Culture Theory and Popular Culture Essay


Study regarding culture has, over the last several years, been quite dramatically altered as questions of modern quality and post-modernity have replaced the more familiar concepts of ideology and hegemony which usually, from the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s, anchored cultural analysis strongly within the neo-Marxist field mapped out by Althusser and Gramsci. Modernity and post-modernity also have moved much beyond the academic fields of media or cultural research. Hardly a single branch of the arts, humanities or social savoir has remained unmarked by the arguments which have followed their presence.

They have also available their method into the quality’ press and to TELEVISION SET, and of course they may have entered the art university studios educating and giving shape towards the way in which fine art practitioners including architects, painters and film-makers define and execute their particular work. Advantages or disadvantages, to be welcome or reviled, these terms have corresponded to some sea-change in the way by which cultural intellectuals and practitioners experience and seek to be familiar with world in the late 1980s and into the 1990s. Storey claimed that postmodernism has annoyed many of the aged certainties adjacent questions of cultural value.

This work will consider the issues of postmodernism versus modernism mostly in the perspective from the critics of postmodernism with regards to good’ and bad’ preference. Post-modern social movements initially emerged in the 1960s in painting, architecture, and literary critique. Pop fine art challenged modernist art simply by experimenting with fresh cultural varieties and material that accepted everyday life, major eclecticism, subcultures, mass media, and consumerism.

Sociologist Daniel Bell was one of the first to take up the task of postmodernism. In The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1976) he identified a moral crisis in Western society bound up with the drop of Puritan bourgeois traditions and the ascendence of a post-modern culture that he described in terms of an aesthetic relativism and a hedonistic individualism. Yet the the majority of formidable essenti of postmodernism and defense of modernity has been German born philosopher and heir towards the Frankfurt Institution tradition of critical theory Jurgen Habermas.

There are two problems with postmodernism. The first issue comes into emphasis around the which means of the term fragmentation. This can be a word which in turn, through over-usage in recent ethnical debates, is now shorn of meaning. Post-modernity has been connected by Fredric Jameson (1984) with the emergence of a broken, fractured darkness of a man’.

The tinny shallowness of mass tradition is, he argues, immediately reflected inside the schizophrenic subject matter of contemporary mass consciousness. Against Jameson, Stuart Hall (1981) has recently declared it is just this kind of decentring of consciousness which allows him, like a black person, to arise, divided, certainly, but now fully foregrounded within the post-modern stage. So one of the fascinating reasons for this discussion is to find myself centred at last. Now that, in the postmodern age, you all truly feel so distributed I turn into centred.

What I’ve looked at as dispersed and fragmented comes, paradoxically, to be the representative modern condition! This is certainly coming home which has a vengeance’ (34). These are, then, two perspectives on the problem of postmodern fragmentation.

There is certainly Jameson, who looks again nostalgically towards the notion of unity or totality and who recognizes in this a kind of prerequisite to get radical national politics, a goal to get striven intended for. And there is Area, who sees in partage something even more reflective in the ongoing and historical condition of subaltern organizations. Jameson’s unified man’ could possibly be taken to be considered a preFreudian, Enlightenment subject, and thus be discredited by those who have paid attention to Lacan’s notion in the fragmented subject matter. But the certification of post-modern fragmentation can be equally not without its problems.

Include we’ become more fragmented than previously? Can we particularly name a period and a place for the moment of fragmentation? Is usually fragmentation the other’ of humanity’? Or perhaps is the portrayal of fragmentation coincidental with political empowerment and freedom? Christopher Norris (1990) has argued that post-modernity (and postmodern fragmentation) stands at the end of the extended line of intellectual inquiry which starts with Saussure, works its way through post-structuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis and ends with Baudrillard.

In Norris’s terms fragmentation is to be understood as marking an absolute and irreparable break with the specific subject, a break which is now writ significant in tradition. Present-day fragmented subjectivity is definitely captured and expressed in post-modern cultural forms, a type of superficial pick-and-mix of variations. According to Jameson, yet , unfragmented subjectivity, by contrast, produced great works of clean heroic’ modernism. There is a amount of slippage inside the connections being created here. The situation lies, for least partly, in the imprecise use of the term fragmentation’.

