Comfort: a project for cultural studies

Hickey, Andrew (2018) Comfort: a project for cultural studies. Open Cultural Studies, 2 (1). pp. 463-474. ISSN 2451-3474

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Taking as its provocation the recent observation by Larry Grossberg that “knowledge is relatively powerless to affect the conditions and directions of social change” (Tilting at Windmills 149-150) this paper will suggest that it is with the explication of comfort that a valuable response to the challenge of the current conjuncture can be found. Following a brief survey of the nature and purpose of Cultural Studies scholarship in this present moment, attention will turn to how comfort comes to be encoded into everyday practices and routines of lifestyle. Accordingly, this paper will assert that Cultural Studies, with its concern for “the quotidian experiences of lives lived” (Martin and Hickey 149), is well-placed to launch inquiry into the ‘conditions’ of comfort—conditions that mark the dimensions of late capitalist social formation. A call for a research agenda within Cultural Studies that positions comfort as a prompt for scholarly attention will be outlined as an ‘activated’ form of cultural inquiry focused on the clarification of the ‘everyday’ dimensions of living now.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 04:53
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 02:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: comfort, aesthetics, consumption, lifestyle, late-capitalism
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950103 Recreation
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1515/culture-2018-0042

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