While debates heated up in the last few decades over various methodological concerns in political science and the social sciences in general, a small body of work developed to explore the difficulties associated with conceptualization. Agreement on basic concepts like democracy and power. I argue that this problem is also, to a lesser extent, symptomatic of work on culture jamming. Thus, the first challenge this work presents is conceptual. Competing definitions of culture jamming necessitate a conceptualization both sufficiently rigorous to satisfy social scientific inquiry and consistent with the discourse among the culture of art jamming activists and theorists.
Culture jumping features
Before proceeding, it is necessary to clarify the conceptual approach of this work. First, to mark the boundaries of the concept, or to increase conceptual coherence, the definition proposed here establishes a set of analytic properties that together classify a phenomenon as culture jamming. Second, I find it imperative that the concept I construct draws extensively from current usage and prominent cases.
Gerringrefers to resonance, or the degree to which a concept comports with existing usage in ordinary language and existing research, and validity, or the degree of fit between the intension and the extension of a concept. The more a concept departs from the existing lexicon, the more confusing it is likely to be. Thus, I sample from existing definitions from academics and activists and check these definitions and my own against cases of culture jamming almost universally identified as representative.
Finally, I seek to achieve coherence in part by considering the semantic field surrounding culture jamming, or by establishing the field utility of the concept. This entails a series of clarifications regarding the boundaries between culture jamming and numerous other related concepts, including resistance, contentious politics, tactical media, framing, irony, and others. The broad goal of this chapter is to provide a relatively rigorous definition of culture jamming and to delineate the conceptual contours of this study. This effort ultimately falls short of a strict delineation of the concept.
Culture Jamming and Social Movement Theory
Few studies of social movements and protest engage the subject of culture jamming. Existing research tends to briefly survey culture jamming within a broader discussion of alternative media or activism. A great deal of literature critiques it as an oppositional practice, meaning they consider the outcomes of culture jamming.
Only a handful of works focus on culture jamming as a specific contentious practice. Some describe the strategies and consider the outcomes of culture jamming from a political communication or rhetorical perspective. Cambers analyzes culture jamming as a nomadic discourse that critiques the status quo by flowing from counter-public discourse into the mainstream public sphere
Harold determines the rhetorical logic of different forms of culture jamming: ad parodies, prinking, and appropriation, and evaluates their outcomes. Others seek to identify the origins of culture jamming in the sociological tradition of expressionism. Sandlin and Milam the utility of conceptualizing culture jamming as critical public pedagogy. Sandlin and Callahan (2009) illustrate an emotional cycle of resistance through two case studies of culture jamming groups. Woodside evaluates the relationship of humor to culture jamming.