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Of Comics and MenA Cultural History of American Comic Books$
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Jean-Paul Gabilliet

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732672

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732672.001.0001

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Internal Consecration

Internal Consecration

(p.244) Chapter 15 Internal Consecration
Of Comics and Men

Jean-Paul Gabilliet

University Press of Mississippi

As a complex social process, cultural legitimation is difficult to observe because its various modalities refer to distinct realities. Legitimation is an intricate mechanism that can be broken down into three modalities that function in relation to one another: visibility, recognition, and legitimacy. The legitimation of any cultural practice requires effects of consecration, that is, phenomena that “confirm” its accession to the dominant cultural hierarchy. This chapter examines how comics and comic books are inscribed in America’s cultural and social fields. It discusses the mechanisms and agents of internal consecration within the comic book field: the prizes, the specialty magazines, the fans, and the conventions. It also describes the second wave of comics fandom, the impetus of which came from a small group of adult science fiction fans who used to enjoy comic books in their childhood and whose interest was revived by DC Comics’s resurrection of the superhero genre in the late 1950s.

Keywords:   cultural legitimation, visibility, recognition, legitimacy, comics, comic books, internal consecration, prizes, specialty magazines, fans

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