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schencka
Cultural Obituary, USA
Proposal for a multiple-entry blog project.

Description: The US stands on the cusp edge of it hegemonic future, much like historical regimes Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain. Gradual decline is inevitable, but a cultural "obituary" would analyze wide media artifacts for hints about the changing nature of US citizens' understanding and power-relation to authority, economy, government, media, family and work.

Initial ideas: 1) "Genre-fication": corporate models of precise marketing to demographic groups as an effect of postindustrial, late-phase capitalism. The "selling" of cultural works, celebrity personalities, political figures. Highly developed public relations and marketing strategies on the unrecognizable : US no longer sells products, but markets marketing itself. Mode of entertainment for declining culture. Obituary for performative genuineness, in both "higher" and "lower" culture.

2) What is the post-kitsch, what is it, and how does it work? Parallel study of #1 above.

3) Analysis of youth culture; relationship/understanding of historically emphasized notions of "values," nation, duty, class, race, sexuality. Effects of media diffusion, corporate media, cultural marketing. "Everybody wants to be a 'star'" : effects on young people's psychology.

4) Pie graph of power, perhaps different versions for different eras, estimates based on cultural artifacts. Pie "slices" would include : family, government (state vs. federal, executive vs. judicial/legislative), corporations, global market, military. Linear line for levels of liberty according to individual choice regarding money, education, based on insitutional forces and class differentials in infrastructure, quality of education, so on. Lines could be class-, race-, gender-based.

5) More ideas later. Main focus on cultural "insinuations" or instantiations of larger social forces, likely indicating cultural decline.

--adam
 
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