Historians, social scientists and students of society generally are prone to rather tortured debates over the meaning and use of the term 'culture'. The term has had something of a vogue among social scientists. Culture is sometimes used synonymously with civilization in the sense that both are seen in contradistinction to barbarism. In the Anglo-American tradition, culture is often used loosely to signify the collocation of beliefs, customs and so forth of particular groups, a view that takes into account the widely diversified and pluralistic nature of society. Criticisms of mass culture have been gradually building up over the years. In the last century, intellectuals certainly claimed to know what culture was all about: it was a civilizing influence. Commercial populism, as it is sometimes called, is also certainly on the increase. It is taking over the market-place, whether the customers want a package Spanish holiday or a cheap and cheerful Spanish wine at the supermarket.