Relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

Communication Perspectives on Popular Culture -

relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

As the 'culture of the people', popular culture is determined by the interactions With these fundamental aspects in mind, popular culture may be defined as the . A member of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture. The politics of the “popular” and popular culture. In T. Bennett, C. Mercer, & J. Woollacott (Eds.), Popular culture and social relations. To study religion in popular culture, then, is to explore religion's appearance in the commercially produced artifacts and texts of a culture. economy with industrialization, “the popular” was a term with legal and political meaning. Thus and religion were actually studies of popular culture and its relationship to Christianity.

Instead they tried to describe culture as a whole as a complex formation of discourses which correspond to particular interests, and which can be dominated by specific groups, but which also always are dialectically related to their producers and consumers.

An example of this tendency is Andrew Ross's No Respect. Intellectuals and Popular Culture His chapter on the history of jazz, blues and rock does not present a linear narrative opposing the authentic popular music to the commercial record industry, but shows how popular music in the U.

Traces of the theory of culture industry[ edit ] This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. No cleanup reason has been specified.

relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

Please help improve this section if you can. July Learn how and when to remove this template message Still the traditional views have a long life. The criticism raised can be summarized in three main arguments. First of all, the culture industry theory has completely abandoned the Marxist dialectic conception of society.

Every impulse, according to this view, comes from above. Resistance and contradiction are impossible, and the audience is manipulated into passivity. Alan Swingewood and others emphasize that the Frankfurt theory has to be seen in the light of left-wing frustrations about the failure of proletarian revolutions early this century, and the easy submission of the European nations to fascism.

A second reproach is that this view may be as elitist as its aristocratic counterpart. Both establish the lonely, autonomous, avant-garde intellectual as the only light in a zombie society. Thus the former Marxists arrive at an uncritical praise of the elitist and antirevolutionary upper-class culture. This brings us to a third argument, already made in the sixties by Umberto Eco. The historicity of the contemporary situation is not taken into account, so its internal contradictions are ignored, and thus revolution can only be seen as purely utopian.

The culture industry theory, therefore, would lead to passivity and thereby becomes an objective ally of the system it pretends to criticize. It is of course mainly the influence exercised by the Frankfurt School which matters here: In Das Schema der Massenkultur, [7] for instance, Adorno discusses a "nucleus of individuality" that the culture industry cannot manipulate, and which forces him to continuously repeat his manipulation.

Thus they easily arrive at an exaltation of experimental literature as necessarily revolutionary. However, they may neglect the fact that the ideology is never simply in the message, but in the position of the message in the general social discourse, and in the position of its producers in the social formation.

Other theories easily yielding to monolithic thought stem from the emancipation movements of oppressed groups. Early feminist theoryfor instance, often described society as universally and transhistorically dominated by patriarchy in every aspect of life, thereby presenting a pejorative view of the women they claim to defend. As Andrew Ross [9] argues, the same remark goes for the widely accepted account of rock history as a continuous appropriation of black music by a white music industry.

Only studies analyzing the cultural oppression of homosexuality seem to take a less deterministic position. Contemporary liberal pluralism[ edit ] In liberal-pluralist accounts of popular culture, the theorizing on its supposedly liberating, democratizing function is nowadays most often pushed to the background. This type of criticism, often produced by people who are also active in popular literary writing themselves, often amounts to paraphrase and suffers from an uncritical identification with the study object.

One of the main aims of this type of criticism is the establishment of ahistorical canons of and within popular genres in the image of legitimized culture. This approach, however, has been accused of elitism as well. To put it simply: Though Roberts claims to take a distance from studies of canonical fiction, he justifies his implicit decision to impose canonical models on popular fiction as follows: If we consider all the views depicted in the present article as instances of both the thesis and the antithesis of an argument, it is a less known scholar, Blanca de Lizaur who manages to finally produce the synthesis.

In the sociological line of Mims and Lerner, she sees Literature as a necessary social institution -id est: That of explaining, justifying and promoting its society's world-view, values, ideas and beliefs, through depicting them "in action" in lyrics and narratives from which we all learn. The expression of the feelings that may be expected to accompany depicted actions and events, also constitutes a fundamental part of its social role, as we naturally expect Literature to constructively account for, inform, modulate and educate our feelings.

