The Role of State Spectacle in a Period of Crisis

  • Jovana Karaulic University of Arts, Belgrade


This paper raises the question of the sustainability of the state spectacle when an ideological code of the transmitted message has no clear ideological definition, which is observed in a case study of the central celebration of "Youth Day" in 1988. The organizational structure, ideological intentions and eventual disappearance of the rally point to the possibility of analyzing state spectacle as an instrument of the system for expressing its identity, power and ideology (purpose), i.e. its weakness at a certain historical moment. Since the state ideological apparatus encodes a message within the dominant code, this paper deals with the possibility of decoding messages within the same code in terms of social crisis. Accepting the thesis that the function of the state spectacle is a "representation of reality" that is imposed on the community by the state ideological apparatus as the appropriate symbolic equivalent, the paper examines the possibility of transposing the message in terms of a vague ideological foundation of the state apparatus. From the perspective of sustainability of "the idea of yugoslavianism" the paper explores the issue of expressing national identity in a situation where an "imagined community" lacks a coherent political will.


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How to Cite
KARAULIC, Jovana. The Role of State Spectacle in a Period of Crisis. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 13, p. 149-156, july 2016. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 may 2021.
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