music as social action ::
In our first class discussion today, we brought up the concept of culture and how it can be divided into different levels, which can then be claimed (ideologically) by certain social groups. In other UCSD comm courses, you've likely encountered the work of Stuart Hall, who was instrumental in creating the scholarly field of cultural studies — one of the first academics to suggest that the study of popular culture was as important as examining so-called "high" culture.
Consider that (alleged) difference between "high" and "low" culture, how those delineations have been presented to you, and where you straddle that line in your daily experience.
Previously, on my personal blog, I looked back at a 1915 essay that was influential in establishing that binary — and the lasting effect it has on America's view of itself and its culture.
Participation! Read the Van Wyck Brooks essay linked there (or here). What do you think about his perspective on American culture? Do we still divide the culture between this binary? For what purpose — what work is that doing, and for whom?