POLITICAL POPULISM AND POPULAR CULTURE
Keywords:popular culture, political populism, types of populism, media, sign representation
The article provides a comparative analysis of the cultural practices of political populism and the popular culture. The leading role of the media in the formation and promotion of popular movements and leaders is emphasized. There is a difference in the understanding of a leader's charisma that brings new values, according to Max Weber, and the pseudo-charisma of modern populist leaders that is created by their regular presence in the media. Populist politician is seen as a sign in cultural communication, where the politician’s personality is put as the signifier, and the ideology that the politician promotes — as the signified. Based on this analysis, three ideal types of populists have been identified: a blank sign that is focused on the present and represents populists without ideology; a sign that is oriented on the past and represents a populist national ideology; the sign that is oriented on the future and represents the reformers, the bearers of new social values. Theoretical approaches to the interpretation of popular culture are analyzed and it is pointed out that a mass society emerging is necessary both for the phenomenon of popular culture and for political populism to perform the quantitative indicator of public preferences. Common characteristics in the functioning of popular culture and populism are revealed — symbolism, emotionality, "origin from people", resistance against the system. The decisive role of the media in cultural communication for both popular culture and political populism is emphasized. However, there are significant differences between popular culture and political populism. Popular culture has its own values, while political populism uses values of others. Comparing popular culture and its impact on culture in general on one hand and political popularization and its impact on the political system on the other, a scrutator could expect for some renewal and diversification of current political institutions that would be a positive factor for the global political system and global society.
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