Popular culture and violence on the boundary of society.

The Centre for the Study of Popular Culture has long engaged with popular culture as an often conflictual field between the broadest layers of mass culture and marginal subcultures and scenes. The hegemony of the formulae and values of the culture industry creates the space for friction on the boundary of society, i.e. where the ‘respectable’ comes into conflict with the ‘disreputable’, and where those fighting the system rub up against those with their noses to the grindstone. This boundary is the place where frustrations rooted in mainstream society rise to the surface and moments come into existence linked with the creation of a host of autonomous subcultures.

Open violence is a common element of the escalation of this tension, be this in the form of football hooliganism, neo-Nazi combat units, anti-Roma demonstrations by ‘ordinary citizens’, etc. The repressive role of the state is omnipresent, which in the modern age has monopolised the right to executive violence in society while suppressing and displacing other forms of violence.

At the seminar we will ask what forms this violence on the boundary takes, what spheres of popular culture it affects, and what the causes are of its escalation. However, our considerations must move beyond a mere description of individual phenomena of violence in society. Above all we shall name the social conflicts that are reflected by this violence in culture and the violence reflected in these cultures, and examine the shifts that this boundary has undergone over the last 20 years.

However, the question also arises as to what violence is legitimate on this boundary: repressive state violence or violence originating in unresolved social conflicts? Finally, what was or is the boundary formed by our post-socialist reality or post-communist memory?

Ondřej Slačálek, Mirek Vodrážka, Ondřej Daniel, Josef Smolík, Anna Oravcová, Josef Švéda

21 May 7pm Popular culture and violence on the boundary of society. The main organiser of the event is the Centre for the Study of Popular Culture

Dittrichova 9/337, Prague 2, CZ


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