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ERIC Number: ED428446
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Political Kitsch and Educational Policy.
Lugg, Catherine A.
This paper explores "political kitsch," a propaganda that incorporates familiar and easily understood art forms to shape the direction of public policy. Kitsch differs from art in that it is a powerful political construction designed to colonize the receiver's consciousness. It reassures and comforts the receiver through the exploitation of cultural myths and readily understood symbolism, serving to pacify rather than provoke individuals. The majority of Americans are immersed in Kitsch as children, thanks to the curriculum and practices of public schools, coupled with the power of the ever-changing popular culture. These popular images remain strong in the collective psyche. One example is that of the image of women as the embodiment of weakness and sexuality, the so-called"Hester Prynne" construction, a reference to the protagonist in "The Scarlet Letter." This myth was successfully manipulated in politics to create the fictional "welfare queen": single mothers who manipulated the system to achieve a life of ease and reproduction. Another prominent myth in the culture of Kitsch is that of children in need of being "fixed." This motivates much of school reform where repeated calls for a pristine past to rightly educate children fuels much of the reform debate. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A