By Clare Birchall
A voice on past due evening radio tells you speedy nutrients eating place injects its meals with medications that make males impotent. A colleague asks when you imagine the FBI used to be in on 9-11. An alien abductee on the net claims extra-terrestrials have planted a microchip in her physique. "Julia Roberts in Porn Scandal" shouts front web page of a gossip magazine. a religious healer claims he can medication power fatigue syndrome with the energizing energy of crystals . . . What do you think? wisdom is going Pop examines the preferred knowledges that saturate our daily event. We make this knowledge after which it shapes the way in which we see the area. How legitimate is it compared to professional wisdom and why does such (mis)information reason loads institutional anxiousness? This e-book examines the variety of information, from conspiracy thought to standard gossip, and its position and effect in our tradition.
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Additional info for Knowledge goes pop: from conspiracy theory to gossip
Jim McGuigan accuses Fiske of focusing ‘more or less exclusively on “popular readings”, which are applauded with no evident reservations at all, never countenancing the possibility that a popular reading could be anything other than “progressive”’ (McGuigan 1992: 72) Indeed, Fiske’s insistence on the resistant role that popular knowledges can play in transforming the notion of passive consumers into active producers is probably over-optimistic, and ignores the more multi-faceted political axis on which knowledge operates (popular knowledges can be highly complicit with the dominant ideology as well as resistant).
If we say that a ‘political’ approach is supposed to ground one’s analysis in a materialist concern with history, we could question the ‘political-ness’ of an approach that fails to closely examine the material, historical conditions of politics today. Politics, in this revised sense, is a commitment to re-examining the context, and if that context demands a reconﬁguration of ‘the political’, then that is the most ‘political’ thing to do. Brown points out that traditionalism pre-empts any possibility of risk, and it is the risk of admitting our closeness to popular knowledge that I want to think through in this book.
Placed together, however, we should be reminded that such meanings are not mutually exclusive. We can play with knowledge; the popular can resonate seriously. Thinking about popular knowledge in this way means being concerned not only, as sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann claim, ‘with whatever passes for “knowledge” in a society, regardless of the ultimate validity or invalidity (by whatever criteria) of such “knowledge”’ (1966: 3), but also keeping in mind (though not necessarily discussing in ‘traditional’ cultural studies ways) the mechanisms by, and circumstances in which such knowledges are produced and consumed.