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The expression “popular culture” alludes, essentially, to a form of culture that makes little, if any, categorical distinctions between “high or serious culture” and “low or entertainment culture,” making it historically a non-traditional form of culture. In the evolution of human cultures, popular culture stands out as atypical, since it takes cultural material from any source and revamps it according to the laws of the marketplace. In contrast to historical (traditional) culture, it rejects both the supremacy of tradition and of established cultural norms, as well as the pretensions of intellectualist tendencies within contemporary artistic cultures. Popular culture has always been highly appealing for this very reason, bestowing on common people the assurance that cultural trends are for everyone, not just for an elite class of artists and cognoscenti. It is thus populist, unpredictable, and highly ephemeral, reflecting the ever-changing tastes of one generation after another. Moreover, among the ephemeral trends and texts, there are some that have risen to the level of high art, hence the paradox and power of popular culture.

Brill Research Perspectives in Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed series and reference publication that features studies exploring all aspects of popular culture today, from its traditional platforms, audiences and traditional electronic media, to the contemporary digital media. Each installment comprises a single, uniquely focused short monograph that presents the state of the art on a specific theme and examines some particular aspect, text, or event that falls under the rubric of “pop culture,” including popular programs (sitcoms, adventure series, etc.); celebrities; fads; theories of the popular imagination; the relation of popular culture to other cultures; the role of memetic culture vis-à-vis traditional forms of culture; the nature of performance; the psychological, anthropological, and semiotic aspects of popular culture systems; and the like. In addition, studies will also look at specific frameworks for analyzing popular culture, such as archetype theory and carnival theory.

The intended audience of Brill Research Perspectives in Popular Culture is the network of scholars and instructors involved in popular culture studies and cognate disciplines (psychology, culture studies, literary criticism, anthropology, musicology, sociology, neuroscience, and art criticism).

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Jason Prevost. Please direct all other correspondence to Associate Editor Athina Dimitriou.
What explains the rise of populist nationalism in the contemporary phase of globalized development? Drawing on Karl Polanyi’s study of the great transformation, The Rise of the Capitalist State and Neo-nationalism argues that populist nationalism is a societal reaction to the pro-market structural changes in the political economies of nation-states – conceptualized as the capital-state transformation. Oleksandr Svitych shows that there is an inextricable link between free market reforms, declining state legitimacy, and identity-based mobilization. Examining four case studies (Australia, France, Hungary, and South Korea) through a mixed method approach, the book finds that discontented voters gravitate toward populist neo-national political forces and embrace identity-based solutions – often in exclusivist and scapegoating forms – to harness their anxieties and insecurities triggered by the capital-state restructuring. Populist nationalism of both the left and the right has emerged to compensate for the real and perceived inability of the state to shield citizens from the corrosive effects of market fundamentalism. The Rise of the Capitalist State and Neo-nationalism contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of the interrelated nature of state, capital, and identity politicization through a broader social theoretical perspective.
Volume Editors: and
Much ink has been spilled on poverty measurements and trends, at the expense of revealing causality. Assembling multi-disciplinary and international contributions, this book shows that a causal understanding of poverty in rich and poor countries is essential. That understanding must be based on a critical interrogation of the wider social relations which set up the mechanisms producing poverty as an outcome. Processes that widen/strengthen crisis-ridden market relations, that increase income/wealth inequality, and that ‘enhance’ the policy-biases of nation-states and international institutions toward the affluent-propertied strata cause global poverty and undermine poor people’s political power. The processes concentrating wealth-creation are poverty-causing processes. Through theoretical and empirical analyses this volume offers important insights and political prescriptions to address global poverty.

Contributors are:Raju J. Das, Deepak K. Mishra, Steven Pressman, Michael Roberts, Jamie Gough, Aram Eisenschitz, Anjan Chakravarty, Mizhar Mikati, Marcelo Milan, Tarique Niazi, John Marangos, Eirini Triarchi, Themis Anthrakidis, Macayla Kisten and Brij Maharaj, David Michael M. San Juan, and Thaddeus Hwong.
Transversal Solidarities and Politics of Possibility
Contending Global Apartheid: Transversal Solidarities and Politics of Possibility spells out a plea for utopia in a crisis-ridden 21st century of unequal development, exclusionary citizenship, and forced migrations. The volume offers a collection of critical essays on human rights movements, sanctuary spaces, and the emplacement of antiracist conviviality in cities across North and South America, Europe, and Africa. They proceed from the idea that cities may accommodate both a humanistic sensibility and a radical potential for social transformation. The figure of the ‘migrant’ is pivotal. It expounds the prospect of transversal solidarity to capture a plurality of commonalities and to abjure dichotomies between in-group and out-group, the national and the international, or society and institutions.

Contributors are: Aleksandra Ålund, Ilker Ataç, Martin Bak Jørgensen, Harald Bauder, Iriann Freemantle, Christophe Foultier, Óscar García Agustín, Shannon Gleeson, Margaret Godoy, Els de Graauw, Ilhan Kellecioglu, Loren B. Landau, Jorge Morales Cardiel, Janet Munakamwe, Kim Rygiel, Ana Santamarina, Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Sarah Schilliger, and Maurice Stierl.
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Sociology for Durkheim was by no means a knowledge closed in its specificity. It was rather an open science, permeable to contributions coming from other disciplines. For him, the task of sociology was to study what held societies together, giving place to reflective change and progressive development. This is an epistemological and political model that still retains all its relevance today: an example to be rediscovered against any reductionist conception of the vocation and object of social sciences; an encouragement to see sociology as an indispensable protagonist for an authentic interdisciplinary dialogue in the field of humanities. It is one of the best legacies Durkheim left us, that this book attempts to illustrate.