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'What is the meaning of a safety pin?': critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art

Kris Rutten (UGent) and An van Dienderen (UGent)
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Abstract
In this contribution we address the concept of critical literacies by analyzing how symbolic representations within subcultures can be understood as an engagement with specific literacy practices. For some time now, cultural studies researchers with an interest in literacy have depended upon ethnographic methods to document how members of subcultural communities mobilize literacy practices to achieve critical ends. But the extent to which ethnography actually grants researchers access to subcultural perspectives on literacy has come into question. In this article, we aim to problematize and thematize the ethnographic perspective on literacy in general - and subculture as a situated literacy practice in particular - by critically assessing contemporary art practices that focus on the representation of subcultural identities. We therefore specifically look at artwork by Nikki S. Lee, who focuses on subcultures in her work through going native performances'.
Keywords
CURRICULUM, subculture, NARRATIVES, contemporary art, ethnographic turn, Nikki S. Lee, literacy

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Rutten, Kris, and An van Dienderen. “‘What Is the Meaning of a Safety Pin?’: Critical Literacies and the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL STUDIES 16.5 (2013): 507–520. Print.
APA
Rutten, Kris, & van Dienderen, A. (2013). “What is the meaning of a safety pin?”: critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL STUDIES, 16(5), 507–520.
Chicago author-date
Rutten, Kris, and An van Dienderen. 2013. “‘What Is the Meaning of a Safety Pin?’: Critical Literacies and the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 16 (5): 507–520.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Rutten, Kris, and An van Dienderen. 2013. “‘What Is the Meaning of a Safety Pin?’: Critical Literacies and the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 16 (5): 507–520.
Vancouver
1.
Rutten K, van Dienderen A. “What is the meaning of a safety pin?”: critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL STUDIES. 2013;16(5):507–20.
IEEE
[1]
K. Rutten and A. van Dienderen, “‘What is the meaning of a safety pin?’: critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL STUDIES, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 507–520, 2013.
@article{3048830,
  abstract     = {In this contribution we address the concept of critical literacies by analyzing how symbolic representations within subcultures can be understood as an engagement with specific literacy practices. For some time now, cultural studies researchers with an interest in literacy have depended upon ethnographic methods to document how members of subcultural communities mobilize literacy practices to achieve critical ends. But the extent to which ethnography actually grants researchers access to subcultural perspectives on literacy has come into question. In this article, we aim to problematize and thematize the ethnographic perspective on literacy in general - and subculture as a situated literacy practice in particular - by critically assessing contemporary art practices that focus on the representation of subcultural identities. We therefore specifically look at artwork by Nikki S. Lee, who focuses on subcultures in her work through going native performances'.},
  author       = {Rutten, Kris and van Dienderen, An},
  issn         = {1367-8779},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CULTURAL STUDIES},
  keywords     = {CURRICULUM,subculture,NARRATIVES,contemporary art,ethnographic turn,Nikki S. Lee,literacy},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {507--520},
  title        = {'What is the meaning of a safety pin?': critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877912474561},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2013},
}

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