Culture and Everyday Life by Andy Bennett

By Andy Bennett

Culture and daily Life presents scholars with a complete assessment of theoretical types, concerns and examples of latest cultural perform. Andy Bennett starts off by means of summarising and situating - in daily settings - the main theoretical versions utilized within the examine of current cultural practices. This includes a scientific research of ways educational considering mass tradition has replaced, from serious debts of early mass cultural theorists to radical postmodernist evaluations of mass cultural debts and to 'the cultural turn', which explored how a variety of social identities are culturally built.

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Culture becomes the ideological terrain on which issues of power are continuously negotiated and redefined. Moreover, as a result of such struggle and contestation, the ideological divisions existing between social classes are weakened. As Bennett notes: As a consequence of its accommodating elements of opposing class cultures, ‘bourgeois culture’ ceases to be purely or entirely bourgeois. It becomes, instead, a mobile combination of cultural and ideological elements derived from different class locations which are, but only provisionally and for the duration of a specific historical conjuncture, affiliated to bourgeois values, interests and objectives.

One group of commentators argue that postmodernism has served to decentre the individual subject to such an extent that identities have become shallow and superficial, corresponding with the continuous play of texts and images that form the basis of everyday ‘reality’ in postmodern societies. According to Kumar: ‘The “de-centred” subject of [postmodernity] no longer thinks of his/her identity in historical or temporal terms … Instead the postmodern self considers itself a discontinuous entity, as an identity (or identities) remade in neutral time’ (1995: 147).

According to Bennett, the mass production and dissemination of popular culture made possible through technological advances in late modernity has facilitated its ready augmentation into mundane everyday practices. This, in turn, has empowered individuals with new levels of expression and creativity, thus transforming everyday life into a reflexively articulated cultural process. qxd 6/16/2005 2:34 PM Page 27 The Mass Culture Debate [Popular culture] consists of those cultural forms and practices … which constitute the terrain on which dominant, subordinate and oppositional cultural values and ideologies meet and intermingle, in different mixes and permutations, vying with one another in their attempts to secure the spaces within which they can become influential in framing and organising popular experience and consciousness.

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