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Du Kitsch au Camp : théories de la culture de masse aux Etats-Unis, 1944-1964

Abstract : The theories of mass culture were for twenty years a crucial issue for North-American intellectuals. They tried to elaborate a model which would account for the aesthetic but also social threat posed by the cultural content of the mass media. Influenced by the theories of the Frankfurt School, these intellectuals and especially the group known as the New York intellectuals developed an original position in the course of a twenty year exchange in numerous intellectual publications. This research recounts the history of this idea in the United States, from its first compact expression in a resounding article by journalist Dwight Macdonald in 1944 ("A Theory of Popular Culture") to its disappearance two decades later, exemplified by the simultaneous publication of Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp". It also seeks to test the validity of these theories by applying them to a cultural object usually described as belonging to mass culture: comic books. This research has two ambitions: to account for the complexity of the debate by questioning its key texts, but also to identify the endogenous and exogenous factors which led to the abrupt loss of interest in the idea. Two books, functioning as gateways between the intellectuals and the general audience receive a particular attention: the influential collection Mass Culture, the Popular Arts in America, published in 1957, and its counterpart, Culture for the Millions?, which appeared four years later.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 22, 2007 - 5:32:05 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00189960, version 1

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Nicolas Labarre. Du Kitsch au Camp : théories de la culture de masse aux Etats-Unis, 1944-1964. domain_stic.medi. Université Rennes 2, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-00189960⟩

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