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The crucial in between: The centrality of mediation in cultural studies
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2000 (English)In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, ISSN 1367-5494, Vol. 3, no 1, 45-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the beginning of cultural studies as we know it, and more generally of the cultural turn in the human scien­ces, there was text, but since texts seemed to be transparent carriers of lived ex­pe­ri­ences and social relations, they tended them­selves to remain invisible as such. Then, with the structuralist critiques of culturalism, all became text in a much more emphatic sense: there seemed to be nothing else in the world. In recent years, there has appeared a back­lash ten­dency to get rid of textual mediations in order to revive lived reality in its absolute im­me­di­ate presence. As text­ual­ity once exterminated subjective and objective realities, now there are efforts to kill the text and dance on its grave.

I do not want to join either of these purist conceptual cleansings. Instead, my plea is for the con­taminating notion of mediation as a necessary basis for cultural studies. This is no radically new idea, but neither are its adversaries, contrary to their own self-images. Purifying attacks on com­plexly mediational forms of understanding – particularly but not exclusively in structuralist streams of thought – often make use of the recurrent romantic trope of radi­cally breaking free from tradi­tion, including the tradition of modern thought itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 3, no 1, 45-65 p.
Keyword [en]
cultural studies, text, method, interpretation
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15571OAI: diva2:126636
The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in: European Journal of Cultural Studies, (3), 1, 45-65, 2000.Johan Fornäs, The crucial in between: The centrality of mediation in cultural studies. by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. Available from: 2008-11-19 Created: 2008-11-19 Last updated: 2009-05-14Bibliographically approved

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