3rd Year Week 7 HT04
Topic: Popular culture
Translate the following second paragraph (of 209 words) into Chinese.
Cultural Appropriation and Subcultural Expression: The Dialectics of Cooptation and Resistance
The questions I want to examine are: how do subcultures appropriate from the dominant culture, particularly its mass culture, and how does that dominant mass culture in turn appropriate from subcultures? Does such dual appropriation promote or undermine assimilation and/or identity? And, given that there are distinct power differentials between the consciousness industry and cultural expressions by subordinate groups, what kind of resistance is possible and effective? While a short essay cannot do justice to the complexity of all the issues involved, I can advance an argument for constructing further studies which can give the social and historical context for the processes. I should also note that inevitably this discussion connects with some issues well known in other frameworks such as the nature of the culture industry, issues of postmodernism, the relations of gender, race, and class in cultural analysis, identity politics, and activist media making.
I've been involved with this matter of subcultures and appropriation for some time, starting in the 1960's while working in the underground press and the counterculture and seeing the subsequent changes in youth culture and the commercial music industry. So my experience is partly practical and historical, but it has also been critical and theoretical. In fact, for the most part, initially the critical questions were raised in the context of practical matters. Working on an underground newspaper and sympathetic to both sides, I had to balance the desires of the "politicos" for more news of protests and analysis of events against the expectations of the "freaks" and "hippies" for coverage of sex, drugs, and rock `n' roll. Long meetings argued out decisions such as printing the John Lennon and Yoko Ono "Two Virgins" album photo and probably being banned from university distribution or even arrested for publishing full frontal nudity. Or, on another occasion the question was, does a rock dance to benefit an anti-Vietnam war project somehow become "really political" when the accompanying light show includes slides of last week's demonstration on campus and last spring's March on Washington? The "politics of representation" had a decidedly pragmatic edge, and the results of decision could be immediately apparent.