Culture of rebellion. Cultural patterns of social resistence

Received: September 05, 2018
Accepted: November 10, 2018
Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin

The two classicists of the mass society literature and, especially, the social forms of non-conformism, José Ortega y 
Gasset  and  Elias  Canetti  point  out  the  social  and  historical  sources  of  “mass  rebellion”.  Canetti  was  interested  in  the phenomenon of explosion of “human mass”, the mass exceeding some critical values for the stability of society. Peculiarities of  the organization of  ephemeral  form of  the rebellion were of  special  interest  for him. Ortega y Gasset  emphasized  the cultural transformation in which the mass rebellion reached its fullness. In the proposed sense, the culture of the Modernity rebellion forms its symbolic content according to the time demands. Primarily, the culture of the rebellion is formed on the basis of  its retroactive reference  to  the past. Modern varieties of  the rebellion revindicate what has been suppressed and what had no fruition in the past. Therefore, the culture of the rebellion in its relationship to authenticity and self-fulfilment also expresses itself by symbolic violence against all these forms of symbolic dominance,  in which it recognises its own malaise and reason for shame. The devastation of the monuments, the nullifying of the emblems of oppressors are gestures of symbolic violence, which the culture of  the rebellion repays to the actual, past violence. These manifestations have been repeated since the French Revolution by all modern varieties of this culture. What, therefore, is the difference between a rebellious man and a person who accepts the social order they find? What is the hard-wearing form of a rebellious man, inclined to radical gestures of resistance, acts of destruction which he does not expect in the socially ordered space of interactions? What is the specific tendency of identifying rebels with hastily created symbols? What is a  culture  of rebellion? Such questions are the main issue of the paper.  

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