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Official culture is the culture that receives social legitimation or institutional support in a given society.[1] Official culture is usually identified with bourgeoisie culture.[2] For revolutionary Guy Debord, official culture is a "rigged game", where conservative powers forbid subversive ideas to have direct access to the public discourse, and where such ideas are integrated only after being trivialized and sterilized.[3]

A widespread observation is that a great talent has a free spirit. For instance Pushkin, which some scholar regard as Russia's first great writer,[4] attracted the mad irritation of the Russian officialdom and particularly of the Tsar, since he

instead of being a good servant of the state in the rank and file of the administration and extolling conventional virtues in his vocational writings (if write he must), composed extremely arrogant and extremely independent and extremely wicked verse in which a dangerous freedom of thought was evident in the novelty of his versification, in the audacity of his sensual fancy, and in his propensity for making fun of major and minor tyrants."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lewis (1992) p.31
  2. ^ Foster (1995) p.vii
  3. ^ Debord (1957) pp.2, 10
  4. ^ a b Vladimir Nabokov (1981) Lectures on Russian Literature, lecture on Russian Writers, Censors, and Readers, pp.13-4


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33 news items

The Guardian

The Australian
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:03:45 -0700

In a provocative Currency House essay to be published later this week, Enoch says artists have “found comfort in the official culture” and abrogated their responsibility to demonstrate leadership in the community. Major arts companies were becoming ...
Buenos Aires Herald
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 04:48:45 -0700

In his introduction to the book on the Patagonian Mapuches, Osvaldo Bayer opens with hard bat at “official culture” policies which have excluded the original languages from national learning. “This book helps us to begin to know who they are. It shows ...


Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:03:45 -0700

“There is a kind of official culture and official literature that the writers and the intellectual and poets who are supporting this government are playing a different role than poets and writer and artists that are against the government,” Gutierrez ...
Log Cabin Democrat
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:15:22 -0700

This form of artistic expression is art that is outside the official culture. “I like the medium weight oil pastels because they achieve the colors and layers of textures that I want in my paintings to reflect,” said Dolislager, “there is something so ...

The National

The National
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 05:39:45 -0700

“Ordinary” Syrians no longer sought permission to speak; they no longer craved entry to the Arab Writers' Union or other institutions of the state's official culture. Instead, culture exploded from the bottom up, through slogans, cartoons, dances and ...
The Republic
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 19:48:45 -0700

The armed forces were ordered to give up most of their business interests more than a decade ago, but a secretive, authoritarian official culture has allowed bribery and other abuses to continue. Previous Chinese leaders "had little control over the ...
Boise State Public Radio
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Debord believed that official culture was a "rigged game," that subversive ideas were commodified and sterilized by an unseen force active within the power structure and then sold back to the masses, without the former potency and threat. This unseen ...
Screen Africa
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 05:22:30 -0700

This special edition of the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival kicks off with a touring programme of African sports films, entitled Sports Stories from around the African Commonwealth, which is set to journey across Scotland during the lead up to the ...

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