“Popular discrimination is thus quite different from the aesthetic discrimination valued so highly by the bourgeoisie and institutionalized so effectively in the critical industry. “Quality” —a word beloved of the bourgeoisie because it universalizes the class specificity of its own art forms and cultural tastes—is irrelevant here. Aesthetic judgments are antipopular—they deny the multiplicity of readings and the multiplicity of functions that the same text can perform as it is moved through different allegiances within the social order. Aesthetics centers its values in the textual structure and thus ignores these social pertinences through which text and everyday life are interconnected. Aesthetics denies the transience of popular art, it refuses to recognize that the social order changes and thus that art that is relevant today will be irrelevant tomorrow. It refuses to recognize the shifting nature of the allegiances that constitute “the popular,” that what the people are today they will not be tomorrow and thus what is popular today will not be popular tomorrow.”

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