Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture Theories and Methods Free download ½ 6

Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture Theories and Methods

Review Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture Theories and Methods

У книзі розглянуто зв'язок між теорією культури та масовою культурою подано чіткий критичний огляд різних культурологічних підходів Автор зосереджується передовсім на теоретичних і ме?. This book is a great introduction to Cultural Studies in general covering key theories and main scholars very well It is a good starting point for people with not much knowledge on the subject with references to do further research depending on individual interestI loved the nuance of the author how every argument had a counter argument Storey showed different perspectives on the issues discussed It is also nice how the books throws light into the evolution of Cultural Studies and into the tensions within the field By the end it makes sense the book focuses on Popular Culture a field full of conflict and nowadaysOnly issues I had with the book is that I wish the ueer and race theory sections were longer they felt rather uick and not as considered as others More depth in those areas would be niceOverall a must read for people interested in culture and issues surrounding it Even as an International Development student it made me think a lot

Characters × PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ John Storey

?одологічних засадах та наслідках важливих моментів в історії дослідження маскультури приділяє пильну увагу ідеології її функціонування в модерному суспільствіКнига розрахована на ст?. okeish but too theoretical

John Storey ☆ 6 Review

?дентів культурологічних філософських факультетів на науковців що студіюють популярну культуру ЗМІ сучасне мистецтво тендерні проблеми тощо та на всіх хто цікавиться питаннями культур. Good overview of various schools of thought and their views about popular culture


10 thoughts on “Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture Theories and Methods

  1. says:

    3This is the standard introductory work to cultural studies at my university and it does its job pretty well I do think that there could have been a little effort put into the graphics eg how the Id Ego and Superego relate to the Conscious Subconscious and Unconscious in the chapter on Freudian psychoanalysis but the language is clear unpretentious and direct which is a major plus point in such a work I recommend


  2. says:

    This book is a great introduction to Cultural Studies in general covering key theories and main scholars very well It is a good starting point for people with not much knowledge on the subject with references to do further research depending on individual interestI loved the nuance of the author how every argument had a counter argument Storey showed different perspectives on the issues discussed It is also nice how the books throws light into the evolution of Cultural Studies and into the tensions within the field By the end it makes sense the book focuses on Popular Culture a field full of conflict and nowadaysOnly issues I had with the book is that I wish the ueer and race theory sections were longer they felt rather uick and not as considered as others More depth in those areas would be niceOverall a must read for people interested in culture and issues surrounding it Even as an International Development student it made me think a lot


  3. says:

    A pretty useful reader that introduces students to post structuralism and post modernism


  4. says:

