Building Spectacles Through Bricolage
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This chapter examines two cases in which spectacles have been deployed in order to generate and sustain ideas regarding identities through the spectacular strategy of bricolage. In both cases, existing practices and ideas are woven into spectacles intended to promote identity. In the case of the comic book figure Wonder Woman, the foundations of her character are shown to be rooted in nineteenth-century American feminism and the suffragette movement, which themselves emerged from utopian novels. These strains are then introduced into the emerging popular cultural milieu of comic books, allowing these ideas to reach a wide audience. The second case, that of emerging Russian nationalism, explores the conflicts that have arisen in the development of a post-Soviet Russian identity following the collapse and formal legal liquidation of the Soviet Union. In this case, Ostrovsky (2014) argues persuasively that these new forms of identity are created and circulated within mediated spectacles—especially through television—that benefit Russia’s current ruler, Vladimir Putin.
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