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 beneficial textbook for college students taking classes within the significant theories of pop culture. Strinati offers a severe overview of the ways that those theories have attempted to appreciate and assessment pop culture in sleek societies.

Among the theories and concepts the ebook introduces are: mann tradition, the Frankfurt college 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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This will equip the elite with the information it needs to carry out its mission to reverse the decline produced by mass culture, rather than enlightening the people directly. : 271). ). Here the function of the ‘conscious minority’ is, first, to constitute an elite avant-garde which will substantiate and disseminate its interpretation of the rise of mass culture, and warn the population about, and try to reverse, the decline of serious culture; and, second, to regain its position of authority in education, and hence its position of authority as the ultimate arbiter of cultural and artistic taste and values.

This minority may be the only hope Leavis holds out for the future, but she does not share MacDonald’s ambiguity about the influence that an intellectual avant-garde MASS CULTURE 19 can exercise. 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.

None the less, Hebdige’s argument provides an effective contrast to that offered by Hoggart, and the comparison highlights some of the interesting problems associated with the analysis of the Americanisation of popular culture. Hebdige also begins to outline some of the difficulties confronted by mass culture theory. The debate about Americanisation has continued on into the 1970s and 1980s and has focused, for example, upon the threats posed to national cultural identities by popular American television programmes.

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