Hegemony of the global-popular? (or: Cultural studies as an accomplice?)
The title is supposed to be a paradox, as the two notions are opposed in Gramsci°¶s work: hegemony being the heterogeneous aspect of the dominating alliance in a given historical period (e.g. fascism), whereas the national-popular representing the unified cultural resistance from bellow. The question mark thus refers to a short circuit of opposites, to an unexpected consequence of liberation itself, rather than to the domination of some new cultural industry, as the one Adorno had fought against. Not that cultural industries aren°¶t stronger than ever; only cultural studies have developed various strategies to critique them over the post-war years. I want to argue here that the new amorphous world without transcendence and alternative (usually called °•globalization°¶) puts the discipline in a more difficult situation. Would there be a danger of cultural studies to become an accomplice to such new hegemonic culture of the global-popular?
Ivaylo Ditchev is professor of anthropology at the department of Cultural studies at Sofia University, teaches also in different French universities and elsewhere. He has worked on the relation between politics and art in the Soviet bloc, on the metamorphoses of gift ethics in modernity and on the relationship between urban identity and urban practices of citizenship in the Balkan region. At present he is engaged in a research on the culture of mobile people within a European context. A full bibliography, as well as many texts by the author could be read at: www.ivayloditchev.cult.bg.
Contact address: 67 Oborishte str., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria, Europe.