August 12th, 2024

John Fiske

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  • What people in capitalist societies have in common is the dominant ideology and the experience of subordination or disempowerment. The economic needs of the cultural industries are thus perfectly in line with the disciplinary and ideological requirements of the existing social order, and all cultural commodities must therefore, to a greater or lesser extent, bear the forces that we can call centralizing, disciplinary, hegemony, massifying, commodifying (the adjectives proliferate almost endlessly).

    Opposing these forces, however, are the cultural needs of the people, this shifting matrix of social allegiances that transgress categories of the individual, or class or gender or race or any category that is stable within the social order. These popular forces transform the cultural commodity into a cultural resource, pluralize the meanings and pleasures it offers, evade or resist its disciplinary efforts, fracture its homogeneity and coherence, raid or poach upon its terrain. All popular culture is a process of struggle, of struggle over the meanings of social experience, of one’s personhood and its relations to the social order and of the texts and commodities of that order. reading relations reproduce and re-enact social relations, so power, resistance, and evasion are necessarily structured into them.
    – John Fiske, Understanding Popular Culture, 1989

    August 12th, 2024

    Henry Jenkins

    For years and years, Denise Howell has had — as one of the random tag lines in the banner at Bag and Baggage — this quote from Henry Jenkins regarding bloggers: “We surf the Web; these guys snowboard it.” I knew who Henry Jenkins was, once, but link rot set in and the link Denise provides goes straight to oblivion.

    But hooray, another blogger to the rescue: Danah Boyd shares the skinny on Henry and his new blog.

    Local angle… Henry was a student of John Fiske.

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