1st Edition

Post-Popular Cultures and Digital Capitalism in Latin America Essays by Néstor García Canclini and Pablo Alabarces

    In this book, renowned Latin American intellectuals, Pablo Alabarces and Néstor García Canclini, bring us up to date on the changes in the status and role of the popular classes in Latin American democracies over the past two decades. Building on decades-long research and experience in the field of cultural studies, the authors ask how the digitalization and economization of society are changing the reality of political participation and social inequality in Latin America and beyond, leading to new forms of economic and cultural marginalization. García Canclini focuses on the rapid digitalization of our society and economies, ruminating over the future of political participation and democracy in the coming age of algorithms, transnationalization, and social precarity for growing swaths of the population. By contrast, Alabarces focuses on the disintegration and commodification of popular cultures throughout Latin America in the last two decades and discusses the consequences on democratic projects in the region. Both pieces approach the question of how democratic projects on a local, regional, national, and transnational level can deal with galloping social disintegration and accelerating political discontent as an increasing number of people within the course of this digital revolution gain voice: all this against the authoritarian or technocratic alternatives that have been gaining ground again. The introduction by Sarah Corona contextualizes the contributions and their authors in the academic and political debate. She connects their focus on popular cultures to broader questions regarding the future of nation-states and democracies facing multiple crises in the region and beyond. Post-Popular Cultures and Digital Capitalism in Latin America will be of interest to researchers and postgraduate students in political science, sociology, and cultural studies looking to freshen their views as well as develop an understanding of the Global South’s perspective on current global issues.

    List of Contributors, Introduction, Postpopular: Popular Cultures After Hybridization, Citizens Replaced by Algorithms, Email Interview With the Authors, February-March 2023


    Pablo Alabarces is Associate Professor of Popular Culture in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. There he supervised PhD students between 2004 and 2010 and worked as Senior Researcher at CONICET. His research includes studies of popular music, popular cultures, and soccer culture. He is considered one of the founders of Latin American sports sociology and one of the greatest specialists in violence and sports. He has published 14 books; among them, Fútbol y Patria (2002), Resistencias y mediaciones. Estudios sobre cultura popular (2008), Peronistas, populistas y plebeyos (2010), and the last one, Historia Mínima del Fútbol en América Latina, published in 2018. His book Héroes, Machos y Patriotas, from 2014, won the Second National Prize for Sociological Essay in Argentina (2019).

    Néstor García Canclini is Distinguished Professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico and Researcher Emeritus of the Mexican National System of Researchers. He has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Duke University, New York University, Stanford, and the universities of Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. He is also an adviser to the Organization of Ibero-American States and a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Culture Report of UNESCO. He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Casa de las Américas prize, and the Latin American Studies Association’s Book Award for his book, Culturas híbridas. In 2014, he was awarded the National Prize for Arts and Sciences in Mexico.