The Third Volume in the series Communication Processes engages in understanding processes of communication in relation to cultural configurations and contending forces that permeate them. This volume is positioned at the interface of culture and communication—exploring ways in which interaction, negotiations, and even conflicts are voiced. It re-examines our conception of culture to show that communities cannot be divided into polarities such as ‘elite and popular’ or ‘dominant and subaltern’—establishing that such clear divisions cannot exist in society. Culture is therefore perceived as a field of contending forces: a milieu of exchange, encounter, confrontation, and possibly conflict.
Chapter 1: From the Popular to the People
From the Popular to the People
The field of ‘popular cultures’ is strewn with confuse and often questionable terminological assumptions. Many studies of ‘popular’ cultures (Dominic 1995) or ‘traditions’ either by insiders or outsiders of the cultures under study, are often–knowingly or unknowingly–loaded with problematic conceptual biases, let alone social, ethnic or political prejudices. The latter may arise from the very motivations of the scholars. Generally, they are to be ascribed to the epistemological assumptions of the socio-cultural environment and socio-political context of the speakers, writers, consumers of cultural goods and social scientists, all of them–though to different degrees–caught up unawares. To what extent can we distance ourselves from such assumptions? The following notes state a few elementary points of ...