I may have assigned you two different versions of this essay.

Book Chapter: “Popular Culture: This Ain’t No Sideshow”
Popular culture should not be dismissed for the lack of aesthetic value. It offers its audience something that speaks to the historical and social circumstances of that audience.
Journal Article: “Historians and Media Studies”
Historians have generally relied on documents to study the past. Studying popular culture, however, could provide more insight into writing the social history of people and their everyday lives.


  1. What forms or genres of culture does Lipsitz address?
  2. What are some prevailing attitudes about mass/popular/commercial culture that Lipsitz criticizes?
  3. Summarize the relationship of cultural forms—theater, motion pictures, newspapers—and industrial production in the Victorian era.
  4. What value Lipsitz find in mass/popular/commercial culture, despite the the elitist attitudes against it?