Století extrémů a kýče. K vývoji a proměnám sociologie umění ve 20. století
A CENTURY OF EXTREMES AND KITSCH. THE EVOLUTION AND TRANSFORMATION OF THE SOCIOLOGY OF CULTURE AND ART IN THE 20TH CENTURY
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The basic thesis laid out in the text is the assumption that a radical aestheticisation of daily life has occurred in the postmodern world which expresses itself not only in changes in lifestyle but also in the shift in the issues that dominate the field of sociology. While the main interest of classic sociology has always been 'large structures', contemporary sociology has gradually started to turn its attention toward the study of culture in a narrower (by no means merely anthropological) sense. The processes of the aestheticisation of the world are however ambivalent: aestheticisation leads to anaestheticisation (Welsch), it erases the difference between so called high and popular culture, and the typically European term 'kitsch' on the one hand becomes a synonym for resistance to mass culture while on the other hand it permeates all of social life and comes to represent not only aesthetic kitsch but also moral and political forms of kitsch, too. Questions arise concerning not only the meaning behind and perspectives involved in cultural studies and culturology, but also the possibilities for developing the traditional sociology of culture. The conclusion of the article focuses on the bleak state of the study of culture in Czech sociology, which has failed to take advantage of the stimuli offered in its own background, and particularly in the Prague Linguistic Circle.
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