Mass Culture: Is It Kitsch or Boon?

19:30 — 21:00

Industrialization and globalization, development of market relations and technical progress have turned mass culture into a characteristic attribute of our world today. The mass culture is democratic, understandable to most people and it appeals to everyone, regardless of their national, social, or cultural attributes. Mass culture has been well adapted to the current needs of the society and conditions of our life.

Meanwhile, pop culture exists in conditions of production and consumption, and entertainment and pleasure play a decisive role in it. This inevitably leads to standardization and simplification of culture in terms of meaning and artistic expression.

Unlike the culture of the majority, the culture of the elite seeks for new ways to implement creative ideas into practice and produces exclusive cultural values. Meanwhile, high culture, which embodies exemplary art, is accessible only to a limited, privileged group of people, which contradicts the current social order centered around the principle of social equality.

Is it still appropriate today to divide culture into that of masses and that of the elite? Should elite culture be juxtaposed to pop culture, or do they in many ways intersect with each other? In what ways is high culture different from mass culture? Can mass culture be of high quality, suitable for the elite? Finally, can culture change our lives?