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Popular Culture: A User's Guide, International Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-14037-5
384 pages
July 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Popular Culture: A User

Description

Popular Culture: A User’s Guide, International Edition ventures beyond the history of pop culture to give readers the vocabulary and tools to address and analyze the contemporary cultural landscape that surrounds them.

  • Moves beyond the history of pop culture to give students the vocabulary and tools to analyze popular culture
  • suitable for the study of popular culture across a range of disciplines, from literary theory and cultural studies to philosophy and sociology
  • Covers a broad range of important topics including the underlying socioeconomic structures that affect media, the politics of pop culture, the role of consumers, subcultures and countercultures, and the construction of social reality
  • Examines the ways in which individuals and societies act as consumers and agents of popular culture
  • Numerous learning features including case studies, real-life examples, suggested activities, boxed features, a glossary, and an instructor’s manual
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Table of Contents

Preface: A User’s Guide to Popular Culture: A User’s Guide ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Introducing Popular Culture 1

Approaching Popular Culture 1

Defining Popular Culture 2

Popular Culture Invades the Classroom 12

The Americanization of Popular Culture 14

The Decolonization of Culture 15

Culture and Economics—The Postindustrial Revolution 17

Why This? Why Now? Why Me? A Couple of Final Arguments for the Importance of Studying Popular Culture 18

Coffee as Popular Culture 19

And It All Boils Down To…What Is in a Cup of Coffee? 27

Suggestions for Further Reading 28

2 The History of Popular Culture 29

Taking It from the Streets 29

Making the Streets Safe for Commerce 30

Popular Recreation before 1830 31

Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution 32

Popular Recreation and Resistance 38

The Production of Commercial Mass Culture—the Birth of the Culture Industry 43

Continuities and Changes 49

Suggestions for Further Reading 55

3 Representation and the Construction of Social Reality 57

Truth2Power 57

Constructing a Crisis—the Discourse of Violent Youth 58

Signification—the Production of Social Sense 59

Representing the Youth Crisis 63

Truth2Power: The Politics of Representation 75

Contexts of Representation 79

Representation in Contemporary Culture 86

Suggestions for Further Reading 89

4 The Production of Popular Culture 91

The Business of Culture 91

“Money Changes Everything”: The Pitfalls of Thinking about Production 93

The Culture Industry Thesis 96

Shifting Modes of Cultural Production 106

Cultural Production Today 112

Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing 122

5 The Consuming Life 123

Back to “Normal” 123

A Brief History of Consumer Culture 126

Consumption as Distinction 135

Consumption, Desire, and Pleasure 140

The Politics of Consumption 142

Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing 148

6 Identity and the Body 151

Identity—a Necessary Fiction? 151

The History of Identity—Some Different Theories 153

Hegemonic Masculinity, Postfeminism, and the Third-Wave 161

LGBTQ+ 168

Different Bodies, Different Selves? 172

Altered States 176

Suggestions for Further Reading 182

7 Identity, Community, Collectivity 183

Who Do You Want Me to Be? 183

“The People Who Are Ours” 187

Modern Identities: Nation, Empire, and Race 191

Nation and Empire 197

Postcolonial Identities 200

Postnational Identities: Melted, Frozen, Reconstituted 204

Community or Collectivity? 210

Suggestions for Further Reading 212

8 Subcultures and Countercultures 213

The Mainstream and Other Streams 213

Subcultures and Countercultures: What Is the Difference? 217

Popular Representations of Subcultures and Countercultures 221

The Politics of Subcultures 229

Suggestions for Further Reading 240

9 Space, Place, and Globalization 243

(Dis)Locations of Popular Culture 243

Private versus Public Space 246

Inside Out 255

The Big Picture: Globalization? 262

Is Globalization Real? 264

Globalization and Popular Culture 271

Globalization: What’s Next? 279

Suggestions for Further Reading 279

10 Popular Culture in the Twenty?]First Century 281

In with the New? 281

Many Popular Cultures? 283

New Technology and Its Discontents 287

Lost Generation? 301

What Is Next? 309

Suggestions for Further Reading and Viewing 310

Glossary 311

Works Cited 327

Index 345

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Author Information

Imre Szeman is Professor of Drama & Speech Communication, and English Language & Literture at the University of Waterloo, Canada.  He is the founder of the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies and a founding member of the US Cultural Studies Association. His main areas of research are in energy and environmental studies, social and political philosophy, and critical theory and cultural studies. He is the author or editor of more than 16 books, including Cultural Theory: An Anthology (Wiley Blackwell, 2010) and After Globalization (Wiley Blackwell, 2011).

Susie O'Brien is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, Canada. Her research and teaching focus on postcolonial and environmental cultural studies.  She has published on postcolonial literature, the slow and local food movements, scenario planning, and the temporality of globalization.  She is co-editor of Time, Globalization and Human Experience (forthcoming 2017) and is currently working on a monograph on the power and vulnerability of resilience stories.

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