What’s Old is Even Older

Attention cultural studies geeks. I am always fascinated by the degree to which things repeat themselves in academic culture. The 70s mass culture debates restaged those of the 40s and 50s, and on and on.

This morning I went looking for an electronic copy of Georg Simmel’s essay on fashion, and I stumbled upon this table of contents. You may access to JSTOR, which I think you can only get if you’re logged into a university account (sorry, other readers, if this is the case) but it’s quite an interesting list of topics. Here we have sociologists writing about popular music, fashion, fads, bars, leisure, grooming and audience participation. The terminology, methodology and political stance is definitely 50s, not 00s, but I’m always struck with a sense of the uncanny when I see how familiar some of the discussions are in this older body of work.