Obciach jako kategoria popkultury
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A contemporary culture scholar is, out of necessity, a researcher in the field of popular cul-ture. Hence, if its essence is to be revealed, the attention needs to be paid to concepts that have become pivotal in the field. Over the last several years, obciach has become one of such key-concepts. This word, hard to translate into English, is a slang equivalent for infamy or dis-grace and sometimes blunder. It has turned out to be an incredibly broad, flexible and at the sa-me time catching category that functions in everyday life. It also accompanies the fashion as its rearguard, being simultaneously something more than just its negative image, that is non-fashion. Obciach, linked to the political incorrectness, seems closer to the anthropological concept of taboo. It aims at playing the role of an avoiding-pursuit compass pointing to the source of contamination (impurity) that one needs to evade in order to prevent his or her social death. Negatively, it also indicates things worth knowing, supporting and engaging in. The aim of this article is to present briefly the birth of the notion of obciach. One needs to explore where the concept comes from, what has defined its popularity and the reason for it being used, i.e. why it has been needed. It is also worth examining who declares a particular thing, behaviour or aspiration to be comprised in the category and what is exactly meant by it. Furthermore, we will investigate the cause of our fear of obciach, the manner in which it con-trols us and the way to avoid it. Finally, we will conduct an analysis of popular instances of ob-ciach and of the attempts to familiarise it, as manifested in the paradox of fashion for obciach.
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