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  • 1.
    Enroth, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    The Return of the Repressed: Populism and Democracy Revisited2019In: American Journal of Cultural Sociology, ISSN 2049-7113, E-ISSN 2049-7121, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article revisits the vexed relationship between populism and democracy. The article identifies and analyzes a persistent split in the discourse of democracy between the politically fit and unfit, and argues that populism is best seen as effecting a reversal of this ancient binary. Using analytical tools from the strong program in cultural sociology, this binary is theorized as a symbolic code organizing our sense of and sensibilities for the sacred and the profane in democracy, a symbolic code that political science research on populism tends to reproduce rather than explicate. Pursuing this, the article outlines a cultural explanation of populism as well as of shortcomings and blind spots in the latest wave of research on the subject. It argues by example the need to cross over between political, social, and cultural theory in order to better understand populism and democracy and their contentious interrelationship.

  • 2.
    Lund, Anna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    At a close distance: Dropouts, teachers, and joking relationships2015In: American Journal of Cultural Sociology, ISSN 2049-7113, E-ISSN 2049-7121, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 280-308Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Is student joking in school always a counter-school cultural practice? Paul Willis has shown how ‘the laff’, as a practice, functions to allow students to distance themselves from teachers and schoolwork. But is it possible that joking in school can be an asset for learning and other processes, not simply a problem? Using fieldwork from a school for dropouts located in Malmö, a multicultural city in southern Sweden, I show how teachers and students engage in lively joking relationships, a practice in which both parties tease each other without anyone taking offense. Through an analysis of these joking relationships and the ways in which such relationships can both stabilize a social order and work for social transformation, the article illustrates how a joking relationship can favor emotional identification and cultural extension between teachers and students. Contra our assumptions about the disruptive and countercultural power of ‘the laff’ at school, I show how joking relationships facilitate a bidirectional multicultural incorporation in which behavioral patterns originating from youth and popular culture are used as an embodied resource by teachers.

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