Negotiating Cold War culture at the crossroads of East and West: uplifting the working people, entertaining the masses, cultivating the nation
journal contributionposted on 2011-06-21, 15:43 authored by Sabina MiheljSabina Mihelj
Over the past two decades, the notion of the Cold War as a bipolar conflict has come under increasing strain, and several authors have pointed to aspects of Cold War reality that eschew the logic of binary distinctions and categories. While these points are well taken, we should be weary of dismissing Cold War binaries as mere myth. Instead, this paper argues for the need to take these binary distinctions and categories seriously as an object of analysis, treat them as elements of ‘practical knowledge’ (Bourdieu), and acknowledge their constitutive role in negotiating the relationships between ideological projects and everyday realities. Such and approach is particularly valuable when dealing with categories and normative distinctions that continue to circulate in journalistic and scholarly discourse today – including East/West, socialism /capitalism, elite/mass etc. – and that have in the meantime accrued new meanings and functions. To demonstrate this, the paper examines the journalistic discourse about culture in the north-western part of Yugoslavia. Focusing on two distinct periods – the late 1940s and the early 1970s – it shows how the journalistic discourse about culture was used to position Yugoslav culture both geopolitically and historically, construct its internal hierarchies, as well as negotiate those elements of the local reality that were at odds with official identity narratives.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies