By Dominic Strinati
An creation to Theories of pop culture is well known as an immensely helpful textbook for college kids taking classes within the significant theories of pop culture. Strinati offers a severe evaluation of the ways that those theories have attempted to appreciate and overview pop culture in smooth societies.
Among the theories and concepts the booklet introduces are: mann tradition, the Frankfurt institution and the tradition undefined, semiology and structuralism, Marxism, feminism, postmodernism and cultural populism.
This new version 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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Extra resources for An introduction to theories of popular culture
The real problem sometimes seems to be that mass culture, unlike folk culture, refuses to stay in its place and stick with the masses, but has pretensions beyond its station and merits; it refuses to recognise traditional hierarchies of taste, and the cultural distinctions generated by those at the top. For these theorists, mass culture is a danger because it can undermine the distinctions established between elite and popular culture. It can co-opt, while at the same time debasing and trivialising, what high culture has to offer.
He continues: ‘it is perhaps the final irony that when it did occur the most startling and spectacular revolution in British “popular” taste in the early 1960s involved the domestication not of the brash and “vulgar” hinterland of American design but of the subtle “cool” Continental style which had for so many decades impressed the British champions of the modern movement’ (1988:75). : 76). The contrast between elitist and populist evaluations of Americanisation is made evident for Hebdige by the example of the spy novel, which he also uses to show how ‘foreign’ cultural influences, other than those deriving from America, were crucial to subcultures and to popular culture more generally.
Her analysis is therefore instructive not only for what it says about what she sees as the debasing effect of mass culture upon literary standards, but also for its political response to this situation which involves a coherent theory of the role of an intellectual and elite avant-garde. So far this chapter has presented an outline of the theory of mass culture. It has done this by relating it to the theory of mass society with which it shares much in common. It has been shown how the concept of mass culture involves the mass production and consumption of culture, the threatened subversion of folk culture and high culture, and the relationship between cultural pessimism and the role played by an intellectual avant-garde.