The Philistine Controversy
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In this fascinating study, Dave Beech and John Roberts develop what they call a ‘counter-intuitive’ notion of the philistine, claiming that what the philistine tells us about cultural division and exclusion is more persuasive than the theories of the popular and the ‘otherly-cultured’ in cultural studies and postmodernism. The ‘counter-intuitive’ philistine, they contest, returns the cultural debate to the problems of the persistence of power, privilege and symbolic violence. Asserting that the relations between power and art have been untheorized in recent studies, Beech and Roberts find their critical resources in the least likely place: not in the ‘best of things’, but in that which has ‘no proper place’.
The book also includes several in-depth responses to the Beech and Roberts thesis by leading scholars in the field of cultural theory, together with the authors’ replies to their critics.