Masquerade Politics: Explorations in the Structure of Urban Cultural Movements

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9780520078383: Masquerade Politics: Explorations in the Structure of Urban Cultural Movements

Carnival, that image of sensuous frivolity, is shown by Abner Cohen to be a masquerade for the dynamic relations between culture and politics. His masterful study details the transformation of a local, polyethnic London fair to a massive, exclusively West Indian carnival, known as "Europe's biggest street festival," which in 1976 occasioned a bloody confrontation between black youth and the police and which has since become a fiercely contested cultural event.

Cohen contrasts the development of the London carnival with the development of other carnivalesque movements, including the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of California. His valuable analysis of these relatively little-explored urban cultural movements advances further the theoretical formulations developed in his previous studies.

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From the Back Cover:

Carnival, that celebration of sensuous frivolity, is shown by Abner Cohen to be a masquerade for the dynamic relations between culture and politics. His masterful study provides a microsociological analysis of the processes involved in the transformation of a local, polyethnic London fair to a massive, exclusively West Indian carnival, known as "Europe's biggest street festival", which in 1976 occasioned a bloody confrontation between black youth and the British metropolitan police and which has since become a fiercely contested cultural event. Cohen contrasts the development of the London carnival with the development of other carnivalesque movements, including the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of California. His analysis of these relatively little-explored urban cultural movements develops further the theoretical formulations, advanced in his previous studies of ethnic and religious movements, about the dynamic relations between cultural forms and political formations.

From the Inside Flap:

"A 'good read,' and at the same time an outstanding and well-balanced theoretical contribution to current debates about the relation of art to politics."—Frederick G. Bailey, University of California, San Diego

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