We have a vacillation between the high’ psychoanalytical use of Lacan and a much looser idea, one which seems to sum up unsatisfactory aspects of modern cultural knowledge. Modernists, nevertheless , also believed confused and fragmented. Fragmentation, as a sort of structure of feeling’, is by no means the sole house of those living under the shadow of the post-modern condition. Bewilderment, anxiety, worry: such expressions can be caused by any historic moment as it is transposed into cultural and artistic appearance over the last one humdred and fifty years. The category of partage seems to have turn into either too technical to get of basic use (i. e. in Lacan’s work) or also vague to mean just a torn a part.

The second question which might be asked of neo-Marxist critics of postmodernity, problems determination, plus the return to a form of economic reductionism in cultural theory. Fredric Jameson states that postmodernism is the cultural logic of capital, yet his debate, as Paul Hirst writing about trends in both Fresh Times and post-modern composing, has advised, slips via a rigid causal determinism into informal metaphor’ (45). Jameson, going back to Mandel’s Late Capitalism, has asserted that the sorts of cultural phenomena which might be referred to as post-modern form part of the reasoning of advanced or late capitalism.

This does aside, at a sweep, with the difficult concern of outlining the precise character of the social and ideological relationships which mediate between your economy and the sphere of culture and it simultaneously restores a rather old-fashioned idea of determination to that place it had entertained prior to Althusser’s relative autonomy’ and his thought of determination in the last instance’ (67). Citing Lyotard, Harvey (1989) uses up the notion in the temporary agreement as the hallmark of post-modern cultural relations. What he sees prevailing in production, in the guise of new forms of job, he likewise sees current in emotional life in addition to culture, inside the temporary contract of love and sexuality.

Like Jameson this individual decries this state and appears forward to something more robust plus more reliable, a thing from which a less fractured sense of self and community may well emerge. This individual views postmodern culture disparagingly, as visual rather than ethical, reflecting a great avoidance of politics rather than a rising towards the challenge of a politics carried by new or perhaps changing conditions of development.

Despite their particular sweeping rejection of post-modern writing, the two Jameson and Harvey make use of the conceptual and methodological breadth found in these types of theories to circumvent (or short-circuit) the real key problems which have arisen in cultural studies in the make an attempt to specify and under-stand the social relationships which hook up culture to the conditions of its creation. Their conceptual leap right into a critique of postmodernism allows these authors to avoid facing more straight the place of Marxism in cultural studies from the past due 1980s in the 1990s, a short while at which Marxism cannot be noticed in terms besides those of oscurecimiento or drop. Postmodernism is present, therefore , because something of the convenient bete noire.

It allows for the evasion from the logic of cultural research, if we take that common sense to be the problematizing of the contact between traditions and the overall economy and among culture and politics, within an age in which the field of culture is apparently increasingly expansive and in which both national politics and economics might even be viewed, at one particular level, to be conducted in and through culture. Structuralism has substituted old orthodoxies with fresh ones. This can be apparent in its rereading of texts very placed during an already existing fictional or aesthetic hierarchy. In other places it constructs a new structure, with The show biz industry classics at the pinnacle, followed by picked advertising photos, and girls’ and women’s magazines rotating it away.

Other forms of representation, specifically music and dance, will be missing altogether. Andreas Huyssen in his 1984 introduction to postmodernism draws attention to this high’ structuralist inclination for the works of high modernism, especially the writing of James Joyce or Mallarme. There is no doubt that centre level in crucial theory is held by the classical modernists: Flaubertin BarthesMallarme and Artaud in Derrida, Magritte in FoucaultJoyce and Artaud in Kristevaand etc ad infinitum’ (Huyssen, 1984: 39).

