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Word of the Day
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Definitions for masscult

  1. the forms of culture, as music, drama, and literature, as selected, interpreted, and popularized by the mass media for dissemination to the widest possible audience.

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Citations for masscult
Folk Art grew mainly from below, an autochthonous product shaped by the people to fit their own needs, even though it often took its cue from High Culture. Masscult comes from above. It is fabricated by technicians hired by businessmen. Dwight MacDonald, "Masscult and Midcult," Against the American Grain: Essays on the Effects of Mass Culture, 1962
In today's marketplace, however, elitism has no value -- money has become the only yardstick. Thus High Culture lusts after the market share of Masscult. Michiko Kakutani, "The Trickle-Down Theory," New York Times, September 22, 1996
Origin of masscult
Masscult (from “mass culture”) and midcult (from “middlebrow culture”) were coined by Dwight Macdonald (1906-82) in his essay “Masscult and Midcult” (1960). Macdonald was an American journalist, social critic, and political radical. He opposed mass media because they exemplified mediocrity and their only standards were popularity.