Hence why Literature is present in every human culture, all along history. Because of its fundamental role and our need for it, Literature will always find its way to, and adapt to the latest technologies and to the furthest reaching distribution channels available.

Anti-Catholic authors revived this fantastic claim during the nineteenth-century Kulturkampf in Germany. Later, credulous Nazi propagandists proclaimed that the statistic evidenced a racist persecution perpetrated on Nordic Aryan people by evil Mediterraneans through the office of the Holy Inquisition.

During the s, several authors and journalists uncritically cited the very same Nazi authors to denounce the slaughter of nine million innocent women at the hands of misogynist theologians. Today, scholars of popular culture have successfully revealed these claims for the groundless exaggerations they are Behringer.

In fact, we now know beyond a reasonable doubt that: The case of nine million witches demonstrates the continuing importance of popular culture studies not only to correct the glorification of history from the top down, but also to avoid the pitfalls of hackneyed eulogizing of "the people" and romanticized history from the bottom up.

A further theoretical complication is that the term "culture" is also ambivalent. A dialectic or conflict model is the most common method to overcome this inadequacy. As a representative of this dialectical tradition, Robert Redfield — emphasized the divisive nature of the "great tradition" elite or official culture and the "little tradition" plebian or unofficial cultureechoing Herder's distinction between popular and learned culture.

relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

The Jesuit Michel De Certeau — juxtaposed the relevant advantages and disadvantages facing the ruling elite and the ruled in a class-struggle model, employing the blatantly militant terms "strategy" extensive application of great resources for long-term effect and "tactics" intensive maximization of limited resources with limited permanency. Modernist ethnographers tend to define culture in relational terms as a communicative system for the transmission of ideas, rather than enduring institutions or structures.

In this sense, popular culture is viewed as one form of expressive culture that plays a crucial role in power struggles to negotiate meaning in everyday life Little. There are also many contradictory claims regarding the mechanisms of popular culture. Clearly, the view of early folklorists that popular culture is unchanging, not artificial and unadulterated by exogenous influence, is romantic and no longer tenable Greenblatt. Proponents of dialectical materialism as well as supporters of the Annales paradigm a historical movement in twentieth-century France generally view even supernatural aspects of popular culture as contingent upon material circumstances Scribner.

Contrarily, Michel Foucault has reflected on the marginalization of folly and its transformation into madness as a product of discourses. He depicts the development of a system of social discipline, the "Great Confinement" of undesirables, as a power struggle played out in largely arbitrary and individualized discourses to gain control over cultural meanings.

The Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg seeks the origins of early modern popular culture as an egalitarian tradition in the pre-Christian heritage of Indo-European languages, while the German historian Peter Blickle points to the late medieval origins of communalism. Again, popular culture studies serve to remind us that traditions evolve and culture is always changing in relationship to historical contexts.

Ultimately, the exact nature of popular culture is so difficult to pin down because it is applied in broad terms, to include ritual, art, literature, and cosmology. Many popular beliefs, rituals, and customs of the ordinary people were also shared by members of the social elite, clouding the boundaries between the two traditions. Tentatively, we can summarize popular culture as an expressive and shared system for the production, transmission, and consumption of cohesive yet simple values readily accessible to and accepted by most members of a given society at any given time, simultaneously fulfilling both normative and practical social interests.

In the end, however, popular culture continues to elude precise definition. Perhaps the very ambivalence of the term renders it so theoretically flexible and at the same time dangerously seductive.

There are sound practical and methodological reasons for this. In comparison to the overwhelming documentary evidence available to historians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, early modernists face source limitations that require them to approach their subject in a more circumspect manner. Because of this, they have proven particularly open to the interdisciplinary methods of cultural anthropology used to study comparable forms of culture in "traditional" societies.

relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

Nevertheless, the advent of printing and nascent bureaucracy coupled with a higher rate of documentary and artistic survivals offers early modernists a more satisfactory pool of evidence than is regularly available for the study of popular culture in earlier periods. Another major impetus has been the modernity thesis.

