An anthropological perspective on popular culture

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Abstract:

English: In contrast with the view of culture as an autonomous, integrated unit, culture is presented in this paper as a fluid, complex and frequently fragmented process located in social interaction between individuals, acts, thoughts and objects which convey meaning. This concept of culture accommodates a description of popular culture as those cultural practices in which social actors interpret, negotiate, articulate and transform meaning. However, in addition to being a set of subjects belonging to a certain field of study, popular culture is also an arena which practitioners of the interdisciplinary movement of cultural studies view as extremely suitable for the hegemonic struggle between social actors over meaning. The viewpoint is taken that anthropologists have naturally and successfully entered this relatively unexplored field and, specifically with regard to media studies, contributed fine-grained ethnographies which have also taken cognisance of the broader historical and cultural universe.