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Dr. Mookerjea - Cultural Studies 7

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University of Alberta
Sourayan Mookerjea

SOCIOLOGY 345 HAROLD INNIS Governments rarely think beyond the next election. In terms of space and time bias with respect to popular and mass culture, mass culture tends to be space biased, and time bias is a key dimension of popular culture and also a dimension of mass culture. in the context of Canada there is a twist to all of this: most of the mass culture people participate in is produced in the United States, and things that you would not consider to be either mass culture of popular culture, function as a kind of popular culture. ie. canadian novels, canadian theatre, canadian music (even when it is mass cultural in teh sense of having a big label etc), the scale is so small compared to american culture. so our mass culture is on a pop culture scale when it is strictly canadian. the same is true of the comic book industry. the economies of scale don't allow much of our popular culture to become mass culture. the distinction between space bias and time bias helps us in Canada deal with the skewed distinctions of pop and mass culture in comparison to canada and the smaller scale. Innis on Nationalism: another dimension of space bias - a reorganization of the world and the people in the world into classification/on terms of a global taxonomy of nation states. the economy too, is then thought of as a national economy. there has been a reorganization. we can theorize and interpret these reorganizations in terms of space bias. PROCESS OF DECOLONIZATION IN LATIN/SPANISH AMERICA - monroe doctrine - US invents a new way of projecting power throughout South America - the US takes what it learned to do in Latin America and projected it on a global scale around the world after World War II. - this involves a new way of ruling and exerting leadership/rulership that people have come to use antonio gramsci's concept of hegemony to describe. ANTONIO GRAMSCI member of communist party in italy. was imprisoned, wrote a lot while there and had to write in code to fool the prison censors. HEGEMONY Colonial empires had been ruled in a very local way with administrators and a great deal of sheer constant military pressure/force. The USA doesn't need direct rule to run other countries. It rules through economic institutions, trade rules/laws, treaties of different kinds. The US rules not only through force (of course it does use force) but by "▯inning hearts and minds," securing the consent of a unique leadership. It is precisely that dimension of force and consent and the new forms of global leadership that has to do with gaining this kind of consent from ruling elites to follow the american model. This is the distinction between hard power and so▯ power. • The invention of Bretton Woods Institutions (GATT/WTO, IMF, World Bank) • Establishing the US dollar as international trade currency. • Political / Moral leadership in 'the fight against communism', 'the fight against tyranny', 'the fight against colonialism'. • Intellectual leadership: american technology, american science, american universities. • Cultural and ideological leadership. examples: the private car as economic, political, but also mythological object. once you have the whole world wanting their own private car, you know the american civilizational project (way of life) has come to dominate in some way. Gramsci's idea of hegemony has been used to talk about american influence on a global scale. But when Gramsci was using it it was about linguistic dominanc▯: a theory about how a national language becomes a national language. Gramsci is concerned with two things related in his mind: How is it Mussolini comes to power? Why do Italians go along with fascism? And now that Mussolini is in power, how can we create a new hegemony to get the fascists out? How can we reinvent politics to get rid of fascism? Italy became a nation state relatively late. He wants to know how it became a nation in the first place. WAR OF POSITION / WAR OF MANEUVER an explanation for how politics have changed in rural europe there were mass peasant uprising. that was considered politics by writers and theorists, just htought of as crazy peasants getting out of hand. politics was courtly to the theorists. but the way nations were formed were by using the peasants in mass movements that would have a hegemonic dimension: both force and gaining of consent. this is during that long period of religious wars. (reformation, 100 years wars, etc.) masses created under specific circumstances. Gramsci is thinking of mass politics in terms of mass politics in the early 20th century and how mussolini mobilized the masses. This is the context in the distinction between war of position and war of maneuver. HE IS EXTENDING A METAPHOR FROM MILITARY STRATEGIC THINKING TO POLITICS. Clauswitz - war is politics by different means. reverses it: politics is war by different means. Cavalry (or now shock troops) is war of maneuver. People at that time were talking about the trentch warfare and called this 'War of Position' he references Rosa Luxembourg who commented on the democratic russian revolution of 1905 and then the bolshevik revolution of 1917. The idea of revolution is stereotyped as a WAR OF MANEUVER. people think of it as a major crisis, russia losing badly in WWI, soldiers starving, etc. and that crisis generates the will and ambition and courage and hope that then in a flash enter the scene and allow for a transformation in the regime of power. Gramsci says that is how people think of the russian revolution, whether it is true or not, BUTTHAT'S NOT GOING TO WORK IN MUSSOLINI'S ITALY, and by extension that is not going to work in societies with the well developed trentch work of political institutions and the arms-length cultural institutions that are dug into their positions. In societies like this, when a crisis hits, not everything falls apart in the same kind of way. what this particularly means is that the elite, those in power, have more resources, more security, they don't go into a panic, and they can ride our a crisis and stay in power. THAT MEANS WE MUST DEVELOPA NEW POLITICS WHERE WE STRUGGLE OVERTHE IDEAS AND RULES BYWHICH THE INSTITUTIONS WORK AND LIVE BY. We need not to mobilize large numbers of people in the street, but w
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