Sangeetha (1537257): Popular Culture – Chandra Mukerji and Michael Schudson

Mukerji, Chandra, and Michael Schudson. “Popular Culture.” Annu. Rev. Sociol. Annual            Review of Sociology 12.1 (1986): 47-66. Web. 9 June 2016.

The authors assert that critical analysis of popular culture by major schools of thought like Marxism, Structuralism, Psychoanalysis and Linguistics have played a major role in providing new dimensions to its study and subsequently, the study of the society (17).

The authors cite Clifford Geertz’s essay “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” (1973) as his single most influential work on popular culture which they believe helped scholars who believed that “the neglected parts of a culture, the popular parts of a culture, contained profundities usually located only in elements of high culture” (4). Thus drawing a parallel between anthropology and it’s importance in the study of popular culture.

They touch upon the analysis of food culture by Mary Douglas and mass culture by Ann Douglas. They introduce the nexus between mass culture as defined by Hannah Arendt, Erich Fromm and Karl Mannheim and popular culture. They speak of Marxism thus:

Marxism’s relationship to popular culture began to change with the “discovery” of Althusser and Gramsci (Althusser 1971, Gramsci 1971)…Althusser provided a reason and a means for studying the sources of ideology in popular culture, to understand the fictional aspect of all consciousness, i.e. false consciousness. (14)


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