This individual argues that reproduces unhelpfully the old distinction between the high arts and the low’, fewer serious, popular arts. This individual goes on to comment: Pop in the broadest perception was the context in which a notion of the post-modern first got shapeand the most important trends inside postmodernism have challenged modernism’s relentless hostility to mass culture. Large theory was simply not outfitted to deal with multilayered pop. Nor did it ever before show very much enthusiasm regarding this set of forms, perhaps because pop has not signified within just one discrete discourse, nevertheless instead combines images with performance, music with film or video, and pin-ups with the journal form itself’ (Huyssen, 1984: 16).

Current article, where Hebdige (1988) engages straight with the query of postmodernism, he disavows the playful elements in Subcultureand, even more manifestly, inside the new fashion and style journals. In contrast using what he recognizes now because an excess of design, a celebration of creador and a solid cultural desire for calco, Hebdige looks for out the reassuringly real. This individual suggests that the slick joky tone of postmodernism, specifically that found on the pages from the Face, symbolizes a disengagement with the genuine, and an evasion of social responsibility.

He as a result insists over a return to the world of hunger, exploitation and oppression and with it a resurrection of unfragmented, familiar subjectivity. He fleetingly engages with a significant characteristic with the post-modern state, that is, the death of subjectivity plus the emergence, in its place, of popular social schizophrenia. Hebdige seems to be saying that in the event that this rupturing of identity is what postmodernism is about, then he would somewhat turn his back on it.

The position of Clement Greenberg in his 80 lecture entitled The Notion in the Post-Modern could be summarized in the following terms: modernism in painting have been, since its beginning with Manet and the impressionists, a brave struggle up against the encroachment of bad style or kitsch in the domain name of fine art; postmodernism is merely the latest brand under which commercial bad taste, masquerading as advanced advancedness, challenges the integrity of art. Virtually any deviation coming from modernism, in that case, involves a betrayal or perhaps corruption of aesthetic standards.

Seen out of this vantage stage, the post-modern cannot be considerably more than a renewed urge to unwind, particularly pervasive following your advent of appear art, using its deleterious effects on the fine art world. This kind of argument (modernism’s self-conscious quest, to exorcise bad preference from the website of high artwork, is today as urgent as it ever was) appears in a variety of forms and shapes in the writings of the defenders of modernist purity resistant to the infiltrations of commercialism and fashion. This realized artwork, however , is definitely not within a harmonious widespread style because Mondrian was envisaging. That consists typically in forms of art considered banal, impresionable, and in awful taste by simply most inside the Fine Art artworld.

Further, because so many people have zero interest in Art work, it is often thought that all visual art has in some manner lost their relevance and potency. People ask the particular point of art can be, and be it worthwhile spending public money on skill. When people think about art, they think of Art work, and the affect of Fine Art seems to be in decline.

Nevertheless , although Art work seems to be in decline being a cultural push, visual artwork has more power in culture now than it ever endured. Visual artwork is not every Fine Art. We have a diversity of kinds of artwork in modern culture. Besides Fine Art, there is also Popular Artwork, Design Fine art, and advertising. What Fine Art does for all of us is just a little part of the total cultural benefit we get from art.

Since traditional lifestyle recedes via memory, and technology improvements our life-style, people search for new beliefs and standards of living. These new values and lifestyles will be carried by art transmitted over the advertising and on these products we get. The mass-media arts define our heroes and show about the favorable. Advertisements define pleasure and lifestyle. With mass-market goods we costume our bodies and houses in art, thus using fine art to define who our company is.

These contemporary visual arts play a big part in shaping our values, dreams, and life styles. However , typical art reputations tend not to deal with the additional powerful aesthetic arts of our own period beyond Fine Art, namely, Popular Art, Style Art, and advertising. Marketing is certainly not considered art because it is certainly not functionless over and above being cosmetic. Also, the advertising does not typically demonstrate personal expressive creativity. Therefore , the Design Disciplines are typically deemed mere decoration.

Popular Artwork is looked at as in bad taste, banal, expressive, and so not worthy of concern either. Seeing that art histories are only looking at good art, they tend to never consider these other arts. Standing as they most often do inside the Fine Art art world, fine art historians utilize the ideology and sense of artistic value of Fine Art to evaluate almost all art. From your perspective from the contemporary fine art world, Popular Art is usually thought of as a type of Fine Art; that is certainly, bad Fine Art or Art work in bad flavor. It seems common and banal to the Fine Art art community.

