Cultural Rights: Technology, Legality and Personality

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Taylor & Francis, Nov 1, 2002 - Social Science - 256 pages
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Cultural Rights aims to combine sociology of culture and cultural studies approaches to provide an innovative interpretation of contemporary culture. It develops Walter Benjamin's arguments on the effects of mechanical reproduction by seeing what has happened to originality and authenticity in postmodern culture. One aspect of this culture is that reproduction and simulation have become listless, so that distinguishing what is real from what is fabricated is a problem of daily life for everyone. Celia Lury establishes a clear framework for studying these matters by comparing a regime of cultural rights ordered by copyright, authorship and originality with one defined by trademark, branding and simulation. This move is illustrated through concise and accessible histories of three major cultural technologies - print, broadcasting and information technology - and the presentation of research into the contemporary culture industry. The gendered dimensions of this transformation are explored by looking at the significance of the category of women in the process of cultural reproduction.

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About the author (2002)

For a long time I have had two main areas of research interest: sociology of culture and feminist theory. My contributions to a sociology of culture draw upon the findings of a series of funded empirical research projects, exploring contemporary developments in the culture industry with a special focus on changing cultural forms. Following the publication of the jointly authored book on The Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things (with Lash, Polity, 2007), I am developing my research interest in the question of cultural change through my participation in a 20-partner EU-funded interdisciplinary network on A Topological Approach to Cultural Dynamics . This network which draws on recent developments in philosophy and mathematical thinking to address questions of cultural and social change, space and intensity is part of what has been called a topological turn in cultural theory. My ideas on what this might mean are developed in recent and forthcoming publications including the Introduction to a Special Issue of the European Journal of Social Theory on What is the empirical?, co-edited with Lisa Adkins and an article on Brands as assemblage: assembling culture to appear in the journal Cultural Economy (forthcoming). It will also inform the book (co-edited with Nina Wakeford) on Inventive Methods, (Routledge). I continue to be interested in brands and branding (Brands: the logos of the global cultural economy, 2004 as I have found them illuminating objects to think with as well as problematic objects to live with/out. I am enthusiastic about the new MA in Brands, Communication and Culture that is just starting at Goldsmiths (organised by Dr Liz Moor in Media and Communications, but with the involvement of myself and others in Sociology). My contributions to feminist theory primarily concern the issue of gender as a kind of becoming (Prosthetic Culture, Feminism and Autobiography) and the changing significance of gender as a social and natural category (Global Nature, Global Culture). I have participate in the annual conferences and workshops linked to the MA Gender, Culture and Media.

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