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Journal Article

TOWARD A DEFINITION OF POPULAR CULTURE

HOLT N. PARKER
History and Theory
Vol. 50, No. 2 (May 2011), pp. 147-170
Published by: Wiley for Wesleyan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41300075
Page Count: 24
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TOWARD A DEFINITION OF POPULAR CULTURE
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Abstract

The most common definitions of popular culture suffer from a presentist bias and cannot be applied to pre-industrial and pre-capitalist societies. A survey reveals serious conceptual difficulties as well. We may, however, gain insight in two ways. 1) By moving from a Marxist model (economic/class/production) to a more Weberian approach (societal/status/consumption). 2) By looking to Bourdieu's "cultural capital" and Danto's and Dickie's "Institutional Theory of Art," and defining popular culture as "unauthorized culture."

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