From their point of view, popular flavor is bad taste. For example , Osvaldo Yero, an specialist who appeared in the nineties, has centered his work on the approach and poetics of the plaster figures. These kinds of figures, mainly decorations, yet also religious images, were perhaps considered as the last gasp of awful taste.

They will constituted the epitome of uncultivated appropriation of icons from your high lifestyle as well as by mass lifestyle, done in an unhealthy and artificial material similar excellence, worked well clumsily in a semi-industrial approach and polychromed with pretentious attempts at elegance. They symbolized the triumph of vulgarity, the failure of the aesthetic education of the masses recommended by socialism. By the 1920s business and advertising agencies had noticed that putting color and style choices into the products they will made improved consumption.

With the use of advertising through designing stylistic variety into their products, manufacturers elevated points into the category of fashion merchandise that got before simply been electricity goods, just like towels, bedding, and bathroom fixtures. Recently these items would not have any form component, but now designers added decoration for their functional style. This meant that now consumers could choose products not merely for function, but also for style.

People could now have lilac sheets, green toilets, and blue mobile phones. There is a anxiety in design style among aesthetic formalist styles just like the international design, and style styles that are figurative. Individuals favoring figurative design usually think of products as arriving a great selection and created to appeal for the various likes of consumers. Right here the style of the products are not influenced by function, but by simply market stresses. This is another development of design and style for revenue.

This gave rise as to the is known as online marketing, where the style is targeted to a smaller, more specific group than mass advertising is. Therefore, they shun the idea of a unified worldwide machine artistic. For example , a razor may be pink with flowers upon it to target this to girl users, and black with blue highlight lines to target it to male users. The razor blade is the same, but the razor blade is packaged with different styling to sell the product in order to markets.

In designing intended for niche markets, the hair styling reflects your class, age group, occupation, and dreams of the target group. This goes together with promoting, and requires quite a lot of research to find what these types of values happen to be and what styling motifs succeed in connecting them. The exemplary text or the one, richly coded image gives way for the textual thickness and the image density every day life, that the slower, even languid look’ with the semiologist is, by the 1980s, out of tempo with all the times.

The field of postmodernism absolutely expresses a frustration, not only with this seemingly poor, infirm; faint, faintish[obs3]; sickly pace, but with its elevating inability to create tangible links between the basic conditions of life today and the practice of ethnical analysis. Structuralism has also changed old orthodoxies with fresh ones. This really is apparent in its rereading of texts very placed during an already existing literary or artistic hierarchy. In other places it constructs a new hierarchy, with Hollywood classics at the very top, followed by selected advertising pictures, and girls’ and women’s magazines rounding it away. Other forms of representation, specifically music and dance, are missing altogether.

Huyssen states that Pop in the broadest sense was the context where a notion in the post-modern initial took shape, and the greatest trends inside postmodernism possess challenged modernism’s relentless violence to mass culture. Large theory was simply not outfitted to deal with multilayered pop. References Bell, Daniel. (1976). The Social Contradictions of Capitalism. Ny: Basic Catalogs.

C. Norris, Lost in the funhouse: Baudrillard and the governmental policies of postmodernism’, in Ur. Boyne and A. Rattansi (eds) Postmodernism and World, London, Macmillan, 1990. Corridor, Stuart, Connell, Ian and Curti, Lidia (1981).

The unity of current affairs television’, in T. Bennett et ‘s. (eds) Popular Television and Film, London, uk: BFI. Harvey, David (1989). The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford: Blackwell. Hebdige, Dick (1979).

Subculture: The Meaning of Style, London: Routledge. Huyssen, A. (1984). Mapping the postmodern’, New German Critique thirty-three. Jameson, Fredric (1984).

Postmodernism, or the social logic recently capitalism’, New Left Review 146.

  • Category: United States
  • Words: 3232
  • Pages: 11
  • Project Type: Essay

Need an Essay Writing Help?
We will write a custom essay sample on any topic specifically for you
Do Not Waste Your Time
Only $13.90 / page