Cover image for Popular culture and high culture : an analysis and evaluation of taste
Popular culture and high culture : an analysis and evaluation of taste
Gans, Herbert J.
Personal Author:
Revised & updated edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 248 pages ; 21 cm
Reading Level:
1630 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E169.12 .G36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E169.12 .G36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Herbert Gans is a German-born American sociologist who was educated at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. Active in urban planning and housing at the beginning of his career, he taught planning and sociology at Columbia Teachers College and subsequently at Columbia University. He is best known for his work on American communities, including The Urban Villagers (1962), a study of Boston's West End and The Levittowners (1967). He has focused much of his research on the American middle class.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised and Updated Editionp. vii
Some New Acknowledgmentsp. x
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xvi
New Introduction: The Popular Culture-High Culture Distinction: Still Relevant?p. 1
Chapter 1 The Critique of Mass Culturep. 27
Postscript to Chapter Onep. 77
Chapter 2 A Comparative Analysis of High and Popular Culturep. 89
Postscript to Chapter Twop. 146
Chapter 3 The Evaluation of Taste Cultures and Publicsp. 161
Postscript to Chapter Threep. 204
Notesp. 211
Indexp. 235