The book offers an in depth balance of the debates that have organized the studies on Latin American popular cultures for the last thirty years. Simultaneously, it proposes new perspectives in times of crisis for the category: the central question is what does the popular mean today? The relationship between popular cultures and mass culture has changed radically in this century, in a way not foreseeable by classical texts. Mass culture has become the great cultural organizer and hierarchizer; but popular cultures in Latin America continue to point out an excess, something that persists outside the media. Moreover, what remains untouched, although with always renewed costumes, is the material and symbolic inequality. While it is increasingly difficult to talk about the population, what persists is the hierarchy, discrimination, subalternity-of class, ethnicity, race, gender, invisibility, and silence. All the spaces where, obstinately, the popular speaks.
Pablo Alabarces has a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Brighton. He is a professor of Popular Culture at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires and a senior researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. His research encompasses studies on popular cultures and soccer cultures; he is considered one of the founders of Latin American sports sociology.