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What is the meaning of a safety pin?: Critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art

Output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

In this contribution we address the concept of critical literacies by analyzing how symbolic representations within subcultures can be understood as an engagement with specific literacy practices. For some time now, cultural studies researchers with an interest in literacy have depended upon ethnographic methods to document how members of subcultural communities mobilize literacy practices to achieve critical ends. But the extent to which ethnography actually grants researchers access to subcultural perspectives on literacy has come into question. In this article, we aim to problematize and thematize the ethnographic perspective on literacy in general – and subculture as a situated literacy practice in particular – by critically assessing contemporary art practices that focus on the representation of subcultural identities. We therefore specifically look at artwork by Nikki S. Lee, who focuses on subcultures in her work through ‘going native performances’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural studies
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 11-Mar-2013

ID: 10367696