The Vivre son temps Collection: Intellectuals, Modernity and Mass Culture
In this paper I am going to discuss the way in which a certain group of French intellectuals responded in the early to mid-1960s to the coming of the mass media, or as they tended to be called at this period in France, ‘the “means” of (mass) communication’ (‘les moyens de masse’, ‘les moyens de diffusion’). It was, of course, at the end of the 1950s and at the beginning of the 1960s (somewhat later and more slowly than in England, for example) that television gradually became almost a universal feature of French homes.1 This invasion of French life by television occasioned considerable reflection upon cultural questions among the educated and intellectual classes in France. The Vivre son temps collection stands as a good example of how these cultural questions were being treated at the very moment of the emergence of television. The aim of the collection was to try and understand the ways in which postwar social and technological changes were transforming the nature of culture and were bringing into being new cultural forms and new cultural practices. The collection also sought to recommend how, ideally, society ought to react to the coming of the new mass media and how new cultural structures, forms and practices ought to be encouraged and planned.
KeywordsBeach Gall Photography Lasso Rene
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