    I read this text for a sociology course and it covered the various schools of sociological thought on popular culture The main concept that I emerged with after this read was a keen understanding between organic popular culture and the dominate inorganic mass produced popular culture created by the corporate entertainment industryWhile researching for definitions and concepts of popular culture I noticed that most modern sociologists center their definitions compiled in a text that they are selling around multiple concepts of already established theories on popular culture These rehashed and watered down views on the existence and evolution of popular culture all seem to be based on the ideological maxims of either core conflict theory between proletariats and bourgeoisie which has termed in many different terminologies such as rich and poor or the optimistic humanist view that popular culture is organic in nature and created by society and the majority of people within a society The sociologist Shirley Fedorak pointed out two schools of thought ‘mass culture theory’ and ‘populist theory’ She describes mass culture theory as a division between high culture and popular culture the later belonging “to the ‘mindless masses’ who accept and absorb it without uestion or critiue” and that popular culture is an “opiate for the masses” Fedorak 2009 p 4 The populist theory on the other hand views popular culture as “a vibrant pursuit that offers intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and an opportunity to escape from the stress of everyday life” Fedorak 2009 p 4 The two ideologies resemble the pessimistic and optimistic views of humanity does it not? One is clearly a conflict theory while the other is optimistic with only subtle traces of conflict between the economic classes Interestingly enough both schools of thought here seem to agree that popular culture keeps the masses dreaming diverted and unfocused on important social and political issues that impact their society and the future of their societyBriefly touching on previously established concepts on popular culture Storey opens with the definitive statement that popular culture “is in effect an empty conceptual concept” Storey 2009 p 1 While I do not completely agree with or disagree with every school of thought that Storey brushes over in chapter one I disagree with his statement here in favor of a Marixst view on the matter Popular culture may be damaging and distracting to society but I do not believe it to be an empty conceptual concept I suspect that if popular culture was ever actually organic in nature that the controlling forces of it changed as technology expanded over the past 500 years or so and the means of production for mass producing popular culture was stripped away from once independent origins of the majority working class The most alarming point that Storey makes to support this view is that “whatever else popular culture is it is definitely a culture that only emerged following industrialization and urbanization” Storey 2009 p 1 As most of us realize capitalism came out of industrialization and urbanization and with it expanded a great disproportion of wealth distribution which is the basis for consolidated ownership in means of production and the chasm widened with every new developed technology from the Industrial Revolution to the recent Internet Boom Not only did the distribution of wealth and means of production become concentrated into the ownership of a few over a many as the classic writings of Marx teach but the advancing stages of technology offered and opportunity to mass produce so called popular culture text Once possibly innocent forms of text such as Charles Dickens readings or Shakespearean sonnets on London stages are now five hundred satellite channels on every television endless webs of Internet pages mass marketed music and movies and video game systems that glamorize meaningless violence Storey 2009 notes “They produce what is sometimes called ‘false consciousness’ Such distortions it is argued work in the interests of the powerful against the interests of the powerless Using this definition we might speak of capitalist ideology” P 3 In the case of American society the massive modern distraction caused by so called popular culture leads to apathy toward and desensitization of very serious issues in our American society such as the current fifteen trillion dollar deficient and what that massive deficit means for our children the high murder rates and drug rates in American cities constant corporate and foreign lobbyist manipulation of Congress and many other serious issues in our society that need at the very minimum the attention of America’s majority population Instead the majority of Americans have their concentration diverted after working long hours by a designed popular culture Not a popular culture created by the working masses but created for the working masses This the distraction factor is the most obvious comparison between the emphasis points I have put forth by Fedorak and Storey Popular culture is a drug like distraction for the working and lower economic masses and this dream like distraction that promotes apathy and stagnation is especially debilitating to social advancement of the masses for the better of society when it is mass produced by an elite group of profit driven economic resource ownersThe text made me contemplate the larger picture of popular culture as a massive inorganic beast with many arms stretching to the masses While some arms reach every human who is a part of the mass society other arms only reach certain ethnicities religions or others categories of demographics I believe it is still possible for an occasional organic form of popular culture to emerge but it is impossible to prevent the owners of the means of production from hijacking manipulating and mass producing those sporadic anomalies in a hybrid form with hidden economic or political motives I feel that popular culture is inorganic in nature and created for the masses to fallow like sheep Before you deny the possibility please take some time to notice the self destructive immoral and selfishly individualistic nature of most of our mass produced popular culture in the United States1 The definition of Culturalism like the definition of popular