Cultural Rights: Technology, Legality and Personality

Cultural Rights: Technology, Legality and Personality

by Celia Lury

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Overview

Cultural Rights aims to combine sociology of culture and cultural studies approaches to provide an innovative interpretation of contemporary culture. It develops Walter Benjamin's arguments on the effects of mechanical reproduction by seeing what has happened to originality and authenticity in postmodern culture. One aspect of this culture is that reproduction and simulation have become listless, so that distinguishing what is real from what is fabricated is a problem of daily life for everyone. Celia Lury establishes a clear framework for studying these matters by comparing a regime of cultural rights ordered by copyright, authorship and originality with one defined by trademark, branding and simulation. This move is illustrated through concise and accessible histories of three major cultural technologies - print, broadcasting and information technology - and the presentation of research into the contemporary culture industry. The gendered dimensions of this transformation are explored by looking at the significance of the category of women in the process of cultural reproduction.

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