Pop-culture all inclusive. Sociological-anthropological sketch about happiness, Warsaw 2017

What is the book about?

Character of the language contained in the songs of happiness is one of the signature features of mass culture. Linguistic and cultural analysis of the lyrics presented in this book makes it possible to conclude that the language of happiness, understood both as a colloquial term as well as some kind of activity and skill, found in the songs is noticeably positive. It has rich lexical resources reflecting the variety of forms and functions of happiness in song lyrics, and has many functions performed by the creators and performers of these texts. It is multi-layered by intensity of synonyms and idiomatic forms, which allow not only to understand and create the reality of everyday life, but also give vent to the visions of happiness, i.e. to transmit them in popular culture. It is a means to achieve abstraction and illusion of happiness (through antinomies, particularly evident in proverbs and sayings) understood as contentment with life but also to understand and express the collision of moments of happiness with everyday life. Happiness and the language in which we express it, are positively associated and universally desired in popular culture. Proverbs, aphorisms and Slavic (Polish / Ukrainian / Russian) sayings are fascinating cognitive sources of happiness. This is an interesting phenomenon especially at the confrontational level. The lexical resources to determine the emotional state of happiness are very large and diverse. Following daily routines can give / induce the sense of happiness (determinant of habits) from past events. This sensation is conditioned by the individual's feeling of security and blissful anticipation of foreseeing consequences of some phenomena. Determinant of habits is the behaviour adopted by individuals which is anchored in everyday life and popular culture through routine actions and repetition of patterns. The validity of the determinant of habits is usually perceived when an individual feels its lacking. This lack may apply to phenomena of all kinds, including linguistic ones, and is clearly visible in song lyrics. This determinant is carried out mainly in the texts of popular music and is associated with love - for which it is an equivalent to the feeling of happiness. Metaphors, metonymies of the world outside the everyday life create a kind of picture of happiness that is appreciated and felt by individuals only after it is gone. It is at the moment of its loss that its validity and value is glorified and treasured. Determinant of the present serves to analyse happiness transmitted in the real time, here and now. It is embedded in the space between what was (i.e. the past, there and then) and what will be (i.e. the future.) The determinant of the present is, therefore, the real happiness, that is, the collision of the moment in its course (at the moment it occurs) and the perception of the individual. It is diverse in its shades and hues. Its characteristic is the transmission of the moment of “here” and “now.” It is not plenipotent either backwards or forwards. Happiness is therefore located in events in the space and time that do not go beyond the present. An important element of the determinant of the present (here and now), which serves to achieve the moments of happiness by individuals, are attitudes affixed to egotistic hedonism or hedonistic materialism and they can also, to some extent, be identified with the culture of consumerism. In this book all the elements that express and serve to achieve happiness by individuals have been labelled as the determinant of desires. The space-time of this determinant, though transmitted in the present "here and now", is oriented forward, for the future. It is located on the axis of space-time before the determinant of habit and present respectively, because it concerns future events, that is, everything that has not happened yet, but is in the plans, desires, dreams and wishes of individuals. In this context, happiness is the object of desire. Happiness is fragmentary in its nature when perceived as satisfaction with ones’ lives and their pursuits. It is the sum of the collisions of happy moments. It is a condition yearned by individuals, and occurring when they attain the desired meaning of their existence. Happiness understood as an ephemeral, elusive moment, sweeps us away and becomes a peculiar stroke of luck on the axis of everyday life, which stands out. The experience of happiness is conditioned by the individual’s desires and their individual choices. The analysis of happiness in popular culture conducted in this book focuses on the lyrics of Slavic songs, particularly in Polish, Russian and Ukrainian. And cultural background is an indispensable element of the argument. For, lyrics of songs play an important role in the process of achieving happiness by individuals. Songs release new and / or reminisce from the subconsciousness the collisions of moments of happiness from the past events (determinant of habits) and they can activate them through present moments (determinant of the present) thus directing and introducing the individual (determinant of desires) into the state of happiness. Happiness itself is just as ambiguous as its concept. As evidenced in the following chapters of this book, one learns about happiness mainly by contrasting the everyday life and various antinomies. The expressiveness of these antinomies is clearly visible not only in song lyrics, but also in everyday language and in proverbs and sayings.

  • :