In the nineteenth century, culture was generally equated with civilization and ranked according to a teleological and Eurocentric scale of development. Following the rise of academic sociology and anthropology, the question of modernity also informed historical consensus on the pivotal status of the early modern period as an age of transition from feudalism to capitalism in which the power of the church waned and early modern states were formed.

Hence, there has been an intense search for signs of modernity in early modern popular culture. Since the birth of the academic disciplines of sociology and anthropology in the late nineteenth century, there have been many successful attempts to recover the mental processes whereby the European identity evolved from the later Middle Ages to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The interdisciplinary study of popular culture has provided vital access to mentality of Europeans before industrialization and secularization. Bloch's account of popular perceptions of the magic touch of the king in the Middle Ages and Febvre's study of disbelief in the Renaissance concurred that the mental equipment outillage mentale of our ancestors was radically different from our own. Developmentally, the Soviet literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin thought he had found the key to a lost golden age prior to modern social polarization in a his study of Rabelais.

Bakhtin's significant impact lies in his historical interpretation of the carnivalesque. Similarly, the Dutch sociologist Norbert Elias charted the evolution of household manners as a "civilizing process," a form of modern psychogenesis, literally a change in our patterns of thought through behavior modification.

Elias focused his research on court society, which he viewed as the source of our modern social code of etiquette. Since the s, the trend has been less toward progressive and linear interpretations in favor of examining events, material circumstances, and ideological explanations of popular culture.

One of the pioneering figures has been Natalie Zemon Davis. Inshe published a seminal collection of essays on a variety of topics from sixteenth-century France, such as rituals of violence and the charivari. Charivaris were a virtually ubiquitous and ritualized form of autonomous popular justice.

In one form of charivari, youth abbeys—literally gangs of unmarried journeymen or peasants—staged public mockeries to punish local persons of ill repute and reinforce communal norms. Young artisans employed the charivari to regulate access to limited marriage prospects, targeting cuckolded husbands, widowed masters who married younger women, or widows of masters who refused to remarry.

Popular Culture |

Peasants sometimes used the charivari to harass outsiders, protest perceived injustice at the hands of a local official, or punish an immoral village priest. Charivaris might begin during a festivity or a bout of drinking at a local tavern, when it was decided to punish a local "deviate.

When the target of abuse appeared, he or she was apprehended and humiliated—forced to ride backward on an ass, burned in effigy, or ducked in a pond. Ultimately, charivaris functioned as a method of resolving social conflicts through rough and ready communal consensus on propriety. She has demonstrated the self-fashioning of pardon tales and the creation of identity in The Return of Martin Guerre, the subject of a French motion picture and a Hollywood spin-off, Sommersby Her historical actors are simultaneously faced with limitless individual possibilities and fettered by social constraints.

Her work continues to influence an entire generation of scholarship. InPeter Burke published what has become the standard text on early modern popular culture. His developmental conception of popular culture is graphically illustrated by Bruegel's famous painting of Combat of Carnival and Lent, a mock joust between a fat man astride a barrel and a thin woman seated on a chair Burke, p.

The Carnival season prior to Lent set the stage for a ritual inversion of normative values. In this "world turned upside down," people cross-dressed, ate and drank excessively, engaged in blatant sexual innuendo, openly mocked the clergy, and elected a prince of fools who held court in the town square.

During the period between andEurope entered into the first phase of the reform of popular culture by the culture of the godly, as the arbiters of morality set a more somber tone during the catastrophic years of the Protestant Reformation, Catholic Renewal, and wars of religion.

relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

Popular performances and carnivals were banned in many areas as the elite gradually withdrew from participation in the plebian culture of mockery and grass roots protest. From topopular culture was politicized, denigrated, and completely abandoned by the ruling elite until its rediscovery by nineteenth-century folklorists. Since the publication of Burke's text, there has been an explosion of interest in popular culture studies, many of which have introduced us to new and innovative ways of approaching the topic.

