Monday, January 26, 2009

What is popular culture in Latin America.

This weeks reading of "The Faces of Popular Culture" by Rowe William and Vivian Schelling opened my eyes to new prespectives and ideas of culture in Latin America and what that actually entails. From the beggining of the essay it was evidence the importance that spanish conquest has had on Latin America. The realationship between the mix of indigenous and Spanish culture is interesting to analys. Later, the discussion of current urbanization and 'economic development' in Latin America is brought forth. In the essay they referee to a qoute by Taussig's. "A community can in many ways be affected and controlled y the wider capatilist world, but this in itself does not necessarily make such a community a replica of the larger society and the global economy." This shows that even with an evolving urbanazation and economic global 'blending' and interdependence that individuality does and can exist.  The then go on to talk about Folhetos of which I personally find very intruiging. Its almost as if these poems assist in the binding of culture. Along with folhetos i found the discusion of footbal to be very similair. It seems a though simple things such as sports and poems represent larger cultural situations. That it's not just footbal but rather a metaphor of which is representative of culture in Latin America. Envolved in this is the extensive popularity of telenovelas in Latin America. It's as if though again these telenovelas are representative of something much larger. After finishing the reading i came back to the question of what is popular culture in Latin America. I came to the conclusion that there is no conclusion and that there is no definitive answer or definition. Popular culture is based off a continually growing and changing world of which makes it nearly impossible to classify the world culture. The one constant that is attachable to the word culture however is that culture is an individual experience of which is different for everybody and the conotations they attach to the word. Things such as telenovelas and footbal are all stimulators for culture but in the end its how the individual precieves and feels about popular culture that makes it what it is. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

L.A.S.T 201 What is the People?

Under this weeks topic of What is the people? two diverse essays were presented. Both essays of, In My Own Words  by Evita Peron, and A Celebration of the Monster by Jorge Luis Borges brought with them two very different perspectives. Peron's extremely long essay had great narrative qualities and I found was easy to agree with her arguments and discussions. She makes some extremely wise statements of which are evident that a lot of personal reflection were done by her self to come to these conclusions. As an example "We  must convince them that the Nation is not a plot of land with moveable border; but rather it is the people..." I really like this statement as   I personally strongly agree with it.  Right from the beginning  a level of trust is induced  between Peron and the reader when she proclaims that it will be her to tell the truth ( with the publics belief or not) When attempting to look at the relationship between Peron and her husband it is evident that she cared about him but was also very skeptical about the people surrounding him as people are not always who they appear to be. Throughout the essay Peron makes some strong conclusions  and that in the end its all about the people. That her wish is that exploiters and "backstabbers" should be removed from the picture. I think that Peron’s position of being within the government yet still somewhat removed and able to reflect upon the situation within the government puts her in a good position. The only issue I had with her article was the length, of which I found to be somewhat repetitive and extended. I felt the points she was attempting to bring forth could have been condensed in half.  As for Borges essay, a completely different perspective is evident. In Borges essay, a strong perspective of being the presidents wife is of course not occurring but I feel as though an equal amount of insight is conducted by him. Both of these essays fit perfectly under the heading of What is the People? When looking at “the people” it is evident that solely one perspective is not enough. The diversification of these essays show that when labializing something as large like “ the people” as a whole, there is no right or wrong, or one or the other way to classify or attempt to define “the people”. I truly enjoyed reading both of these essays and found them to inspirational in the attempted understanding of people and society as a whole. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

L.A.S.T 201 (Week One- What is Culture?)

This weeks reading topic of  what is culture?  has opened my eyes to  different perspectives on culture and the ways and styles of which they are formed and lived through.  I found the readings both by Raymond Williams and Roger Kessing to be very intriguing and informative.  I felt Williams opened my eyes to new perspectives and ways of thinking on culture of which I had not considered before. From the beginning of Williams paper I  appreciated his courage in the labialization of such an extensive, complex topic, as culture and classify it as ‘ordinary’. I think, however, a dictionary definition of what exactly culture and ordinary ‘means’ would be a good technique for his use of exploring culture. I felt as though Williams brought in a bit more excitement and fun into his paper through the structure and use of words and expressions over Kessing’s. For example Williams brings rhyming into his paper through word ‘culture of which he compares to vulture and sepulture. This comparison adds to his overarching thesis but was defiantly not necessary and felt he thought it was advantageous to add some humor and lighten up the topic. Another aspect of Williams paper I enjoyed was his expulsion of Marxists theorists who say that we are living in a dying culture. This belief is extremely popular at moment and I feel it was adventurous of him to “stand on the other side of the room’ , so to speak. One of the things of which I did not necessary agree with on Williams paper was the classification of culture in terms of good or bad. I feel as though a classification such as this, into black and white categories should of been  refrained. When reading through Keesing’s article I enjoyed how he brought in quotes by  other people. I felt as though this brought another perspective to his argument. I also like how through the reading of Keesing’s piece I was able to learn  a new word and concept  known as radical alterity.  Some questions I have for both of these papers are: firstly for Williams paper I wonder how his paper would have changed if he focused on  a certain aspect of  culture such as religion? For Keesing’s paper I wonder what his paper would evolve if he  had brought in more prespectives on top of “post-Marxist’ and feminist approaches. I feel as though both papers explored past theories and analogies of culture well and feel as though they have set forth a steeping stone for the continuing growth and study of culture as the world itself evolves. 

Hello, my name is Jonah Erickson and I am a first year Arts student at the University of British Columbia. This blog will be written in order to keep track with reading material, while enabling myself to express reactions, questions and understandings of weekly readings for my Latin American Studies 201 class.