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Cultura y representaciones sociales

On-line version ISSN 2007-8110


GIMENEZ, Gilberto. The return of popular culture in the Social Sciences. Cultura representaciones soc [online]. 2014, vol.8, n.16, pp.99-136. ISSN 2007-8110.

The purpose of this text is to discuss the invisibility of popular cultures in the Latin American Social Sciences and to find a way to retake the notion of 'people' as political and sociological actors. In order to do this, the notion is reformulated within the framework of a theory of social classes, revisiting the tradition that goes from Gramsci to Bourdieu. As far as the situation of popular classes is concerned, nowadays it is recognized that there is a displacement of the centre of gravity of the popular classes which has moved from the workers to the employees. First, the popular cultures are defined here, not by their content, but by their carriers - the popular classes - and by the type of code that they use in a general way, following Basil Bernstein's proposal. Finally, the article underlines the central role that mass media currently play in the configuration of popular cultures, by introducing a trilogy that distinguishes between popular traditional culture (or popular traditions), popular culture "expropriated" (the mass culture in the level of emission or proposal), and popular culture "excorporated" (the uses or "ways of doing with" the products of mass culture on a reception level.)

Keywords : social classes; people; popular culture; mass culture; excorporada culture.

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