culture has been analyzed to the point of having an unclear definition Many sociologists have conducted researches and developed scholastic text in efforts to define the concept I agree with EP Thompson’s position that culture is “a historical phenomenon” Storey 2009 P 49 I also support the view that both historically and currently the historical phenomenon of culture is defined by two polarities the human agency and the structural detriments While Thompson leaned toward the ‘human agency’ as the major motion in culturalism I tend to follow the Marxist ideology that considers the ‘structural detriment’ of society the dominant factor especially within an ultra capitalistic highly technological society such as the United States that defines the ebb and low of culturalism In order to understand this view one must understand the reality of wealth distribution means of production and production distribution Storey uotes Raymond Williams on page 48 “In fact the main source of this ‘popular culture’ lies outside of the working class altogether for it is instituted financed and operated by the commercial bourgeoisie and remains typically capitalist in its methods of production and distribution That the working class people form perhaps a majority of the consumers of this materialdoes not as a fact justify this facile identification” Storey 2009 P 48 With the mass production of so called popular culture the human agency or human element is heavily influenced and manipulated by the structural detriment which could also translate to the judicial and legislative components put in place or purchased in place by those who possess the means to mass produce so called popular culture in order to protect those who possess and who have consolidated the means of production 2 Hoggart makes a rather keen observation of the early stages of mass produced popular culture during its early stages during the 1950s when he writes about the Milk Bars and the Jukebox Boys “putting copper after copper into the mechanical record player” and waggling one shoulder or stare “as desperately as Humphrey Bogart” Storey 2009 P 42 Keep in mind how this early stage of mass produced popular culture centers around the newly developed technology of the jukebox and the recently enhanced silver screen with audio With each decade that follows the 1950s we can see new technologies that enhance the mass production of so called popular culture As the technology grows and is produced in higher volume the lower the price becomes on the technology and it becomes available to the ‘popular’ working class • Juke Box joints to 8 track players record players and tape decks • Video game arcades to video game systems • Movie theaters to VCRs DVDs • Basic cable to 500 channel satellite systems • Home computers to the Internet boom Again as the price of technologies become affordable to the working class as a result of mass production by those with means of mass production capital the influence of mass produced popular culture becomes stronger on the human agency the working class people 3 After 1950 and the beginning of the technologic uickening and mass production of popular culture it appears fine culture was still a reflection of the shrinking upper class but the only distinction of value between the two categories would be that fine culture is overall organic in development since it generally developed among economic peers in the upper class while popular culture has been and still is manufactured by the highest element of upper class those with means of mass production for the working class population in order to influence economic consumption purchasing and influence multiple areas in human agency It is evident to me that the continuous moral decline over the past five decades has been heavily impacted by three factors 1 the advancement of technology for mass producing popular culture by those with means of production 2 The influence of developing technology for mass production of popular culture on the human agency has produced a vicious cycle within the working class of mental and routine dependence on mass produced popular culture 3 The weakening and declining social awareness politically and economically the stagnation of intellectual abilities critical thinking the moral degradation and unconscious euphoria of apathy caused by routine addiction to mass produced popular culture especially when heavily force fed in glamorized images of self destruction are focused on the youth future adults and parents It produces a degenerative generation cycle that weakens all positive strengthening of family and community with each generation and uite frankly weakens the ability to parent guide and mentor If popular culture is and has been such a natural phenomenon instead of a manufactured drug designed to numb the masses where are all the mass produced popular culture text that encourage the advancement of families and communities? Are these vulgar mass products of immoral humor really a reflection of a popular culture that the majority of Americans have created on our own? Is popular culture in the United States really a reflection of who we are as a people?During the 1970s and 1980s popular music often addressed social issues in the communities and the nation Music was used in many cases to address and bring about political economic and community consciousness in order to change various negative issues This was especially the case in musical genres of the black communities In the 1970s popular artists such as Gil Scott Heron Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye addressed issues facing the black community and the nation at large In the early period of hip hop music during the 1980s artists such as Grandmaster Flash Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions spoke out through their music to address and bring awareness to social issues that troubled the black community Many people who listen to popular music in the Hip Hop genre of music today often ask “What ever happened to the positive messages in black music?” The answer can be found in the corporate consolidation of mass produced popular Hip Hop music After the genre of Hip Hop music proved in the late 1980s its potential for profit it was not long before the corporate conglomerates began mass producing the genre of