By Dominic Strinati

ISBN-10: 0203645162

ISBN-13: 9780203645161

An advent to Theories of pop culture is well known as an immensely worthwhile textbook for college kids taking classes within the significant theories of pop culture. Strinati presents a severe evaluate of the ways that those theories have attempted to appreciate and evaluation pop culture in glossy societies.

Among the theories and ideas the booklet introduces are: mann tradition, the Frankfurt institution 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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Extra resources for An introduction to theories of popular culture

Sample text

What role if any can they play in the era of mass culture? As with so many who hold to this understanding of popular culture, MacDonald adopts a position of cultural pessimism. : p. 61). But he does see the artistic avant-garde having a defensive role to play because it is, by definition, outside the market place, and can maintain artistic standards. It can therefore oppose mass culture. The modernist avant-garde between the late nineteenth century and the 1930s (MacDonald cites Rimbaud, Joyce, Stravinsky and Picasso) tried to preserve an area outside the market and mass culture where ‘the serious artist could still function’.

61). But he does see the artistic avant-garde having a defensive role to play because it is, by definition, outside the market place, and can maintain artistic standards. It can therefore oppose mass culture. The modernist avant-garde between the late nineteenth century and the 1930s (MacDonald cites Rimbaud, Joyce, Stravinsky and Picasso) tried to preserve an area outside the market and mass culture where ‘the serious artist could still function’. : 63). But for MacDonald it is doubtful whether this intellectual community can sustain itself.

Alfred Hitchcock made commercial films within the Hollywood system but has since been defined as an auteur, an original and creative genius. Early rock-’n’-roll records, once dismissed as mindless pap by music critics, are now accorded ‘classic’ status by changing critical standards. It would be possible to go on, but what comes out of the examples cited is the difficulty of maintaining a clear divide between art and popular culture. This, in turn, suggests that analysing distinctions between types of culture should take account of the historically shifting 42 MASS CULTURE power relations between the groups involved, and the categories of taste at stake in the making of these distinctions (Levine 1988; DiMaggio 1986).

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An introduction to theories of popular culture by Dominic Strinati


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