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ERIC Number: ED143576
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
American Studies: A Problem in Academic Contra-Culture.
Vartanian, Pershing
Although the American studies movement has gained widespread popularity within its 50 years of existence, it is still devoid of any controlling assumptions, models, and coherence. The intellectual disarray which has recently characterized the movement has encouraged one group of scholars, the "reflexionists," to examine the causes of that disarray, state the problems which beset the movement, and recommend solutions. They seek a reconstruction in theory, method, and disciplinary goals in order to refashion the movement into American cultural studies. To understand the reflexionsts' concern about the movement's disciplinary core, one must see their activity as occuring within the context of an academic contra culture. A contra culture is a highly charged sociocultural entity which possesses both normative characteristics and the essential of conflict in its structure. The contra-cultural character of the American studies movement is embodied in the rhetoric about its origins, discipline, and methodology. Freedom from academic prohibitions and eagerness to collapse arbitrary disciplinary boundaries characterize the rhetoric. The aims of reflexionists are to refine the culture concept of the movement, restate its interdisciplinary basis in operational terms, and introduce a new vocabulary. (Author/AV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revision of a paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Western Social Science Association (Denver, Colorado, April 21-25, 1977)