Cultural agents compete both with their peers who occupy the same position in this ad hoc scheme (global transnationals fight against each other, peripheral producers compete with other peripheral producers etc.) as with those who are situated in other positions (global agents compete against their peripheral counterparts, global and peripheral agents both try to squeeze out alternative agents, etc.). Every agent attempts to create a niche where it could secure a relative monopoly for itself. Such a niche is culturally constructed, it is underpinned by representations of a particular life-style, it possesses its own cultural traditions, mythologies, heroes, has its own jargon, its shibboleths etc. Creation of cultural niches is as much the product of cultural invention as it is of cultural parasitism. The two can hardly be distinguished, since commercial cultural invention mostly proceeds in the way of re-articulation of already existing cultural features found "on the field". However, strategies of invention differ according to their aims: if a strategy aims at conquering a world market, it will build upon etiolated and abstract features and will try to maximise the extension of its potential targets; if, on the contrary, a strategy aims at a socially determined group (e.g., an age group), the patch-work of its cultural offer may be closer to the already existing features of the group, or, more likely, will stylise and further develop the traits of its cultural Ideal-Ich.
What we call "nexus" in this volume is a social formation that particularly invites this kind of secondary elaboration. It is itself a source of continuous patch-working efforts that collate explicitly heterogeneous elements ranging widely both over the space and the time, and its cultural features are open towards further re-articulation.II Into every cultural element that is brought within its orbit, the nexal cultural formation introduces a self-distancing mechanism precisely at the point of the usual native illusions.
Global mainstream oligopolies mainly exploit the nexal phenomena within the standard strategies of niche-seeking for capital accumulation, that is, they do not specifically valorise their particular structure. Contrary to this de-localised exploitation of nexus-cultures, some of the other agents inherently depend upon nexal flows and their effects, and actually constitute and re-produce themselves through practices that are detrimental to the nexus-processes. These practices of supplementary elaboration upon already elaborated cultural material establish spaces where the three groups of agents that interest us in particular, either deploy explicitly stated policies or perform what could be considered as “spontaneous”, implicit, policy-making.
The three groups of agents that constitute themselves through specific practices working upon various aspects of the nexus complex, can be broadly described as follows: