Feminist cultural studies and politics

Feministiska studier av kultur och politik

Culture is a concept used in a range of ways to describe many different events and activities. Culture may refer to everything from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, via TV series and hip hop music, or how we describe how life is lived in a certain place, such as European culture, to how we create meaning and understanding through words, semiotic signs and gestures.

In all cultural production, various types of power structures are generated and negotiated. The common denominator is that all examples of culture are shifting and changing, albeit at different pace. This means that culture is most productive to study in intersection with policy. It also makes feminist studies of culture, with its specific focus on power, resistance and difference, different from other studies of culture.

Through different expressions of culture, ideas are born, repeated, negotiated, criticized and marginalized. New ideas and ways to organize life can be introduced into a community through a thought-provoking lyric. Advertising is pushing us to consume in a specific way. New words make us understand old matters in new ways. Symbols are created in order to create a sense of community. A theater play can shed new light on old habits, create shifts and turns. Strong emotions may arise in the audience's encounter with art and popular culture.

All this is examined in feminist studies of culture and politics. Culture and its diverse expressions are put under critical and analytical scrutinizing, examined, described, and negotiated. This includes cultural expressions, but also the production of culture, the conditions in terms of work, health, finance and distribution. Who get access to consuming and producing culture, who is included and excluded?

Feminist studies of culture and politics is a research area that is amazing, exciting and of vital importance.