THE PRINT MASS MEDIUM, MASS CULTURE AND QUESTIONS OF AESTHETIC AND TOPICAL PUBLIC OPINION, CONSIDERED IN LIGHT OF EXTRINSIC AND INTRINSIC OBSTACLES OF ACCESSIBILITY
Published: 25 Sep 2018
Abstract: As regards the phenomenon of popular culture, opinions are divided between the Classicist school, who argue it is a cultural universal, and the Modernist camp, who argue that such a cultural form is a relatively recent phenomenon. Taking as its point of departure the work of Marshall McLuhan, this article raises the issue of whether popular culture could have been perceptible as such prior there having to any quantifiable means of assessing popularity. Focusing chiefly upon print, the first mass medium, the author first considers such extrinsic obstacles of accessibility as would have in the past precluded “culture for the people by the people.” Of particular interest is the conditions under which both cultural producers, authors and readers could begin to conceptualize and perceive the reading public as a collective entity, with popularly representative tastes. One then goes on to examine to raise the question as to whether, in today’s “global village,” such extrinsic obstacles have not faded to insignificance, leading potentially to a greater need to consider obstacles of intrinsic accessibility in terms of public opinion.
Keywords: popular culture, marshall mcluhan, print, accessibility, mass culture
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