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By Dominic Strinati

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

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

This new version presents 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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The example of a scientist like Huxley is instructive since his views illustrate an alternative understanding of America and Americanisation which can be used to offer a critical commentary on mass culture theory. Leavis and Orwell. Other arguments indicate that the issues involved are more complex than a simple decline of standards. In his discussions with working-class people about their past lives, part of an attempt to construct an oral history, Worpole (1983) found that a surprising number of the people he talked to said that one type of reading matter they had preferred had been American crime and detective fiction.

A problem which needs to be dealt with in this critique concerns mass culture theory’s inadequate understanding of the role of the audience in popular culture. In putting forward a feminist critique, Modleski (1986a; cf. Chapter 5 below) has pointed out how mass culture theory tends to ‘feminise’ mass culture. It attributes to mass culture qualities which are culturally equated with the feminine, such as consumption, passivity and sentiment or emotion, and contrasts these with qualities such as production, activity and intellect, which are culturally equated with the masculine, and defined as art or high culture.

Ang accounts for this contrast by suggesting that two distinct, discursive and publicly available ideologies are at work. 15 The first, which has things in common with the theory outlined in this chapter, is the one the first set of viewers resort to in accounting for their hostile and ironic response. This ideology of mass culture appears to be more prominent as a public discourse about cultural evaluations of what is good and bad. It underpins the confident critique of the series as yet another example of Americanised mass culture.

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