Since the middle of the twentieth century, social struggles have moved from the political to the cultural field. From the moral panics provoked by the new forms of popular music described by Stanley Cohen to the accusations of "cancel culture" launched by the conservative media and the questioning of the racial identity of the actors and actresses of high-profile cultural productions, public debates have aroused, making cultural practices as scenes of political and social conflict. This exploitation of symbolic visibility accompanies the rise of new movements for the defense of the rights of minority groups - women, blacks, youth, homosexuals, etc. - whose activity is deployed outside traditional partisan logics.

It also reflects the advances of critical studies, which contribute to redefine the claims of social justice around the notion of recognition (Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser), while proposing a critique of the normativity of cultural productions (Stuart Hall, Laura Mulvey, Teresa de Lauretis). The definition of a "male gaze" in Hollywood cinema illustrates the invention of new approaches to questions of social visibility. More broadly, the cultural industries appear to be a field where social stereotypes can be criticized - or conversely, as a space for positive discrimination likely to promote the recognition of minorities. Following the study of cultural forms of political representation (Louis Marin) or mass propaganda (Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit), the objective of this seminar is to propose a framework of analysis allowing to link these different phenomena, which make cultural visibility a new tool of commitment and action.
Semester: WiTerm 2023/24