John Fiske Quotes
Total quotes (8)
Total quotes (8)
Relevance is discovered or produced by the reader; it is the moment and process of production in the cultural economy that takes the text beyond its role as commodity in the financial. Popular discrimination, then, does not operate between or within texts in terms of their quality, but rather in the identification and selection of points of pertinence between the text and everyday life.
The aesthetics of the bourgeoisie demand that their art should be valued to the degree of its appeal to human and aesthetic universals rather than to the specifics of the here and now: even though some art may be 'realistic' and refer explicitly to the details of the everyday, the middle-class 'appreciation' must be able to look through these to the 'universals' underlying them. Relevance to one's immediate social context is not a middle-class criterion for the evaluation and enjoyment of art.
The left's concern for the interests and wellbeing of the powerless and the weak, and its belief that such powerlessness and weakness are the results of the social system, and not of the inadequacies of the people within it, leads it to propose a political program of social action. The right has been eager to equate any such program with an increase in the power of the power-bloc and thus a reduction of people's ability to exercise control over their own lives. The right has been able to turn this popular desire for control to its own interests by articulating it with its own ideology of individualism. It has therefore been able to construct and have circulated a right-wing set of meanings of the opposition between the people and the power-bloc, a set of meanings that are relevant to popular culture because they align the people with individualism and freedom and the power-bloc with state control. By its use of a populist rhetoric the right has, in the domain of party politics at least, been able to define the left as anti-popular and itself as concerned with the interests of the people, and at the same time has been able to disguise the paradoxical nature of the definition.