Mainstream

Article

August 19, 2022

Mainstream is an English term used as an adjective in various fields of arts and culture to indicate a current that, in a particular cultural sphere, is considered more traditional and "conventional", common and dominant, and is therefore followed by the largest public. 'American English also indicates a current or a trend which, in a certain context, benefits from a mass following, as opposed to minority tendencies. This use of the term sometimes underlies a value judgment, which can be negative or positive depending on the cases and contexts.

Use of the term

It is typically used in various fields of culture and the arts, such as music, cinema, literature, science, economics, the world of information and so on. The specific meaning depends on the single area and variable can also be its connotation in terms of value, positive, negative or even derogatory, depending on the context. For example, in literature the mainstream attribute carries with it a positive value judgment, usually indicating "non-genre" literary production, compared to genre fiction, often considered "low quality", as opposed to "high quality" "of literary fiction. In other fields the term implies a clearly derogatory evaluation, such as when it is used in contrast to underground, subculture and counterculture, or to artistic productions, to indicate, even with a derogatory intent, artistic productions linked to typically "trendy" genres ( such as action films, exploitation movies, pop music, etc.) or to a particular target, motivated by purely commercial reasons (for example, products built to be intended for adolescent audiences).

Demarcation problem

In the philosophy of science, mainstream refers to that area of ​​scientific activity that no longer needs to establish itself as accepted and consolidated. New frontier areas, which are still seeking legitimacy as established disciplines, are typically labeled as protoscience or frontier science. A definition of "mainstream" science in terms of "protoscience" and "frontier science" can be illustrated according to the diagram in the following table: Due to its aptitude for applying good methodological practices, mainstream science is distinguished from pseudoscience as a demarcation problem while specific types of research are exposed as junk science, cargo cult science, scientific fraud, etc.

In various contexts

Anthropology

In anthropology the main use of the term refers to gender mainstreaming, understood as the systematic integration of the situations, priorities and respective needs of women and men in all policies, measures, interventions, in order to mobilize and raise awareness of all policies. of a general nature in order to achieve parity taking into account the effects when planning and implementing them. The term combines the English words gender, which means gender (the word gender refers to the two sexes in their social relations) and mainstream and suggests dynamism, movement and progression towards something, along with something. Gender mainstreaming therefore indicates a strategy composed of ideas (theories and assumptions) but also of practices (decisions and actions) capable of stimulating changes in society. Gender mainstreaming strategies emphasize systematic attention to equal opportunity issues in organizational policies, programs and practices and involve changes in policies, structures and systems. The reasons for including the gender perspective in all policies, programs and actions (and in the processes that imply them) are based on the assumption that men and women have different needs, resources, situations and that these