Discourses, contestation and alternative consumption
involves ‘a rejection of the world as we know it’.
There are, however, some difficulties with this view. For one thing, it is difficult to consider all the instances of alternative consumption as comprising a
cohesive movement, at least in the absence of a relatively abstract definition.
This might be provided if we look at the minimum common denominator of
the many voices that come together in a major event which aims specifically
to critically address western consumer culture – the so-called ‘Buying Nothing Day’ (www.buyingnothingday.co.uk; see also www
a very limited
degree, provided some protection from the ravages of capitalism needs contextualising. So, when we talk about the crises of representative democracy
(Mulgan, 1994), we need to remember this point, as well as the fact that, as
Bowen notes in his chapter (chapter 6), one simply cannot ‘graft’ on to certain
political cultures a set of ideas that are assumed to be universally relevant. There
is a danger, as the neoliberal hegemony unravels, that the proposed solutions to
its contradictions will simply adopt Western political models. To follow this
the eminently valuable commodity known as contemporary Irish culture.
From the left of the political spectrum we get a not dissimilar reading
of Irish cultural political economy. Thus Denis O’Hearn, in his book
Inside the Celtic Tiger, refers to ‘Ireland’s cultural revival throughout
the Western world [which] was evidenced in the popularity of the musical
Riverdance’30 and also makes an explicit link between ‘an apparently
vibrant economy and a confident culture’.31 As with Hussey, the parameters
of the nation state are taken for granted and one could be
of modern western thinking ‘ (p. 68).
I would however be interested to consider the legacy of industrial
sabotage as a component in the black political cultures of graffiti, and
more generally to pronounce the iconoclastic, ironic and scatological aesthetics alongside those expressive of pain and death. And since Gilroy
emphasises black convergence with Jewish history and experience, how
about researching the parallels between black and Jewish humour as a
response to racial terror, a survival resource and a means of resistance?
Black cultures contain an abundance
been part of Westernculture since the
ancient accounts of the marginally believable (paradoxography).
Explorers like Marco Polo and Columbus, like today’s legions of
tourists, have helped to incorporate the wonders of our world into the
dichotomy of the local and the foreign, and, later, into the
domestic– international nexus. The realm of the
‘outside’ has been inhabited by fascinating and often
Terminological equivalents for ‘civilisation’ existed in Chinese and Arabic long
before they emerged in European languages (Aktürk, 2009). Notwithstanding
this longer history, etymologies of ‘civilisation’, ‘civilised’ and ‘civility’ suggest that the modern terms had origins in eighteenth-century Western Europe
(Febvre, 1973). ‘Civilisation’ and ‘culture’ were intertwined in their early discursive development in historically complex ways (Rundell and Mennell, 1998: 6–
8). The words were carriers for Western notions of tradition and modernity.
processes of history and culture, identity and difference, time and
space. 58 Equally,
such work has highlighted that the diverse spatial-temporal
manifestations of modernity and modern identity have been frequently
influenced by singular likenesses of Western modernity, where the
singularity and universal cast of the latter are differently engaged by
the plural and vernacular attributes of the former
environment dating back to the community’s arrival in India.
Moreover, perhaps the idea of adopting a kind of protective
colouring, of borrowing from surrounding cultures, offers us a
clue to the magpie-like qualities in the writing of Rohinton
Mistry who, in a sense, enjoys an inheritance that borrows from
western, Persian and South Asian traditions. The legacy of
colonial mimicry is less a debilitating hangover for Mistry than
a deep well of literary styles from which he can freely draw.
Mistry’s various intertexts are not so much Barthesian
Kamau) Brathwaite, as a founder member of CAM, spoke in a very different
way about his attitude to growing up in a society dominated by Westernculture.
The point I am making here is that my
education and background, though nominally middle class, is, on
examination, not of this nature at all. I had spent most of my
As Dogu Ergil writes, the disconnection of the Turkish society from its past allowed the ruling elite to see the people as an entity ready to be molded according to their vision of what society and the nation should be. 2 Accordingly, separation from culture of the past was not confined to religious practices. In the pursuit for the unique Turkish nationalism ( Milliyetcilik ), different from the cultures and civilization in its proximity, Turkey severed ties with basic features of the Arab, Persian and Islamic worlds, emphasizing instead the modern and Western