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Lecture 8

CMNS 221 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: E-Democracy, Lower Mainland, High Culture

Course Code
CMNS 221
Martin Laba

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October 25th, 2016
CMNS 221 Week 8 Lecture Notes
Culture: High, Mass, Popular
High vs. Popular Culture
- Popular culture as trash and ephemera
o Easily forgettable
o Reality TV, video games, the time suck of the Internet
- Privilege celebrated in celebrities like the Royal Family
o Will and Kate
Went to the DTES and visited Aboriginal communities
Instead of doing photoshoots in Kits
Wanted to highlight these injustices?
- Challenge to the standards of high culture
o Popular culture??
o Mass culture is the opposite of High Culture
- Mass Culture and Mass Culture Theory
o ass ulture theor teds to see the audiee ie as passie as supine (laying down)
undemanding, vulnerable, manipulable, sentimental resistant to intellectual challenge
and stimulation, easy prey to ads, and constantly afflited ith ad taste.
The masses are stupid
They have bad taste
You can sell dumb shit to masses
They can be manipulated easily
Think of how Donald Trump is running for president
o No resume or any credentials
o Yet he is sold to the mass with promise and people buy it
o Democracy is flawed
o This is’t arhai, this desries our urret eiroet
o Populism is the issue
Read the guardian online
o Canadians and UK citizens understanding the problematic election more than Americans
o We are steeped in Canadian history
The Constitution
Under British rule
Canadians can be smug when we look at the election but we still come from a
fucked up place too
E.g. Mulroney
- We are going to take this to the people
o Example in Vancouver
The transit referendum
find more resources at
find more resources at

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October 25th, 2016
Development of Lower Mainland depended on this
- Is there merit?
o Took transit to the people
o Nobody understood it so nobody did anything (nobody voted)
o We’re goig to take it to the people
o Voting on Aboriginal Rights by taking it to referendum
Just rog, there are just soe thigs ou a’t take to the people
- What is populism about?
o Demonstration of mass culture
E.g. Hitler and how he constructed the Holocaust
o All about manipulable masses
People watch junk TV
o But when it comes to politics
Terrorism and tyranny becomes ignored because we are so passive
- How do we understand mass culture?
o Proleati eterprise of takig it to the people
o What is your concept of democracy?
Where does leadership start and end?
Is everything about democracy mean taking every decision to the people?
- How do we understand popular culture?
o We’e alas set up deates
o Populism gone mad
Let everybody vote on everything
Do we need informed voters?
Do we need to be educated before you can vote?
Do we need to know the issues?
We are trusted with this enormous responsibility
People die to have the right to vote and yet people do not vote
o Should be like in Australia where you must vote
o If you do not vote, you are fined
o Activate and demonstrate controversial issues (mass culture)
- Distinguish mass vs. pop culture
o Popular culture emerges from people themselves
Does pop culture demonstrate engagement, participation, and power?
Paradox of electronic democracy
Digital media can be empowering
But can also have a top down hierarchy
o We know about popular culture in commodity forms
find more resources at
find more resources at
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