important role in the secondary wedding market. In the US
and many other countries, the bridesmaid’s role has evolved into a flourishing market,
producing its own commodities like special bridesmaid’s matching dresses, shoes,
flower arrangements, and jewelry.
Popularculture worldwide is fascinated by this figure, and the bridesmaid’s role has
become especially popular in some of the most recent Hollywood romantic comedies.
One example is Anne Fletcher’s box office hit, 27 Dresses (2008), also screened in
Israel, which depicts the story of a serial bridesmaid, with twenty
historians of leisure have been slow to explore and foreground those many
hugely popular activities, such as racing and betting on racing, that were
ambiguously respectable, and sometimes seen as morally problematic or illicit.
Unconscious puritanism or careless cultural myopia has wrongly presented
them as marginal to popularculture. By the interwar years, the appeal of such
disreputable pleasures was spreading more widely. The balance of power was
shifting. Racing illustrates this well. Over this period the formerly vociferous
opposition to racing and betting from the
on design and popularculture in Poland, Czechoslovakia and
Hungary; in 2008, with Jane Pavitt, he co-curated the exhibition ‘Cold War Modern’
at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
11 Margareta Tillberg, ‘Exhibition in Moscow, Soviet Design 1950s–1980s’, Baltic Worlds
1 (2013), 28–9, http://balticworlds.com/soviet-design-1950%E2%80%931980/
(accessed 30 March 2015).
12 ’Kachestvo – trebovanie dnia’, Sovetskaia torgovlia 2 (1976), 63. Quoted in Oushakine,
‘Against the “Cult of Things”’.
13 These elements were presented as constitutive of a new type of object
Offline and online games, branding and humanitarianism at the Roskilde
Lene Bull Christiansen and Mette Fog Olwig
causes and commercial interests,
e.g. via corporate social responsibility (CSR), cause-branded products
or philanthropy. 2
Critiques of the popular characteristically draw on various theoretical
and analytical approaches, such as critical discourse analysis, Žižekian
ideological critique and/or grounded critical analytics. 3 These analyses often
echo critical approaches to popularculture in media
unaccountable corporate bodies such as the World Trade Organisation are
having on everyday life. The spaces that open up as a result of the contradictions
and complexities of social life are also important in realising the potential that
can be actualised through considering popularculture as an area where anarchism matters. To fully appreciate these possibilities, along with many other
areas of likely intervention and influence, we suggest that the kind of anarchism
(or even anarchisms) that is required for the future should be a non-dogmatic,
by Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist, has gone so far as to postulate a
‘language instinct’.5 From a different perspective, semiotics, the study of
sign systems or modes of signification, has for many years ranged beyond
language proper and into the analysis of ritual and popularculture. It now
routinely examines non-verbal ways of communicating such as dress, gesture,
visual art, and performance.6
It would seem that the more means we have developed to communicate
with one another, the greater our urge ‘as reflective, not merely communicative
and the informal, not simply as represented on the
screen but as people experience it in the constant movement between
mini-publics and mini-privates, so to speak, that constitutes so
much of the experience of popularculture. The sharp separation of
public and private and the accompanying denigration of social life
is one of the reasons I have never accepted, in the end, the
Omnibus literature and popular culture in nineteenth-century Paris
public transport and popularculture, and thus the relationship between mass transit and mass entertainment.
Les omnibus, ou la revue en voiture was one among many works of popular literature that embraced the new form of mass transit as an archetypal modern subject that embodied many of the features of this very literature. An astonishing number of cultural documents published across the nineteenth century explored different aspects of the omnibus experience. These included a broad range of works of urban observation, literary guidebooks, 3 short stories
Debates about potential and ambition in British socialist thought
theme of this chapter.
Rodney Barker has analysed the Labour Party’s approach to educational
issues in the first half of the twentieth century (Barker 1972). Steven
Fielding, Peter Thompson and Nick Tiratsoo have explored Labour’s
perceptions in the 1940s of the limits to both people’s political idealism
and their enthusiasm for cultural ‘enlightenment’ (Fielding et al. 1995).
Lawrence Black examined the impact of cultural and social changes during
the ‘age of affluence’ in the 1950s and 1960s on socialist attitudes towards
popularculture (Black 2003). David Marquand
Might these official texts have functioned differently than their
popular counterparts? In their fascinating study of the James Bond
phenomenon, Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott theorise that, while
official culture/memory may be relatively stable, popularculture texts
may act as a barometer of hegemonic reformulation.