The impossible object. Towards a sociology of the sublime

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 1987 Number 1

The impossible object. Towards a sociology of the sublime
Dick Hebdige pages -


The evolution of the aesthetic concept of the sublime is considered, in relation to beauty, subjectivity, and postmodernist and post-structuralist moves. The alleged subjectivity of aesthetic taste is questioned via the work of Peter Fuller and the relationship between taste and social considerations is described in terms of the work of Bourdieu. As a case study, the author describes his own street in London, in which a neighbour’s attachment to his Thunderbird car (an ‘impossible object’) is read through Baudrillard’s theorisation of the relationship between objects and social values. Contributions towards an understanding of aesthetics made by Plato, Derrida, Marx, Barthes, Heidegger, Lyotard, Habermas and Adorno are also considered.

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To cite this article
Dick Hebdige (1987) The impossible object. Towards a sociology of the sublime, New Formations, 1987(1), -

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