin, Christopher R.; Fabos, Bettina (2015-03-27). Media & Culture: Mass Communication in a Digital Age. Bedford/St. Martins. Kindle Edition.

you are asked to make an argument for or against the cultural value of some of the media products presented in the bottom half of the Skyscraper model of culture. What would you place at the top, middle and bottom of the skyscraper? Why? What can we learn from popular culture? Use the five steps of the Critical Process as a guide.

1000-1500 words

Added on 20.05.2015 17:48
Skyscraper model of culture