Much attention has also been paid to the role of the print revolution as an innovative force during the early modern period. Roger Chartier and Robert Scribner have examined chapbooks and broadsheets and found evidence of a vibrant print culture with meanings influenced by popular consumption and appropriation. They also note how shifting demand acts as a driving force behind historical change.

Popular culture

Individual case studies and village reconstitutions have also explored the contributions of popular culture to political and social change in early modern Europe. Chief among these has been the work of David Warren Sabean, who conducted nearly two decades of research studying the inhabitants of the small Swabian village of Neckarhausen. Sabean subtly employed a conflict model to interpret apparently minor incidents of ritualized tensions between rulers and subjects as another engine for historical change from below.

Here again, historians have begun to pay more attention to negotiations and the fundamental role of transmission through cultural interlocutors. The so-called superstitions and fleeting theatrics of everyday custom and ritual were seldom regarded as worthy of attention.

As students of global politics, we cannot afford to ignore the cultural politics of the everyday because this is where the effects of political processes such as militarization are normalised. Needless to say, for me, popular culture is a rather broad and diverse set of sites and cultural artefacts, perhaps only united by the fact that they are generally not taken seriously in IR. My aim in this article is to show how these sites, artefacts, but above all, ways of communicating, are political.

To this end, I offer a way of thinking about the relationship between militarism and militarization that I think can help justify the use of pop culture in IR research: I conclude by illustrating my argument about the hidden politics of militarization with a brief discussion of a YouTube advertisement by the Swedish aerospace and defence company SAAB promoting their latest fighter jet, Gripen.

First, however, we need to unpack the relationship between militarism and militarization. A Feminist Popular Culture Approach to Militarization A militarizing maneuver can look like a dance, not a struggle, even though the dance might be among unequal partners Enloep. In this definition, militarism is a noun, whereas militarization is employed as a verb. Yet, even though militarism is often recognised as a belief and militarization as a process, the concepts are often used interchangeably, which suggests that the relationship between militarism and militarization is understudied.

relationship between politics and popular culture artifacts

In Militarism and International Relationsthe editors, Anna Stravrianakis and Jan Selby, note that the question of the meaning and value of the concept of militarism is far from resolved.

In fact, they claim that the topic of militarism has disappeared in IR since the early s. The reason, they suggest, is that the broadening of the concept of security that we have seen in the years since the Cold War has detracted critical attention from the problems of militarism and militarizationp.

Stavrianakis and Selby identify five ways in which militarism not necessarily militarization has been defined or conceptualised. Here, militarism and militarization are measured through various indicators. Making something military in character or style is most often visibly associated with armed forces and readiness to use political violence.

A majority of images centre on heavily armed police officers, reflecting recent debates on the excessive use of force by police during protests and civil unrest, such as in the US city of Ferguson.

As I expand upon below, these examples of how militarization is used and understood are not necessarily wrong, but in my view they only give a partial understanding of militarization, and they certainly fail to problematise differences between militarism and militarization.

That an institution such as the police force is increasingly getting a military character could be the result of a militarizing process, but while these images show the effects of militarization, they do not necessarily tell anything about the process of militarization, nor, in fact, about the ideology of militarism.

In contrast, the purpose of this article is to show that there is more to militarization than what is immediately apparent. This insight in turn suggests an understanding and leads to an analysis of militarization as a specific cultural transforming process by which a person or a society gradually comes to imagine military needs and militaristic presumptions to be not only valuable but also normal Enloep. More specifically, a feminist approach to militarization is interested in the gendered aspects of such processes of normalisation, how militarisation links to and ultimately manipulates ideas about both femininity and masculinity.

This is why it is useful to think about militarizing manoeuvres as a dance rather than a struggle, as quoted above.

Crucially, this means that processes of militarization do not only take place in the obvious military contexts and places, but, in fact, the list of what can be militarised is virtually endless. However, as mentioned above, I am also interested in popular culture as not just an object to study but a way of communicating IR.

It is the common sense foundation of our worldviews that is beyond debate Weberp. And because we do not realise we hold unconscious ideologies or use them to make sense of our worlds, we very rarely interrogate them. Ideological knowledge is therefore the result of specific practices involved in the production of meaning Hallpp.