CSEC's next discussion will explore underground/popular culture dynamics, as well as the discursive modes surrounding this in social theory. Some basic theoretical starting points for discussion follow: are the categories "underground" and "popular" necessarily opposed? Are they dialectical or complementary? Music genres such as heavy metal, punk, rap, and techno/house can trace their formations to underground, grassroots movements - do they encounter an ontological crisis when they become mainstream, or popular? Is the popular necessarily mainstream? Can popular culture resist the mainstream and its hegemonic cultural products? And how do we think through hegemonic distinctions between "underground" and "popular"? That is, dothese categories imply social exclusion and marginalization? While it would be useful to think of cultural movements that upset the binary (e.g., rai in Algeria and Morocco, or hip hop in the U.S.), our purpose should not be to simply catalogue instances of this, but to place a renewed focus on the idea of the "subcultural," and to illuminate patterns in the organization of cultural production using this conceptual framework.
Please see the discussion reading list below:
1976. Popular Music. In Introduction to the Sociology of Music. Pp. 21-38. New York: Seabury.
2000. "You Better Work!": Underground Dance Music in New York City. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.
1981. Notes on Deconstructing 'the Popular.' In People's History and Socialist Theory. Raphael Samuel, ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Joseph, Gilbert M. and Daniel Nugent
1994. Popular Culture and State Formation in Revolutionary Mexico. In Everyday Forms of State Formation: Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico. Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniel Nugent, eds. Pp. 3-23. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
2010. Post Postopolis Unpacking, Part 1: Hip Hop en DF. http://wayneandwax.com/?p=3552
2010. Post Postopolis Unpacking, Part 2: Graffiti en DF. http://wayneandwax.com/?p=3569
2001. Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
1994. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.
2005. " 'Living Underground is Tough': Authenticity and Locality in the Hip Hop Community in Istanbul, Turkey." Popular Music 24(1):1-20.
2000. Sa'ida Sultan/Danna International: Transgender Pop and the Polysemiotics of Sex, Nation, and Ethnicity on the Israeli-Egyptian Border. In Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and Beyond. Walter Armbrust, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.
1996. Club Cultures: Music, Media, and Subcultural Capital. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.
To participate in CSEC discussions, please see our Participation Guidelines, and send a statement of interest to chreculture [at] gmail [dot] com.