Write 8 pages with APA style on How Richard Hoggart Challenged Traditional Definitions of Culture. To begin with, there are three major approaches used by critics in an attempt to define culture: the ideal, the documentary, and social definition (Dewdney and Ride, 2006). Critics following the ideal approach for defining culture believe that culture is a process of human perfection. therefore, only the very best could intellectuals and artists could be counted leading to the emergence of descriptions such as high culture as opposed to popular culture. Supporters of this approach to the definition of culture believed that the study of culture should involve universally accepted criteria that are true for all societies when assessing examples of culture. The ideal approach for defining culture provided a basis for making a decision on what is good or bad due to the belief that humans experience a range of emotions that is also universal. Additionally, the definition was supported by the belief that only a small group of the best intellectuals and artists make a culture leading to the perception of the ideal approach as narrow and selective as large numbers of people were excluded from the definition while a small number enjoyed the privileged position (Kirby et al. 2000).
The documentary approach considers a broader perspective that also includes all the works representing the body of intellectual and imaginative work apart from the intellectual and artistic component covered under the ideal approach. Therefore, when making a critical appraisal of culture, writers consider all the aspects representing the culture of society rather than only the best aspects of art and intellectual products. Although the documentary approach is broader than the ideal approach, it is still limited to art and intellectual works created by a small group in society (Kirby et al. 2000).
The third approach relates to the social definition of culture, which borrows heavily from early anthropological and sociological studies as opposed to documentary and ideal approaches that are based on traditional teachings in academic disciplines of art and English. The works of Richard Hoggart can be rightly placed in the social definition approach to culture that has a wider perspective compared to the ideal and documentary approaches.
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