Studies of Popular Culture, such as Stacy Takacs’ ‘Interrogation of Popular Culture’, frequently focus on the roles ‘incorporation’ and ‘excorporation’ play in the way texts are produced, received, and used by those involved in such processes. Whilst both of these stages are vitally important to a text’s ultimate use, the middle ground between these two stages is often undermined, where third parties can acquire and alter a text, then broadcast it in a way other than its original producers had intended.
It’s this area that is of paramount importance, as the foundations of popular cultures are derived from the text it originates from, and if this text is able to be acquired and altered by a third party, they stand to fundamentally change the beliefs and uses of the culture it creates.
Someone like Edward Snowden allows for a glance at the immense power available to those who occupy and utilise this middle ground. Snowden, through his leaking of classified government documents, completely compromised the incorporation process that American authorities underwent to ensure avoidance of any substantial scrutiny and questions over their methods of ensuring government security. Furthermore, his altering of the content made available to the public drastically altered the process of excorporation, with the majority of consumers outraged at the violations of their privacy at the hands of a government that was supposedly protecting them.
While this is one of the more large-scale examples of the power of those occupying the middle ground, instances of such alteration are evident throughout everyday life, and it’s in this area that culture finds itself at its most malleable, able to be taken beyond the confines that its original creators intended for it, be it for better or for worse, and proving decisive in the way its eventual consumers will likely view and use it.
Interrogating Popular Culture: Key Questions – Stacy Takacs – Google Books. [ONLINE] Available at: http://tinyurl.com/l236gcq. [Accessed 20-23 March 2015]
Edward Snowden Biography [ONLINE] http://www.biography.com/people/edward-snowden-21262897. [Accessed 20-23 March 2015]
Originally published on davidzita.net on 24th March, 2015