Performing Culture presents a detailed and probing account of cultural studies' changing fixations with theory, method, policy, text, production, audience and the micro-politics of the everyday. John Tulloch encourages academics and students to take seriously the need to break down the separation between high and low cultural studies. Tulloch's case studies show that the performance of cultural meanings occurs in forms as diverse as The Royal Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare and Chekhov productions and our everyday work and leisure encounters. Drawing upon anthropological and dramatic studies of performance, the book emphasizes that academic research also performs cultural meaning. A central feature of the book is i
[I]n a bureaucratic-technological society, numbers talk … [W]e cannot afford to live like hermits, blinded by global, theoretical critiques to the possible analytical and practical uses of quantification. (Silverman, 1993: 163)
We are at the moment, in cultural theory, between a rock and a hard place. The rock is what Silverman describes as a bureaucratic-technological society's demand that ‘numbers talk’. The hard place is postmodernism's insistence that there is no ‘innocent’ knowledge, no ‘reality’ external to our own situated theorizing, no neutral ‘detection’ available via ‘impartial’ methods of analysis – and hence no point whatsoever in cultural studies engaging with ‘scientific’ methodologies of quantification. The result of this latter position is, of course, a much greater emphasis on analysing all our talking (to ...