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Problematics in producing 'the popular': Whose politics?

Muir, Danielle (1995) Problematics in producing 'the popular': Whose politics? Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The study of popular culture is increasingly becoming the site of intense intellectual interest and political contestation. This is evident in the rapid growth of cultural studies in Australia, and elsewhere, and its positioning in relation to the study of popular culture. This dissertation considers some of the conditions under which productions of 'the popular' as an object of study have taken place, especially within a cultural studies paradigm. My analysis explores the relation between the possible social, institutional and professional identities and positions of popular culture theorists and the ways these inform the practice of theorising and studying popular culture. After considering some of the evaluative strategies informing studies of 'the popular', in particular the high/popular hierarchy, I consider cultural studies' intervention in these discourses and the contention that cultural studies has a politically impelled engagement with 'the popular' as part of an emancipatory project. Finally, I look at the significance of these developments in relation to a specific example of the production of 'popular culture' in an Australian cultural studies context. The dissertation considers some of the consequences of these ways of knowing 'the popular' and offers a caution to popular culture theorists to be more self-reflexive about the contradictions related to their complex 'positioning' as theorists of popular culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Arts
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Neilson, Brett and Mansfield, Alan
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