Love it or hate it, popular culture permeates every aspect of contemporary society. In this accessibly written introduction to the sociology of popular culture, Dustin Kidd provides the tools to think critically about the cultural soup served daily by film, television, music, print media, and the internet.
Utilizing each chapter to present core topical and timely examples, Kidd highlights the tension between inclusion and individuality that lies beneath mass media and commercial culture, using this tension as a point of entry to an otherwise expansive topic. He systematically considers several dimensions of identity—race, class, gender, sexuality, disability—to provide a broad overview of the field that encompasses classical and contemporary theory, original data, topical and timely examples, and a strong pedagogical focus on methods.
Pop Culture Freaks encourages students to develop further research questions and projects from the material. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are brought to bear in Kidd's examination of the labor force for cultural production, the representations of identity in cultural objects, and the surprising differences in how various audiences consume and use mass culture in their everyday lives.
About the author
Dustin Kidd is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Temple University. He has been teaching the Sociology of Popular Culture course for over a decade and his syllabus for the course has been included in the ASA's Sociology of Culture Teaching Guide. His first book, Legislating Creativity, analyzed controversies around government investment in arts, and his essays appear in various journals and volumes such as The Sociology of Harry Potter. He blogs about teaching, the arts, television, and the sociology of current events at dustinkidd.blogspot.com.
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