Popular Culture in Latin America
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Popular Culture in Latin America
Popular Culture in Latin America Vivian Schelling
Popular culture expressions: salsa, samba religious rituals, magic, carnivals alternative theater, video and radio masks, pottery, weaving oral narratives ‘the whole way of life’ language, dress, political culturefrom subordinate classes and ethnic groups.
Popular culture and national identity In the 19th century the notion of “popular culture became interwoven with the search for and affirmation of national identity.” (172)
Popular culture as folklore1. Popular culture is “the whole way of life.” 2. Peoples’ way of way of life produces symbolic forms: music, language, literature & cultural artifacts
Syncretic religious forms andpractices in Latin America: Pilgrimages fiestas (festivities) autos sacramentales (morality plays) the figure of the devil the Virgin of Guadalupe
The use of popular culture in Latin America during the 20th century Populist government (40s and 50s) and military administrations (60s, 70s and 80s) appropriated popular culture to represent the nation. At the same time, those same administrations forced subordinate social classes and ethnic groups to adopt modern ways of life.
Modernity vs. Popular Culture: Popular culture offers alternative ways of life, identity, development and social order Popular culture is embedded in systems of belief different from Western culture
Mass culture and popular cultureMass media “have acted as ‘mediators’between the State and the masses,between the urban and the rural, traditionand modernity.” (183)
Mass culture forms Radio Television Telenovela Film
Telenovelas transform abstract issues into private passions plots revolve around the emotional life of family incorporate the struggle between good and evil typical of oral narratives are open to the world of current events sites of ‘mestizaje’ between the popular, the national, the transnational, the modern and the traditional promote sentimental integration of Latin America
Popular Culture and Power Relations“… popular culture was seen as a form of resistance or oppositional culture prefiguring a new social order no longer characterized by alienation and human exploitation.” (190)
Popular Culture and Power Relations Popular culture can be seen as a site of conflict between hegemonic and counter- hegemonic forces.
Popular Culture and “concientización” “In this form of cinema [or radio, or theather] the ‘popular’ exists in a different mode to the cinematic productions of the 1930s […] that is, as a commitment to use cinema as a form of consciousness raising.” (196)
Popular Culture in Latin America today“The specificity of popular culture in Latin America[…] lies in the fact that folk traditions persist anddevelop as part of the daily life and memory of poorurban and rural communities. […] ‘folklore’ in LatinAmerica still exists as a means for the constructionof identities: Afro, indigenous, gender, migrant. Italso endures as a reference point and material forelite art and literature, and […] as a repository ofthemes, images and forms of communication usedby ‘mass culture’.” (198-199)