Hip Hop music and either forcing the independent hip hop music labels out of business or controlling which types of products would be created funded and mass distributed The trend today in mass produced Hip Hop music is no longer the identification of negative and community destroying issues such as drugs and murder that need to be countered and address The trend in mass produced hip hop music today amplifies promotes and glamorizes the negative community impacting issues and problems especially in urban and lower economic communities In order to illustrate this trend we will select one negative issue and critically analyze five recent chart topping Hip Hop songs and the artists who perform them within the mass produced music production machine Considering all the forms of glamorized self destructive trends that are mass produced and placed into heavy repetitive rotation we will focus on one area of promotion the glamorization of drugs Drugs in the United States destroys communities increases the prison population increases crime rates has been argued to increase violence lowers property values within neighborhoods and communities and drains state budgets for mass incarceration and private prisonsThe first popular artist we will look at is 2 Chainz and his so called hit song “No Lie” The lyrics in his song clearly promote drug usage among other negative behavior patterns “I am smoking on that gas life should be on Cinemax Movie Bought my boo bigger tits and a bigger ass Who he's not I I smoke strong that Popeye Louie V's in my archives black diamonds apartheid Bread up and my top down On the block with a block out Hit ya ass with that block out Dope enough to go in yo nostrils I take ya girl and kidnap her Beat her to my mattress” Epps 2012The promotion of drug usage especially in lower economic communities is not only destructive to individuals and communities; it promotes a much larger political problem The influence of drug usage and drug selling since regardless of individual opinion are illegal acts produces a rise in incarceration rates and uickly fills state prisons In the past fifteen years the vast increase has opened a lucrative business in the form of the private prison industry which has several corporations available for investment on the New York Stock Exchange When state prison facilities become overpopulated the state is reuired to move incarcerated inmates to privatized prisons which increase the fiscal drain on state budgets The funding paid to privatized prisons from the state budget could be used on positive areas such as education community improvement and job creation The promotion of drugs in heavily promoted and repeated glamorized images along with other crime promoting fads not only influences the individual consuming listener consciously and subconsciously it creates several cause and effect reactions and implications impacts as high up as Congressional budget cuts under a fifteen trillion dollar debtThe following chart topping artists promote the same negative trend of drug glamorizationA In the Kayne West song “Mercy” we once again see the artist Big Sean promoting the same negative excess this time using sex appeal to glamorize the negative element “Make that ass shake Woah make the ground move that’s an ass uake Built a house up on that ass that’s an ass state Roll my weed on it that’s an ass tray” West 2012B The artist Whales in his chart topping song “Bag of Money” follows the same tired trend with his repeated hook “And I like my marijuana bright And I like my window tinted out Shout out them strippers who hustle” Ross 2012C Not wanting to be undone the artist Meek Mills gets to the top of the genre chart with his promotion of drugs and excess in his song titled “Amen” “Bottle after bottle drink until I overdose Pull up in the Phantom watch them bitches catch the holy ghost Everytime I step up in the dealer I be goin’ broke Shorty wanna fuck me I say get on top and rollercoast” Mills 2012 and “Just bought my niggas some cane so much it came with a plane Bought my niggas some dope so much it came with a boat I just bought me a crib so big it came with a moat” Mills 2012D Last but not least we end near the place that we began with the ultra popular Lil Wayne rapping over the 2 Chainz instrumental “No Lie” “I got them yellow Zanax I slipped on a banana pill Trukfit t shirt blunt dripped in syrup pass that weed around like some fuckin’ hors d’oeuvres” Carter 2012 and “Shout out to my weed man shout out to my lean man I’m sitting on these motherfuckin’ millions like a beanbag fuck you don’t judge me drug me then love me” Carter 2012These are the artists that have their material constantly played in heavy rotation on the Viacom video channels radio and the Internet with corporate money behind them to ensure it reaches the masses in repetitive consumption The messages of self destruction are clear and the selected songs from 2012 can be easily replaced with different selections from 2012 and will often than not reveal the same promotion of negative materials Just how much of an influence does this heavy dose of mass produced repetition have? A 2006 study by the nonprofit organization Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation revealed that “almost 70 percent of the students who listened to music daily or almost daily listened to rap and hip hop and when that data was compared with the students' answers about alcohol drugs and violence the survey found that substance use and aggressive behaviors among young people were significantly associated to certain genres of popular music mainly rap” Montgomery 2006 The same point of realistic disenchantment is echoed in a 2010 dissertation by Dr Boyce Watkins Watkins points out the systematic influence factor on targeted consumers by pointing out that currently “black males listen to hip hop in a way that is different from nearly any other group of people in America We don’t just listen to the artists we imitate them Millions of black boys want to be like Lil Wayne copying every tattoo gesture and ridiculous punch line When he goes to jail and brags about it we end up bragging about it ourselves Therefore hip hop has done its share of work to sustain the perpetual love affair between African American males and the systems designed to destroy them” Watkins 2010


