If crafting a theory to fit avant-garde artworks was probably one of the major tasks and goals for 20th-century intellectuals, it is probably no exaggeration to say that attempting to accommodate the different forms of so-called popular culture has become one of the major preoccupations for philosophers (and also art theorists, sociologists and scholars of cultural studies) today. Popular culture must be understood indeed as a central phenomenon for contemporary intellectuals to address, due to its role in compelling us to broaden and rethink a part of the vocabulary and conceptuality of certain academic disciplines (such as aesthetics, for example), due to its leading role in shaping our sensus communis aestheticus, and more in general due to its undeniable impact and influence on people’s ideas, opinions, taste preferences, choices as consumers of commodities of all kinds, and even socio-political views at a global level. Of course, the implications and consequences of all this are manifold, ramified and diversified, and they include, for example, bringing into question the typically modern dualistic distinction between the so-called spheres of high/serious culture and low/popular culture, or also the no less typically modern “segmentation” and “compartmentalization” of culture in the supposedly separate and autonomous fields of what is “purely” aesthetic, ethical, economic, political etc. (inasmuch as today’s widely aestheticized world of the “society of the spectacle” and “aesthetic capitalism” rather seems to be characterized by processes of mutual, dynamical and ongoing interaction and intersection between all these related domains). For these and still other reasons, popular culture definitely deserves serious attention at various levels, including a philosophical level, inasmuch as contemporary philosophy (also profitably intersected with, and combined to, different research approaches or methods, such as sociology or so-called cultural studies) may prove to be able to offer significant and fruitful conceptual tools to provide new insights, to develop stimulating analyses, to decipher in original ways several defining phenomena of our time, and to arrive at renewed investigations of popular culture also with a specific focus on social and cultural-political criticism. Just to name a few famous examples, such authors as critical theorists of society (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and their legacy until today) are still a great source of inspiration to critically inquire into processes concerning the assimilation and domination power of the culture industry as “social cement”, the technical reproducibility of art, the critical potential which is intrinsic to the aesthetic dimension, and the role of political commitment in contemporary art and aesthetic practices. In turn, thinkers like Foucault can be inspiring also in a context like the present one, thanks to his interesting observations on the concept of criticism itself (which implies a critical confrontation both with actualité – its limits and their possible overcoming – and with the possibilities of self-construction, through processes of de-subjection and subjectivation) or his stimulating analyses of the concepts of normal/abnormal, of the production of the order of discourse, of the possibilities of resistance which are the fundamental condition for the exercise of power, of the construction of truth regimes and of the disciplinary and normalization power that is functional to configuring and preserving the existing society of surveillance. In the present issue on the topic “Contemporary popular culture and social criticism” we precisely aim to offer to readers of the JAPPC a collection of original articles dealing with a wide range of experiences and practices characterising the universe of popular culture today, with a specific focus on the question as to whether popular culture can contribute to a critique of certain aspects of the present age and thus to social and political change, and, if so, how, when and to what extent popular culture is capable of achieving this aim or at least promoting it.

Contemporary Popular Culture and Social Criticism / Valentina Antoniol; Samir Gandesha; Stefano Marino. - In: JOURNAL OF ASIA-PACIFIC POP CULTURE. - ISSN 2380-7687. - ELETTRONICO. - 6:2(2021), pp. 199-376.

Contemporary Popular Culture and Social Criticism

Valentina Antoniol;Stefano Marino
2021

Abstract

If crafting a theory to fit avant-garde artworks was probably one of the major tasks and goals for 20th-century intellectuals, it is probably no exaggeration to say that attempting to accommodate the different forms of so-called popular culture has become one of the major preoccupations for philosophers (and also art theorists, sociologists and scholars of cultural studies) today. Popular culture must be understood indeed as a central phenomenon for contemporary intellectuals to address, due to its role in compelling us to broaden and rethink a part of the vocabulary and conceptuality of certain academic disciplines (such as aesthetics, for example), due to its leading role in shaping our sensus communis aestheticus, and more in general due to its undeniable impact and influence on people’s ideas, opinions, taste preferences, choices as consumers of commodities of all kinds, and even socio-political views at a global level. Of course, the implications and consequences of all this are manifold, ramified and diversified, and they include, for example, bringing into question the typically modern dualistic distinction between the so-called spheres of high/serious culture and low/popular culture, or also the no less typically modern “segmentation” and “compartmentalization” of culture in the supposedly separate and autonomous fields of what is “purely” aesthetic, ethical, economic, political etc. (inasmuch as today’s widely aestheticized world of the “society of the spectacle” and “aesthetic capitalism” rather seems to be characterized by processes of mutual, dynamical and ongoing interaction and intersection between all these related domains). For these and still other reasons, popular culture definitely deserves serious attention at various levels, including a philosophical level, inasmuch as contemporary philosophy (also profitably intersected with, and combined to, different research approaches or methods, such as sociology or so-called cultural studies) may prove to be able to offer significant and fruitful conceptual tools to provide new insights, to develop stimulating analyses, to decipher in original ways several defining phenomena of our time, and to arrive at renewed investigations of popular culture also with a specific focus on social and cultural-political criticism. Just to name a few famous examples, such authors as critical theorists of society (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and their legacy until today) are still a great source of inspiration to critically inquire into processes concerning the assimilation and domination power of the culture industry as “social cement”, the technical reproducibility of art, the critical potential which is intrinsic to the aesthetic dimension, and the role of political commitment in contemporary art and aesthetic practices. In turn, thinkers like Foucault can be inspiring also in a context like the present one, thanks to his interesting observations on the concept of criticism itself (which implies a critical confrontation both with actualité – its limits and their possible overcoming – and with the possibilities of self-construction, through processes of de-subjection and subjectivation) or his stimulating analyses of the concepts of normal/abnormal, of the production of the order of discourse, of the possibilities of resistance which are the fundamental condition for the exercise of power, of the construction of truth regimes and of the disciplinary and normalization power that is functional to configuring and preserving the existing society of surveillance. In the present issue on the topic “Contemporary popular culture and social criticism” we precisely aim to offer to readers of the JAPPC a collection of original articles dealing with a wide range of experiences and practices characterising the universe of popular culture today, with a specific focus on the question as to whether popular culture can contribute to a critique of certain aspects of the present age and thus to social and political change, and, if so, how, when and to what extent popular culture is capable of achieving this aim or at least promoting it.
2021
178
Contemporary Popular Culture and Social Criticism / Valentina Antoniol; Samir Gandesha; Stefano Marino. - In: JOURNAL OF ASIA-PACIFIC POP CULTURE. - ISSN 2380-7687. - ELETTRONICO. - 6:2(2021), pp. 199-376.
Valentina Antoniol; Samir Gandesha; Stefano Marino
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/840782
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact