The Culture of Politics, the Politics of Culture

Susana Narotzky and Gavin Smith

in Immediate Struggles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245686
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939011 | DOI:
The Culture of Politics, the Politics of Culture

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This chapter focuses on politics by briefly touching on the two bodies of literature. One proposes a turn away from the major figures of history and the sweeping political movements toward the study of the everyday, the other advocates a way of studying political movements that attends to their cultural dimension, the spaces they opened and the practices they made possible for the constructions of cultural subjects. Furthermore, the chapter shows how, far from regional economies relying on local culture in the sense that most anthropologists would understand culture, in some sense there appears to be a kind of cultural deficit, a failure in the dialogical possibilities of collective culture. The vacuum such a deficit leaves makes possible the invention, the super-imposition, of something quite different from anything which should be called “culture” but is nevertheless called just that. Such an ersatz kind of public culture is by no means successful in inscribing everybody within it, however. Finally, the chapter discusses various factors that appear to have leached the ground of any possibility for a public culture of collective intercourse, something which has sometimes been glossed as “community,” a sense of place and belonging.

Keywords: culture of politics; politics of culture; cultural subjects; Vega Baja; collective intercourse

Chapter.  14764 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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