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Hybrid Cultures

Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity

With a New Introduction NÉSTOR GARCÍA CANCLINI
Foreword by Renato Rosaldo
Christopher L. Chiappari
Silvia L. López
Copyright Date: 1995
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Hybrid Cultures
    Book Description:

    When it was originally published in 1995, Hybrid Cultures was foundational to Latin American cultural studies. This now-classic work features a new introduction in which Néstor García Canclini calls for a cultural politics to contain the damaging effects of globalization and responds to theoretical developments over the past decade. García Canclini questions whether Latin America can compete in a global marketplace without losing its cultural identity. He moves with ease from the ideas of Gramsci and Foucault to economic analysis, from appraisals of the exchanges between Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges to Chicano film and graffiti. Hybrid Cultures at once clarifies the development of democratic institutions in Latin America and reveals that the most destructive ideological trends are still going strong.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9777-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    Renato Rosaldo

    In his fine synthetic work,Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity,Néstor García Canclini explores the tensions, verging on contradictions, between modernization and democratization in Latin American nation-states. These states regard themselves as caught between traditions that have not yet gone and a modernity that has not yet arrived. From its hybrid position between tradition and modernity, the challenge for Latin America is to construct democratic culture and knowledge without succumbing either to the temptations of elite art and literature or to the coercive forces of mass media and marketing. In a work of committed scholarship, the author...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  5. INTRODUCTION: Hybrid Cultures in Globalized Times
    (pp. xxiii-xlvi)

    How does one know when a discipline or field of knowledge changes? One way of responding: when some concepts irrupt with force, displacing others or requiring their reformulation. This is what has happened with the “dictionary” of cultural studies. I propose to discuss here in what sense one can assert that hybridization is one of these detonating terms.

    I will focus my attention on how studies of hybridization have altered the manner of speaking about identity, culture, difference, inequality, multiculturalism, and about conceptual pairings used to organize conflict in the social sciences: tradition/modernity, north/south, local/global. Why does the issue of...

  6. Entrance
    (pp. 1-11)

    What are the strategies for entering and leaving modernity in the nineties?

    We phrase the question in this way because in Latin America, where traditions have not yet disappeared and modernity has not completely arrived, we doubt that the primary objective should be to modernize us, as politicians, economists, and the publicity of new technologies proclaim. Other sectors, upon verifying that salaries are returning to the power that they had two decades ago and the products of the most prosperous countries—Argentina, Brazil, Mexico—remained stagnant during the eighties, ask themselves if modernization is not becoming inaccessible for the majority....

  7. 1 From Utopias to the Market
    (pp. 12-40)

    What does it mean to be modern? It is possible to condense the current interpretations by saying that four basic movements constitute modernity: an emancipating project, an expansive project, a renovating project, and a democratizing project.

    By theemancipatingproject we understand the secularization of cultural fields, the self-expressive and self-regulated production of symbolic practices, and their development in autonomous markets. The rationalization of social life and increasing individualism form part of this emancipating project, especially in big cities.

    We call theexpansiveproject the tendency of modernity that seeks to extend the knowledge and possession of nature, and the...

  8. 2 Latin American Contradictions: Modernism without Modernization?
    (pp. 41-65)

    The most-reiterated hypothesis in the literature on Latin American modernity may be summarized as follows: we have had an exuberant modernism with a deficient modernization. We have already seen this position in the citations from Paz and Cabrujas. It also circulates in other essays and in historical and sociological studies. Given the fact that we were colonized by the most backward European nations, subjected to the Counter-Reformation and other antimodern movements, only with independence could we begin to bring our countries up-to-date. From then on there have been waves of modernization.

    At the end of the nineteenth century and beginning...

  9. 3 Artists, Middlemen, and the Public: To Innovate or to Democratize?
    (pp. 66-106)

    It is not easy to examine the reorientation of the main actors in the face of changes in the symbolic markets. In Latin America there are few empirical studies designed to find out how artists seek out their audience and clients, how middlemen operate, and how audiences respond. It is also difficult too because the discourses by which some judge the transformations of modernity do not always coincide with the adaptations or resistances that can be detected in their practices. We shall take some examples that might be representative of a crisis that is not only a personal one for...

  10. 4 The Future of the Past
    (pp. 107-144)

    The modern world is not made only by those who have modernizing projects. When scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs search for clients they also have to take into account what resists modernity. Not only in the interest of expanding the market, but also in order to legitimize their hegemony, the modernizers need to persuade their addressees that—at the same time that they are renewing society—they are prolonging shared traditions. Given that they claim to include all sectors of society, modern projects appropriate historical goods and popular traditions.

    The need traditionalists and renovators have to support each other leads to...

  11. 5 The Staging of the Popular
    (pp. 145-183)

    In this history the popular is the excluded: those who have no patrimony or who do not succeed in being acknowledged and conserved; artisans who do not become artists, who do not become individuals or participate in the market for “legitimate” symbolic goods; spectators of the mass media who remain outside the universities and museums, “incapable” of reading and looking at high culture because they do not know the history of knowledge and styles.

    Artisans and spectators—are these the only roles assigned to popular groups in the theater of modernity? The popular tends to be associated with the premodern...

  12. 6 The Popular and Popularity: From Political to Theatrical Representation
    (pp. 184-205)

    While the staging of local cultures by the folklorists was convincing, it was thought that the mass communications media were the great threat to popular traditions. In reality, the process of homogenization of the indigenous cultures of America began long before radio and television: in the ethnocidal operations of the conquest and colonization, in the violent Christianization of groups with diverse religions, during the formation of national states, in monolingual schooling, and in colonial or modern organization of urban space.

    One cannot even attribute the origin of the massification of popular cultures to the electronic media. This error was proposed...

  13. 7 Hybrid Cultures, Oblique Powers
    (pp. 206-263)

    The two preceding chapters seem unbalanced. In arguing against the excessive weight of the traditional in the study of popular cultures, most of the pages went toward demonstrating what there is not of the traditional, authentic, and self-generated in the popular groups. I gave little space to urban popular cultures, to the changes unleashed by migration, to the atypical symbolic processes of dissident youths, and to the masses of unemployed and underemployed that make up what are called informal markets.

    Now I am going to defend the hypothesis that it makes little sense to study these “slighted” processes under the...

  14. Exit
    (pp. 264-282)

    I did not want to leave my conclusions for the end and therefore maintained a constant interaction between the theoretical and the empirical. In part, the conclusions were presented in every chapter. But although I attempted to sketch a general movement, the crisis of the notion of totality and the unequal empirical implementation of the changes described in the Latin American countries, and within each one, imposes an avoidance of broad generalizations.

    Perhaps we could aspire to conclusions in the sense that the Council of the Ministers of Culture of the European Community does when it attempted to unify the...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 283-290)
  16. Index
    (pp. 291-294)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 295-295)