Low culture is a derogatory term for some forms of popular culture that have mass appeal. Its contrast is high culture. It has been said by culture theorists that both high culture and low culture are subcultures. Today, this would mean things like 'take-away' meals, gossip magazines, books that are current best-sellers, and sports such as football and basketball.
Reality television, popular music, escapist fiction, kitsch, slapstick, camp, toilet humor, yellow journalism, pornography, and exploitation films are often cited examples of low culture. It has often been stated that in postmodern times, the boundary between high and low culture has blurred. The 1990's artwork of Jeff Koons appropriate low art tropes of kitsch and pornography. Rhys Chatham's musical piece Guitar Trio 1977 is an example of incorporating (low culture) primitive punk rock aesthetics into ([high culture]) contemporary classical music.
Standards and definitions of low culture 
In his book Popular Culture and High Culture, Herbert J. Gans gives a definition of how to identify and create low culture:
Aesthetic standards of low culture stress substance, form and being totally subservient; there is no explicit concern with abstract ideas or even with fictional forms of contemporary social problems and issues. ... Low culture emphasizes morality but limits itself to familial and individual problems and [the] values, which apply to such problems. Low culture is content to depict traditional working class values winning out over the temptation to give into conflicting impulses and behavior patterns.—Herbert Gans, 
When applying that lens to mass media, it often includes shows that don’t go too deeply into abstract ideas, or that don’t address head-on contemporary social problems.
Culture as class 
Herbert Gans states in his book Popular Culture and High Culture that the different classes of culture, are linked correspondingly to socio-economic and educational classes. For any given socio-economic class, there is a culture for that class. Hence the terms high and low culture and the manifestation of those terms as they appeal to their respective constituents.
Mass media 
Creators of culture 
When you watch television, someone else is in control of the content of the programming; you just have the choice in what you happen to be watching. Therefore the content creators (media companies) are largely in charge of finding what it is people like, so they can make money off of it. Media entertainment’s sole purpose for existing is profitability; they drive and are driven by consumer demand.
All cultural products have a certain demographic to which they appeal most. Low Culture appeals to very simple and basic human needs. Low culture offers a return to innocence, the escape from real world problems, or the experience of living vicariously through viewing someone else’s life on television.
See also 
- Herbert Gans, Popular Culture and High Culture pg. 115.
- Herbert Gans Popular Culture and High Culture pg. 7
- , Anna Tomisino Discovering Pop Culture, pg. 210.
- , Anna Tomisino Discovering Pop Culture, pg. 211.
- , Anna Tomisino Discovering Pop Culture, pg. 225 (although this is an excerpt from "The Happiest Place On Earth: Disney" by Eric Mazur and Tara Koda.)