Culture Jamming as Critical Public Pedagogy

Jennifer A. Sandlin, Jennifer L. Milam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Culture jamming, the act of resisting and recreating commercial culture in an effort to transform society, is embraced by groups and individuals who seek to critique and (re)form how culture is created and enacted in our daily lives. The term was coined in 1984 by the San Francisco-based electronica band Negitivland in reference to the illegal interruption of the signals of ham radio (Carducci, 2006). Lasn (1999), founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, explains that culture jamming is a metaphor for stopping the flow of consumer-culture saturated media. And Atkinson (2003) posits that culture jamming is based on the idea of resisting the dominant ideology of consumerism and recreating commercial culture in order to transform society. Culture jamming includes such activities as billboard “liberation, " the creation and dissemination of anti-advertising “subvertisements, " and participation in DIY (do-it-yourself) political theater and “shopping interventions.” Many culture jammers view themselves as descendents of the “Situationists, " a European anarchist group from the 1950s led by Guy Debord (Harold, 2004). Members of this group created moments of what Bakhtin (1973) would later call the “carnivalesque, " enacted to fight against the “spectacle” of everyday life. According to the Situationists, the spectacle stifles free will and spontaneity, replacing them with media-sponsored lives and prepackaged experiences (Lasn, 1999). Like the Situationists, culture jammers reject the spectacle in favor of more authentic or less media-ted lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Public Pedagogy
Subtitle of host publicationEducation and Learning beyond Schooling
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781135184193
ISBN (Print)9781135002480
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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