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June 20, 2012 / C H Thompson

What is culture?

The term culture refers to the language, beliefs, values, norms, customs, dress and diet which make up a society. Therefore discuss what you’d identify as being unique to UK culture?

Now you’ve identified what UK culture is comprised of, consider the view that not every member of UK society necessarily subscribes to this dominant culture. In other words do we have one singular dominant culture or is it much more diverse?

Can anybody think of the term which best describes a smaller culture which exists within a dominant culture?

Maybe cultural diversity doesn’t stop here. Take a look at this clip and think of a term which best describes what you see.

Now we have two terms which challenge the idea there’s a dominant culture in the UK. But are there any more? Look at the next clip and try and create a third term in the vernacular of the previous two.

If this leaves you uncertain as to what type of culture it is follow this link to the Pre-Raphaelites and other cultural products.

The notion of one single culture with its dominant set of norms, values, beliefs shared by the the majority of people is facing some stiff challenges. This is is challenged even more by the following clip. Watch this and try and create a fourth concept which best describes what you see.

So now we have four distinct sociological concepts which challenge the concept of there being one singular dominant culture in the UK. These are subcultures, folk cultures, high cultures and mass, popular or low culture. If you’re uncertain about your definitions of these concepts visit the definitions page.

Yet it the biggest issue seems to be in deciding which has the more value mass or high culture. To help you analyse this question take a look at the clip at the bottom of the page then compare it with the DJ Sammy version. To help you compare list the merits of each clip. You might like to consider

  1. strength of narrative
  2. usefulness of images
  3. narrative in relation to lyrics
  4. which video tells the ‘better’ story?
  5. which is the more challenging video to watch

From your responses to the above questions does it matter whether we have high or low culture? Think about your responses before moving to the next page.


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