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?