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Media and Culture

1.Culture as a skyscraper and culture as a map differ in terms of their viewing
method. The skyscraper model views culture and media as a high-low vertical
hierarchy; however, in the map model, it is judged based on personal taste. The
map model shows cultures and media using connections instead of ranking them
from high to low. Hence, both of them are similar in their usage, which is to view
and categorize culture and media from the most popular to the least popular. In
my opinion, the Skyscraper model is better to reflect media and culture in
present-day society because it uses more general ideas by ranking them from
high to low. Map model’s usage is better for small groups of people because it is
based on individual taste. Next, I use the ocean and beach metaphor to view
culture and media. The ocean that is close to the beach is more crowded; thus, I
consider it a high culture, such as Hamlet. In addition, the further away from the
beach there will be fewer people in that area, so I consider it as a middle culture,
such as TV Dramas. Additionally, The part where the ocean begins to become
deep, and people rarely play in that area. I consider it low culture, such as Grand
Theft Auto.

2. The Culture as a Skyscraper diagram divides culture and media into different
categories correlating with the height of a skyscraper, High culture including
things like ballet, Shakespeare or Miles Davis, The middle of culture with things

like Harry Potter, CNN and Adele, then finally low culture consisting of things like
TMZ.com, Grand Theft Auto, and reality television. A pro to the Skyscraper
model could be from the creators perspective in which they created something to
send a message and it was dubbed as high culture. An obvious con to the
Skyscraper model would be that there’s a supposed established hierarchy to how
media is graded on the scale, but what establishes one being better than the
other. Another Con to the culture as a skyscraper model is that it sees pieces of
culture under a black and white lens, not looking into the depth of the media
being analyzed but instead categorizing it based on a shallow perception.
Although both graphs provide a unique perspective on the grading of culture and
media, the Culture as a Map diagram looks at culture and media through a much
more understanding lens that allows people to see the complexity of media forms
and how they touch upon more than one aspect of culture. Unlike the skyscraper
model’s black and white view of media, the Map diagram views multiple media
forms and how they touch upon familiarity, unfamiliarity, comfort, challenge,
conventionalism and innovation. In Culture as a map, media is compared and
seen for what it touches upon and the complexities of its message, not ranked as
higher or lower based on a socioeconomic view or age. The only con to the
culture as a map seems to be the inability to rank media based on merit since
they all have such individual messages. The culture as a map diagram seems to
better reflect media in present day society thanks to its more level field, looking at
media not in any ranked order but as equal and different based on their varying
messages and the structures they touch upon.