High or Low? Can we be one culture separated by labels

High and low cultures have separated classes since the beginning of society. High cultures for the richer, more refined; more money gave access to rarer forms of entertainment and fashion, always searching for a difference a unique nature from the lower. Low cultures associated with poorer, larger group of society with access to popular and cheaper forms of all cultural aspects. Media itself exemplifies this difference in high and low culture further everyday in stereotypes of both groups of high and low culture. The clip above is an example of the way media furthers our perspective of separate cultures entirely, leaving the divide between the two cultures

The clip above is a segment of “Parks and recreation” depicting the town of Eagleton by the character Leslie Knope, a local Pawnean. The show depicts exaggerated forms of both towns in Indiana, Eagleton as High culture and Pawnee exemplifying  Low culture. Eagleton as shown with dressage habits and perfectly manicured lawns and expensively dressed citizens exemplifies High culture entirely, expensively separating every citizen from the wholly opposite Pawnee. Pawnee filled with standard things, popular fast foods, normal construction with normal ware and tare. Citizens of Pawnee with habits like TV watching and standard low culture surroundings. This clip as media perpetuates the stereotypes of high and low culture, placing these towns side by side it further exaggerates the differences in the two worlds of populations. Not only are the towns right next to each other but a physical border separates Pawnee and Eagleton showing the figurative divide in the two societies that exist in the show and in society today.

Although part of the media clip above is meant to be humor in exaggeration of the stereotypes seen in everyday life, its existence as humor only further proves it is relevant in society today. Humor must be relatable to be understood in media, the existence of the divide in high and low cultures must therefore be relatable for this media to exist to perpetuate such a divide. The influence of media such as the one shown above can be seen in society today through our understanding of it.

This clip is one of many from the show and from all kinds of media that perpetuate stereotypes of high and low culture and their separation. It’s audience, ourselves, is meant to understand it and recognize the humor. Regardless of the intent of the media it influences our understanding and furthers whatever divide we already recognized in society.

With these expectations of the world around us given by the media above how can we conquer the divide of high and low culture?

Will some noise make a difference?

What does it mean to be a feminist in 2017? Why does the word feminist itself cause a cringe in the room?  In the United States particularly, how does one perceive the ideas of equality versus feminism? Technically feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” So why does equality spark such controversy in the present culture and political environment of the United States of America and how can we change that?… If I told you some women singing a little known song, “Quiet” by Los Angeles artist , a capella could change that would you believe me?

On January 21st 2017 approximately 2.6 million women all over the world gathered together to March for the protection of women’s rights and women’s voice in the political environment in light of the recent election and strained polarized viewpoints of the population. Candidate Donald J trump won the presidential election of the United States of America just days earlier and the march served as a reminder of the female voice in society and politics due to concerns of the conservative view on women’s rights. In this March hundreds of thousands of women with different views gathered in an effort to support and uplift. In all of the voices and messages of these attendees and leaders, how could one message prevail? The answer I would argue is through song, specifically through the new found “anthem” of the women movement, “quiet” written by MILCK. 

How can one explain the profound effect and accomplishment one melody had to this movement? The power of communication for one, These women singing together at the march connected over the internet before coming and practiced via video chat. The intensity of global media coverage of the march secondly, The artist MILCK wrote, arranged, and directed the song for the march and with the platform of such a historical gathering of women the song took off, appearing on Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal and opening the Women in the World summit. Through these recent innovations in communication that allowed these women to connect and perform originally and through such a powerful platform the song was virally successful. The message and medium of the music itself, the lyrics spark a bond between women all over the world. Inspiration to speak up about personal and mass injustices suffered as women occurred globally. The medium of music has historically added soul and strength to a plea for power and equality, making the message impossible to ignore the more voices there are to join in song.

All in all the success of this clip and song can be explained by media and communications phenomenon but cannot be possible without the talent of an artist or the soul of a movement and each voice added to the noise will indeed make a difference.

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