Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts
Guest editors: Simone Varriale (University of Warwick, UK), Noa Lavie (The Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yaffo, Israel)
Globalization’s cultural effects have gained significant attention in the sociology of culture. Especially from the early 2000s, a growing literature on transnationally-connected cultural sectors has started exploring the asymmetries of economic and symbolic power between ‘centers’ and ‘peripheries’ of cultural production, the role of gatekeepers and organizations in mediating globalization processes, and the limits of cultural imperialism as an exhaustive framework for interpreting cultural globalization. Similarly, consumption studies have started focusing on preferences for globally spread cultural products, suggesting that theories of cultural hybridity need to pay more attention to how class and other inequalities influence practices of appropriation.
Despite these contributions, research on ‘global’ tastes and new, transnational forms of cultural capital remains limited to some cases of European high culture – like French literature – and to American and British popular culture. Consumption research has focused on the growing significance of Anglo-American pop music and television on a transnational scale, but it has paid little attention to other forms of global taste – e.g. Japanese anime and manga, South Korean cinema, Brazilian bossa nova, reggae music – and their role in different national and local contexts. Similarly, research on cultural production has considered mostly the American and European centers of well-established cultural sectors, like literature, television and popular music. It is evident, however, that other contexts, transnational connections and networks remain to be explored, and that the impact of globalization on other fields, sub-fields and genres – e.g. gaming, comics, hip hop, reality TV – is underresearched.
Since cultural sociology has dealt mostly with the consequences of Americanization, it remains difficult to construct a clear and precise definition of what ‘global taste’ is and what it contains, and to understand which actors and networks sustain these forms of distinction and, potentially, cultural capital. We provisionally define global taste as a taste for non-national cultural products and genres, one made possible by transnational networks of producers, mediators and consumers, as well as by cross-national connections between cultural fields, policy makers and/or political institutions. Likewise, we wish to adopt a broad, inclusive definition of global culture, one that moves cultural sociology beyond its focus on the US, the UK and West/North Europe, and which helps develop the concept of global taste beyond its Anglo- and Euro-centric premises.
This Call for Papers thus encourages original, empirically-based contributions that explore the production and global spread of African, Asian, Australasian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cultural forms, and their consumption, mediation and evaluation in a variety of national, regional and local contexts. Our definition of global taste also includes the cultural practices of migrant populations and their descendants, and we also welcome research about the transnational circulation of culture produced in peripheral and semi-peripheral European contexts – i.e. East and South European countries – as these remain underresearched in cultural sociology.
Lines of inquiry
We seek contributions focusing on the ways in which non-Anglo-American culture is produced, circulated, consumed and evaluated around the globe. Papers engaging with issues of cultural production, consumption, mediation and diffusion are hence welcome, and papers updating or revising established theories of cultural research – e.g. art worlds, field theory, neo-institutionalism, production of culture – are particularly encouraged. We are also interested in work that draws innovative connections between these established approaches and new areas of social theorizing, such as post-colonialism, decolonial theory, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism.
We welcome papers focusing on all actors, organizations and/or networks involved with the aforementioned processes, and analyzing the meanings, aesthetic values and boundaries of globally-oriented tastes, including their relationship with cosmopolitan, nationalist and/or localist discourses, and with different social groups – in terms of class, gender and age, as well as nationality, ethnicity and race.
Instructions for authors
The deadline for proposals is 15 September 2017. We ask for a 1500-word abstract including the following: research questions, theoretical framing, and description of the paper’s methodology – including a specification of whether the data is already collected.
Please email your abstracts to Simone Varriale (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Noa Lavie (email@example.com). Please also include your institutional affiliation and a brief biography (max 100 words). Complete manuscripts, if ready, can also be submitted at this stage.
Authors will be notified by mid-October. Proposals will be selected by the Special Issue’s editors – Dr Simone Varriale and Dr Noa Lavie – and by the editors of Poetics.
The deadline for submission of complete manuscripts is 15 April 2018. Papers will be subject to an internal and external round of peer-reviewing. The Special Issue is expected to be published in 2019.