Kaspar Maase, Emeritus Professor for Empirical Cultural Sciences, University of Tübingen
Mass art as inheritance?
Bequeathing and inheriting (as well as rejecting an inheritance that has been suggested) – this is a fundamental mode of culture. In addition to the efforts of institutions and power centers to enforce their selection of what is supposedly indispensable, the processes of passing on, forgetting, and refusing run at the everyday level, in families and interest groups. In Europe (in contrast to the USA), the entertainment and mass culture of modernity does not count among the valuable, helpful and life-fulfilling things that should be cultivated as cultural heritage. In view of the importance of popular culture for self-understanding and world view of most people, in view of its globally connecting role, in view of widespread spontaneous canonization processes, and not least in view of its vital position in the aesthetic self-education of people, the question arises: Do we have to think about mass culture as part of global cultural heritage, and what might a positive answer look like?