Dumbing down is viewed either as a pejorative term for a perceived over-simplification of, amongst other things, education,
news and television, or as a statement of truth about real cultural trends in education and culture. According to John Algeo,
former editor of American Speech, the neologism dumb down "revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence"
was first recorded in 1933 as movie slang, and dumb up in 1928.
The concept "dumbing down" can point to a variety of
different things but the concept always involves a claim about the simplification of culture, education, and thought, a decline
in creativity and innovation, a degradation of artistic, cultural, and intellectual standards, or the undermining of the very
idea of a standard, and the trivialisation of cultural, artistic, and academic creations.
The term can be seen as subjective
since what is labelled as "dumbed down" often depends upon the values of individuals of specific groups. Pierre Bourdieu discusses
how the practices of dominant groups in society are legitimised to the disadvantage of subordinate groups. However, there
is also evidence that knowledge of areas outside that defined by popular culture has diminished progressively in the late