Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste

Synopsis

Is NYPD Blue a less valid form of artistic expression than a Shakespearean drama? Who is to judge and by what standards?

In this new edition of Herbert Gans's brilliantly conceived and clearly argued landmark work, he builds on his critique of the universality of high cultural standards. While conceding that popular and high culture have converged to some extent over the twenty-five years since he wrote the book, Gans holds that the choices of typical Ivy League graduates, not to mention Ph.D.s in literature, are still very different from those of high school graduates, as are the movie houses, television channels, museums, and other cultural institutions they frequent.

This new edition benefits greatly from Gans's discussion of the "politicization" of culture over the last quarter-century. Popular Culture and High Culture is a must read for anyone interested in the vicissitudes of taste in American society.

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