From Popular Culture to Popular Custom, and Back Again: A Love-Lock’s Tale
Keywords:love-locks, popular culture, folk custom
Walk over a major bridge in a Western city and chances are you will come across at least one or two love-locks. These are padlocks inscribed with names or initials and attached to a public structure, typically by a couple in declaration of romantic commitment, who then proceed to throw the key into the river below. Some assemblages of these love tokens are modest; others number the thousands. This has become a truly global phenomenon, with over 400 love-lock assemblages catalogued across 62 countries in all continents bar Antarctica: popular custom in the true sense of the term. Although this custom was practised prior to the 21st century, with evidence of it in Serbia and Hungary in the 1900s, it did not gain widespread popularity until the mid-2000s — sparked, this paper contends, by an Italian teenage romance novel. This paper explores the transition from popular culture, defined here as mass-produced cultural products — including but not limited to television, film, literature and music — accessible to and consumed by the majority of a given society, to popular (or folk) custom. It also explores the reverse. As the love-lock custom gained popularity and familiarity, it became an established folk motif in films, television, and novels — from popular custom to popular culture — and this paper considers what these transitions demonstrate about the relationship, or interrelationship, between popular custom and popular culture.
© The copyright of all essays and creative writing remains with the authors, and is protected by our Creative Commons licence.
The Guest Editor, Editorial Committee and the General Editor are not responsible for the views expressed by the authors.
As a result of the aim to become a forum for research papers, there is an open access discussion forum attached to Coolabah, though the Editorial Board take no responsibility for the contributions sent to the forum. However, if at any time a contributor to the forum engages in politically incorrect discussion the Editorial Board will reserve the right to deny access to the person in question.
Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors. No article may be reproduced in any other media by the authors although parts may appear in other articles with proper reference to this journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.
Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
PUBLICATION AND AUTHORSHIP
Authors retain copyright. Creative Commons
1./ The authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal the right of first publication.
- Texts will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work, provided they include an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship, its initial publication in this journal and the terms of the license:see <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br />This work is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>.
2./ The only exception to republication is creative writing, photography or any visual art that appears as part of a volume.
3./ Author/s will be requested to complete a declaration of originality and absence of plagiarism.
4./ All articles must be original work and be free of plagiarism and/or fraudulent information. Should any such faults be detected by the referees, Guest Editor/s or General Editors the article will be immediately withdrawn and evidence sent to the author of the use of plagiarism or fraudulent data. The guidelines then followed by the Guest Editor/s and General Editors in such cases will be those published by the Committee On Publication Ethics.
5./ It is the responsibility of the author/s to demonstrate in their contribution that they have the required level of research expertise in the area of the volume to which they are contributing, and that, in the case of co-authorship, they have contributed significantly to the article submitted.
6./ All contributions will be subjected to a double blind peer review processIn the case of disagreement between the referees, the article will be resubmitted to a third referee, who will make the final decision.
7./ If the referees agree to publication of an article making recommendations for certain changes, be they in terms of language, format, content and/or bibliography, these must be considered and/or made by the author/s before the article can be accepted. In the foregoing circumstances the author/s have the right to withdraw their article if they so wish.
8/ If the authors belong to a research group, or have received funding for their research of which the article is part, they must state so in a foot note on the first page.
9./ Should an author disagree with a decision not to publish he/she should first:
9.1 Register a reasoned complaint to the Guest Editor of the volume and the General Editors.
9.2 If the author still feels unsatisfied with the results of his / her complaint they should then register their complaint with the Barcelona University Complaints ombudsman/ woman issuing a reasoned document in English and a Spanish translation of the original.
EDITORS, PEER REVIEWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1./ It is behoven upon the General Editors to have an editorial committee of peer reviewers who are well recognised scholars, have experience as reviewers and are proficient in English. For certain highly specialised volumes it is behoven to the Guest Editor/s to refer articles to eminent specialists of their choice in the field. All the names of these reviewers must appear in the volume concerned.
2./ Should a reviewer recognise the author/s of the work under review they must immediately inform the Guest Editor/s and the General Editors and the article will be sent to another reviewer.
3./ The Guest Editor/s and General Editors must ensure that there is no area of conflict of interest between the article under review or its author/s, peer reviewers, Guest Editor/s or General Editors.
4./ All author/s must remain anonymous to the reviewers and all reviewers’ work must similarly remain confidential.
5./ Under no circumstances will articles be passed to anybody other than the reviewers, Guest Editor/s and General Editors in order to guarantee the customary ethics of confidentiality.
6./ The General Editors must undertake to meet the publishing deadlines for each volume.They must therefore work closely with all Guest Editor/s
7./ On the occasions needed the Guest Editor/s and General Editors will publish any apologies or clarifications in the following volume and by email to the author/s concerned.