theories of mixture 3: Hybridity

Posted by: | April 4, 2009 | Comments Off on theories of mixture 3: Hybridity

In the reading about theories of mixture and hybridity, Canclini writes about popular culture and how it is an extremely complex idea. His main topics are in regards to Urban popular culture, the changes that happen in reaction to migration, atypical processes of youth as well as the underemployed who are ‘employed’ in informal markets.  His proposed hypothesis is as follows “that is makes little sense to study these ‘slighted’ processes under the aspect of popular cultures”(206).By analyzing communities and how they come to be incubators of ideas, power, and culture he is able address opposing ideas on humankind as a whole. He writes about his perhaps radical notion regarding whether we should use the term ‘popular’ at all when referring to pop culture as it is just far too broad. To him there seems little sense in using this term and instead he proposes that we use the term ‘hybrid culture’ instead. This hybrid culture he proposes is not purely popular, not purely elite and so on. To him, this is far more accurate and includes all manifestations. He goes on to point out the bond between urban and rural spaces and their relations to mass media. He also describes other areas of the more correctly termed hybrid culture such as national monuments to “reintroduce the question of the modern and postmodern uses of history”(212) We learn how monuments interact and what they represent within contemporary urban symbolism. He also looks at the arts and analyzes the fact that they are often only found in places of ‘high culture’ where much of the public is not able to enjoy it, and that the art that ends up in the public eye “facilitate the interaction of memory with change and the revitalization of heroes thanks to propaganda or transit” and basically where they are able to affect and influence to a greater extent.

Throughout this article Conclini presents theories of hybridization. I found The idea of fragmentation really interesting when he discusses video cassette recorders , videos, photocopiers, video games… The idea that often things are ripped out of context and new versions created. I thought of records and how many musical artists wish for the album to be heard all at once. It’s the whole thing that is supposed to be heard and enjoyed. I thought specifically of the album “Another Side of Bob Dylan”. Its an amazing album, that Bob Dylan recorded in one sitting, without any retakes. Its meant to be heard all together and is really amazing when listened to that way. Not to say that its not good to hear the song ‘all I really wanna do’ on someones mixtape or ipod shuffle. Its just not the same. Anyways, I enjoyed this part of the article the most J


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