An introduction to theories of popular culture by Dominic Strinati

By Dominic Strinati

An advent to Theories of pop culture is widely known as an immensely important textbook for college students taking classes within the significant theories of pop culture. Strinati presents a serious overview of the ways that those theories have attempted to appreciate and evaluation pop culture in smooth societies.

Among the theories and concepts the publication introduces are: mann tradition, the Frankfurt tuition and the tradition undefined, semiology and structuralism, Marxism, feminism, postmodernism and cultural populism.

This re-creation offers clean fabric on Marxism and feminism, whereas a brand new ultimate bankruptcy assesses the importance of the theories defined within the book.

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It does not matter that their America is ‘imaginary’ because that is the point—it possesses its ‘magic’ because it is ‘imaginary’. They consume styles in images, clothes and music in an active, meaningful and imaginative fashion, one which transforms the meanings of Americanisation and converts them into distinct subcultural tastes. Hebdige suggests that these young, urban, working-class men have used the images, styles and vocabularies of American popular culture in their own distinctive and positive ways as a form of resistance, albeit not a radical one, to middle-class and upper-class culture, and as a spirited defence against their own subordination.

In his confession at the end of the novel, the mole, very much a Leavisite rather than a mod, cites Britain’s global decline and irrelevance, and America’s capitalist exploitation and materialism, as his reasons for his secret defection to the Soviet Union (Le Carré 1975:306). 34 MASS CULTURE However, it is not at all clear how much can be argued about wider social and cultural developments on the basis of a small number of conveniently selected novels. Also, novels may be used to write social history, but whether they are works of social history is another matter.

Or is it all the fault of America? Representations of the past may themselves be cultural constructs and tell us more about the present than the past. Notwithstanding this, the questions raised suggest that mass culture theory is unclear about its terms, lacks a sense of history, and harbours an unfounded nostalgia for a romanticised and imaginary past. Two further points emerge out of this problem. The first is that mass culture theory lacks an adequate understanding of social and cultural change.

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