On Popular Idolatry: A Reflexive Symbological Spin

Hiroshi Aoyagi, Mateja Kovacic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter lays out the symbological foundation of idology by means of synthesizing the semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic aspects of popular idolatry—as analytically significant components of forming a new academic discipline. The authors suggest it is necessary to surpass the ad hoc arbitrarily and non-empirically elaborated inference-makings on specific idols and idol groups in favor of systematically identifying and analyzing the working mechanisms of symbolic agency as a combination of cultural, social, economic, political, and technological forces that operates in the field of idol-production. For that purpose, the authors demonstrate the integral value of cross-textual interpretations, logical analyses, and ontological observations in the study of idol symbolism—with an aim to highlight the transformative power of ritualized fan practices and of adored characters and celebrated personalities in industrial and nonindustrial, physical and digital, and sacred and secular social environments, as well as in-between sites of sociocultural production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdology in Transcultural Perspective
Subtitle of host publicationAnthropological Investigations of Popular Idolatry
EditorsAoyagi Hiroshi, Patrick W. Galbraith, Mateja Kovacic
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9783030826772
ISBN (Print)9783030826765
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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