CFP – 2014

Submission period: 01/12/2013-15/04/2014

Communication and emerging cultural practices versus the neoliberal imaginary: hegemony and dissidence

During the 1980s and 90s, postmodern culture and the alleged end of the great narratives was a central theme of academic debate (see Lyotard, 1984, and Habermas, 1981, among others). Over the last few years, there has been a notable shift towards studying the way in which the neoliberal hegemony has colonized large swathes of social and institutional bodies (Crouch, 2004, or Couldry, 2012), and a great number of authors consider that these have been emptied of democratic content (Martí, 2006). Since 2011, the way in which the institutions of the EU have managed the sovereign debt crisis has broadened the visibility and scope of this diagnosis to other non-academic sectors. Social protest – linked to the boom in emerging cultural practices – can be seen as a more specific expression of “alternative imaginaries”. They oppose a model based on economics-orientated premises defended with growing force by the institutional and financial elites who implement their strategies through the mass media (Castells, 2010).

The reference to the concept of hegemony has a fully Gramscian context and refers to the field of propaganda as a way of building (or maintaining) social imaginaries. Inequality as regards access to the propagandistic discourse disseminated by the media allows the narratives of the elites to transmit dominant values and enjoy a huge advantage when imposing their agendas on others. But is another type of hegemonic propaganda possible under current conditions? Can the cultural and communication practices that have been emerging and consolidating themselves over the past few years contribute to an alternative hegemony? The exploration of these issues will undoubtedly enrich the ongoing debate on the issue.

Using copyleft formulas for copyright management, flashmobs as palpable manifestations of the power of collective will, crowdfunding, co-working, collaborative digital libraries, idea incubators, urban media labs, the search for an art far-removed from the myth of the romance author, the boom of collective decision-making and deliberation practices, or even local, cooperative organic vegetable gardens, are just a few examples of these disparate practices. These phenomena could point to a counter cultural movement characterized by its horizontal and cooperative nature, in the interest of communality opposed to the central values that have managed to dominate “cognitive capitalism.”

The editors of IC Journal believe that it is increasingly necessary to explore the similarities defining these practices in a context marked by the tense coexistence of opposing cultural and communication paradigms in their struggle for hegemony. Therefore, we would be delighted to receive submissions of original papers addressing the following issues, for publication in the 11th number of our journal:

• New emerging cultural and communication practices with a capacity for promoting social change.
• New cultural macro narratives: cooperation versus competitiveness, horizontality in contrast to hierarchy, communality or public deliberation.
• Subjectivity and collectivity in the context of the new cultural practices of dissidence.
• The current impact of Gramscian and neo-Marxist thought applied to discursive practices or the cultural industries in the current context of crisis.
• Humour as a discourse of resistance: new formats and practices.
• Novel artistic and academic practices for building a new hegemony.
• Political economy and appropriation of social networks: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
• Cyber-activism and the concept of the Rhizome applied to new forms of political, social and communication action.
• Transparency as a dissident space: from data journalism to WikiLeaks
• Consumption patterns of the discourses of resistance, propaganda and counter-propaganda.
• Visualization practices of discontent and self-contention in TV, the press and advertising.

References

Castells, M. (2010) Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Couldry, N. (2010) Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism. London: Sage.
Couldry, N. (2012 bis) ‘Universities and the Necessary Counter-culture Against Neoliberalism’, IC – Revista Científica de Información y Comunicación 9: 61-71.
Crouch, C. ( 2004) Post-democracy. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Habermas, J.(1981) ‘Modernity versus Postmodernity’. New German Critique, No. 22, Special Issue on Modernism, pp. 3-14.
Holub, R. (2005) Antonio Gramsci, beyong marxism and postmodernism. London: Routledge.
Lyotard, J. (1984) The Postmodern Condition: a Report on Knowledge. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Martí, J. Luis (2006). La república deliberativa. Madrid: Marcial Pons.
Näir, S. y Torres, J (2013) ‘Sobre la posibilidad de una Esfera Pública Europea. Conversación entre Juan Torres y Sami Naïr’. IC Revista Científica de Información y Comunicación 10: en prensa. Edición de María Teresa Fernández Ostos.

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