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In such a perspective, the space of popular culture is ignored. Perceived as a bad Mr. Hyde of cultural space, it is treated as an area of threats to the development of children and youth. But culture is not only a canon of the achievements of past generations. In the anthropological sense, these are simply the ways of living a life in a society. Popular culture is the space where various aspects are commented on.
Popular art plays a special role here. However, a pedagogical view of culture is perceptibly predom- 1 J. Bruner, The Culture of Education, London , p. It refers to the total way of life of any society, not simply to those parts of this way which the society regards as higher or more desirable.
Dichotomy in understanding culture, pointed out by the American an- thropologist, is reflected in the discourse on cultural education. Tradition- al concepts in particular tend to emphasise the significance of induction of an individual into the world of cultural achievements, perceiving it as their fundamental task. They iden- tified and maintained a canon of great and good work and persuaded us that every educated gentleman, and it was mainly men in those days, should be familiar with this canon.
The job of adult educators in these matters was to pass on this knowledge and these values from one generation to the next. They saw themselves, together with the great national galleries and museums, as the guardians of our cultural heritage. Jenks, Culture, London — New York , p. Szuman, O sztuce i wychowaniu estetycznym, Warszawa Jones, Training art Tutors for adult education, [in:] Scholarly practitioners: The education of educators of adults, Ed.
Benn, Exeter , p. One of them is the conviction that popular culture is primarily restricted to entertainment. Another reason why pedagogues are of such a low opinion of pop culture is that it is equated with popular art — the latter being traditionally criticised for its aesthetic immaturity and primitivism. According to J. Gajda, accepting this state of affairs, that is the commercial nature of culture, has the following consequences: Firstly — the recreational and folk forms are preferred and developed by entertainment industry that satisfy the tastes of a wide audience.
Secondly — there is a regression of an ambitious culture that is perceived as unprofit- able so that it is why the good quality products of this trend have to be more expen- sive, and in turn, they become inaccessible to the people of low earnings. That deepens the division of the recipients into elite and popular culture.
Thirdly — commercialization of culture causes the danger of lowering the aesthetic taste of the recipients and lowering the level of culture in general. Valuable things, for which there is no demand, do not appear on the market at all or appear as expensive and available in small amounts, and then die in a flood of easy, sometimes trivial con- tent of mass entertainment.
Plisiecki, Lublin , p. Wojnar, J. Kubin, Warszawa , p. There seems to be one more reason why pedagogy has for so long ignored popular culture, which is related to a unique kind of pleasure derived from experiencing it, and especially from experiencing works of art. Roland Bar- thes differentiates between jouissance and plaisir, i. The former type of plea- sure should be associated with popular art.
Texts of high culture, aimed at formal- ly prepared public, require the use of an intrinsic and advanced code rooted in common educational experience, while no formal education is necessary to read texts of popular culture, which — founded on restricted codes — are understood by everyone. We learn these codes during the process of socialisa- tion. It is interesting that institutions engaged in cultural education emphasise the teaching of deriving pleasure of the plaisir type, requiring the knowledge of conventions, ability to read texts based on the codes of a narrow spectrum of influence.
Irzykowski, X Muza, Warszawa , p. Sports games trigger off different emotions than those experienced during a theatrical performance, emotions evoked by a rock concert and a performance of a symphony orches- tra differ fundamentally. If aesthetic contemplation is replaced by sexual excitement, the former inevitably becomes the latter.
The boundaries between popular and high culture determined by critics are not permanent and change continually. Contemporary societies of the West hardly remind those apprehended by Ortega y Gasset, while contemporary mass culture differs fundamen- tally from that criticised by Dwight Macdonald. Contemporary research of media and their audience tends to depart from the view that the audience are homogenous, unquestioning mass, while dictatorial media impose the meaning of broadcast texts. Rather than that, it assumes that the audience are diversified, which offers an opportunity of another way of decoding the message.
The division into high and popular culture is also becoming debat- able. Nor do the people behave or live like the masses, an aggregation of alienated, one-dimensional persons whose only con- sciousness is false, whose only relationship to the system that enslaves them is one of unwitting if not willing dupes.
Popular culture is made by the people, not produced by the culture industry. Fiske, Television Culture, p. Fiske, Understanding Popular Culture, London , p.
Telewizja — Wideo — Komputer, Ed. In the popular view education is narrowly equated with the school. Media — an obvious environment of popular culture — intensify our experience, i. Thompson writes that someone watching a soap opera or reading a book does not only experience the narrative but also discovers imaginary alternatives, experimenting with the projection of his or her own identity.
He says that, because the encounter with media opens up our biographies to media experience, we are involved in the events and social relations that take place beyond the place of our everyday existence. Similarly as folk tales, popular cul- ture texts describe the rules governing the world. All texts of popular culture reflect our values, passions, dreams and fears.
Their aesthetic sophistication is of no consequence, because our reali- ty is described not only in the canonical works displayed in museums. Popular culture is today an important sphere where the meanings essen- tial for most of the participants of contemporary cultural life are created and negotiated; it is not a worse but different fragment of cultural reality.
It dis- plays many similarities with folk culture and is now increasingly more often interpreted as the folk culture of post-industrial societies. It is in the sphere of popular culture that we spontaneously participate in culture and our par- 17 K. Illeris, The Three Dimensions of Learning. Popular culture is becoming an area where not only the young generation are forming their identity.
Here popular art performs vital social functions. And this is what the socialising role of art consists in. Nowadays life styles are to a considerably greater degree defined by the fact of participating in popular culture.
Especially for young people popular culture is a significant factor affecting relations inside a peer group. Thus, popular culture constitutes — at least at the micro level — a powerful stratification factor. According to G. Kerchensteiner, all cultural achievements stem from the in- dividual or collective spirit. These words of a classic of pedagogy of culture are by all means still valid.
We all live in the sphere of culture, which distinguishes us from the animal world. It is a lifelong process that encompasses acquisition of knowledge, skills and everyday experience. It is a continuous process: at home, at work, and while entertaining. Therefore no matter what we do: whether we are on holidays, read magazines and books, watch televi- sion or movies — we are always learning.
Transferring these competences is becoming one of the important objectives for the pedagogues of culture. And popular art plays here an exceptional role. Its essence is the emotional involvement of the audience with the issues which are addressed — the protagonists of popular culture are embroiled in the adventures and mishaps which are by no means alien to the audience, who are often confronted with the same dilemmas and situations as the characters in a TV series. Only upon meeting these conditions can it be truly popular.
Television series, feature programmes, lyrics of pop songs, video clips, cartoons are not only pleasant entertainment but they also carry narrations predominating in the society. Visions of the future shown in science fiction films tell more about our fears concerning the present, while formally banal telenovelas comment on real so- cial issues.
Texts of popular culture and art tell the tale of our world and may 24 W. Bron, E. Kurantowicz, H. Salling Olesen, L. Popular Culture as an Educational Space — Depictions of Utopia in Pop Culture Texts 15 provide many answers to the question about how to function in it, but — more significantly — are we able to formulate the question appropriately?
Popular culture is becoming an interesting area of multi-dimensional pedagogical research and analyses. Pedagogy is perceived here as a cultural practice which is comprehensible when seen from the perspective of history, politics, power and culture. In such a case pedagogy becomes an area of crit- ical analysis of the multitude of discourses present in culture; the discourses experienced by all of us immersed in the culture of media.
In the words of Henry A.
Pedagogika kultury Studia i koncepcja
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Book reviews: Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism 2005 Vol.12 No.1
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