The formation of mass culture is associated with an industrial society formation achievement and mass migration of the population to cities was a supposition for this process. Then - the emergence of multimillion-dollar armies, the development of various societies, movements and associations, the formation of political parties and electorates and the integration of the management process.
In aid of urbanization and such an intense movement, a sharp rupture of old ties between people and generations occurs, and the monopoly of church and government on the management of people's minds is undermined. In competition for the human consciousness private producers of information, goods and services of mass consumption come into play. They deal with the resolution that has become an urgent problem of standardization of socio-cultural attitudes, interests and needs of the population, management of political behavior, ideological orientations as well as consumers’ demand. All this required the creation of a channel for the transmission of knowledge, attitudes and norms, as well as socially significant information to the broad masses of the population, the entire nation.
The first step was the introduction of universal compulsory primary and secondary education, then the development of the media, the democratization of political procedures (elections). An enormous role was played by the invention of cinematography, photography, gramophone recording, which became the basis of mass art, which does not even require elementary literacy for its perception.
Modern mass culture in one way or another connected with the media, intermediated by the technical capabilities of the second half of the 20th century (cassettes, satellite, communication, films). In this situation, the masses act as bearers of culture and as a means of manipulation. Functionality of culture in a mass society is defined by different dimensions, among them:
- Ensuring the socialization of a person in the context of a complex and unstable environment of a large city. A person learns new ways of regulating his/her behavior, new values and social roles, necessary styles of behavior and way of life, the form of relations between people, the possibilities of resolving a conflict situation through mass culture;
- • Mass culture satisfies the need for restoring forces and distracts the individual from an intense life race for success. It is not formed only on the basis of entertaining and religious forms of art, sports, games, but also on the basis of ever expanding sphere of consumption of food, clothing, household appliances, household items, and education. Everything comes to man through the mechanism of mass culture.
This culture is characterized by universality, embracing the middle part of modern society, but at the same time affects both the wealthy elite and the fringes of society. The popular culture that is a prior to mass culture only claimed on generality. Mass culture acquires this character due to the restructuring of the social structure caused by the growth of the middle class (more than 50%). The transformation of culture into a means of stimulating consumption and the product of consumption is advertising. The advertising data traffic is increasingly reduced to a minimum, in favor of manipulating the individual. It targets a person to realize primary values associated with material consumption or social prestige that has an objectification. Advertising creates the illusion of an independent choice, subjugating a person by imposing an illusory need on him. It is the depersonification and conformism of the behavior of a person who has been rid of the need for a complex and long introduction to high culture and that is an important feature of mass culture. The universality of mass culture does not exclude its genre diversity and structuring depending on social, age, subcultural differences.
In the mass society and the culture serving situation, the structure of human existence is given to man as a set of standard situations and well-known programs: the correct political system, the only true teaching, fashion for public image, the sex symbol, sports stars and pop stars. Mass culture is "ersatz"(substitute product) -product in high cultural areas, does not generate its own senses, but only imitates the phenomena of a specialized culture, uses its forms, meanings, and not rarely reduces them to the level of low-cultural consumption. But it cannot be assessed categorically negatively. Generated by the processes of social modernization, mass culture fulfills the function of providing the primary socialization of the individual in the conditions of a national society with erased social category boundaries. It also performs a peculiar function of the translator of meaning from the specific meaning.