The last NZ issue in this year is devoted to the contemporary mass culture in the widest sense of this notion, which has been widen namely due to the development of mass society and revaluation of the traditional socio-cultural borders.
The issue is opened with a permanent column Political Unconscious by Alexander Kustarev. This time the attention of the author is drawn to the problem of the balance between the science and politics and claims of the latter to be an ultimate expert authority and even the direct subject of authority.
The first thematic section (“To Instruct and to Sell: the Art of Word in the Epoch of Mass Consciousness”) is concerned with an attempt to describe the functions of the literature in the modern society, when the current social and economic pragmatics become not less, and often even more important, than the traditional aesthetic valuations. The first article by a philologist and historian of culture Marina Abasheva is focused on the explication of the advertising code (and its ironic deconstruction) in the American novels of Vladimir Nabokov. Then in the article on the post-Soviet memoirs an American philologist Marina Balina reconstructs the methods of the historical manipulations, which are used by one of the most popular nowadays pseudo-literature genres. And finally, the last article of this section (“Glamour Injection: Politics of Prose by Oksana Robski”) tells about simulation of modern strategies of social success in the texts of the famous “glamour” storyteller.
The first part of Morals and Mores section is covered by the culturological diary of Kyrill Kobrin, a famous critic and essayist, who provides us with a colored chain of mediaroutine.
Politics of Culture section is presented by the article of Viktor Shnirelman, a specialist in the area of ethnic politics, which is devoted to the genesis of racial and national patriotic positions, formed in the genre of semi-popular and fantastic literature starting from the early 1970s; and by the article of an American anthropologist Elena Goscilo about the circulation of Putin’s image on the advertising market and market of contemporary arts.
Evgeny Saburov in Humanitarian Economics considers the matter of using “spirit” and “moral” arguments in the process of political manipulation with the consciousness.
The second thematic block turns to practices of modern cinematography, that remains the most important art not because people are illiterate, but because of those possibilities, which it provides for realization of unconscious desires of gross audience. Thus, the article by a film expert Natalia Samutina deals with the practices of performance of cultic cinema, the article by Daniil Leiderman -- with the anthropological analysis of recently featured film “Borat” by Sacha Baron Cohen.
Case Study section is presented by a French culture historian Boris Cherny, whose article is devoted to the history of perception of the Jewish culture in France on the example of the painter Leon Weissberg.
The second part of the Morals and Mores section is based on the collective article by Saratov sociologists Elena Yarskaya-Smirnova, Galina Karpova and Maria Vorona, who consider such a social phenomenon as extension of growing-up process, when childhood becomes a present behavior model not only for children.
In Culture of Politics section the Moscow political analyst Irina Busygina argues what a role played the moment of entertainment in the German post-war politics.
Finally, the last thematic block is connected with a sphere which, notwithstanding its particularly professional nature, is a subject of mass imagination. It is on record that a man knows a good deal of two things: upbringing of children and… medicine. The latter is the topic of the section: “Healing of Soul and Body: Rules and Exceptions”, where our authors discuss folk and clinical medicine starting form medieval Wales to contemporary practices of “temple healing”.
Sociological Lyrics by Aleskei Levinson brings the reader back to the birth of independent sociological surveys at the beginning of “perestroika” and to their unenviable present.
Opinions and Comments section can not slip over a spinning-up world economic crisis. Articles by an expert from “Gorbachev-Fund” Andrey Ryabov and a sociologist Anton Oleynik deals with this particular issue.
The new section (Political Economy of Culture) by the chief editor of NZ Ilya Kalinin ends the issue with a discussion on the essence of demagogy and the nature of political manipulation with the mass consciousness.
As usual at the end there are Russian Intellectual Journal Review and New Books section.