  5. says:

    Relatively comprehensive introduction to many key concepts of cultural studies I found the first two chapters tedious as they serve mostly as a historical account of the theoretical foundations upon which British Cultural Studies is built on literary criticism dating to the 19th century and their subseuent development These chapters provide context for understanding culture from different historical and theoretical viewpoints exploring various iterations of the basesuperstructure model and examinations on the production of meaning but I would suggest briefly reading these initial chapters and then starting in earnest on the third chapter which covers contemporary British Cultural Studies' major thinkers Hoggart Hall WiliamsThroughout the remaining chapters Storey curates and elaborates upon select concepts in Cultural Studies giving succinct explanations for concepts such as Ideology Althusser Hegemony Gramsci Discourse Foucault Ego Lacan and how these concepts impact the reproduction of Culture The book does stay very true to its title selecting only concepts that are relevant to popular culture as well as academia that has impacted the masses Storey covers a fairly large range of topics with relevant thinkers from the US France and UK although I will say that the selection of writers is obviously based towards thinkers who are BritishStandout chapters include 3 Culturalism 4 Marxisms 9 Postmodernism The final chapter Politics of Popular also raises some interesting points about how consumption might be configured to resist capitalism although Storey seems to stop far short of much further exploration no doubt to maintain academic distance although the chapter also bizarrely starts with what feels like a critiue of a fellow academicCertain chapters are a bit thin notably the chapter on feminism and sexuality where the section on men's studies and masculinities is barely than a paragraph long and ueer theory is confined mostly to Judith Butler's theory of gender performativity The chapter on race has a good section on whiteness and Orientalism but is otherwise lacking about post colonial theory or a comprehensive section into media theory and representation Hall's theory of encoding is noticeably absent a proper breakdownThe major criticisms I have however is that while the book introduces readers to the many potential forms of relationships consumers and producers of popular culture might have it does so in a rather scattered manner exploring mostly how different cultures such as feminist reading groups or celebrity fans might create meaning when consuming popular culture without ever properly providing a supporting theoretical framework to analyse the productionconsumption relationship A section to recap the various examples would be useful Lastly while the book explores the recent development of globalisation to some degree in its later chapters the book is noticeably absent recent cultural texts with no examples of newer popular culture such as ANY POP MUSIC FROM AFTER 1980 or like y'know youtube videos of cats emojis memes?Overall this book does give a pretty accessible introduction to some rather complex theoretical concepts and I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a good understandable overview That said be prepared for some rather outdated references


  6. says:

    okeish but too theoretical


  7. says:

    Great intro Readable Praise Jesus


  8. says:

    Good overview of various schools of thought and their views about popular culture


  9. says:

    Most theories of popular culture are responses to modern communications technologies but some have definite relevance for antiuity


  10. says:

    I bought this at a library book sale thinking that an introductory text on cultural studies could be helpful and luckily I was correct The chapter on critical studies of popular fiction made me feel like my project is not insane and almost every chapter has some sort of scholarly tidbit or summarized theoretical idea that I could apply to my own studies It also provided an excellent review of the different theories that I read in my 501 courses put clearly but not too simply Unfortunately as this is an introductory text I can't use it too much in and of itself As it stands however Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture has a giant bibliography ripe for raiding and will make me look a lot smarter at my thesis proposal defense for having read it Those two things make it well worth the dollar I spent on the book and the time that I took to read and annotate it


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