The contributions here specifically focus on a wide variety of issues ranging from the ideological construction of identities in print media to the narratives of the postmodern condition in film and fiction, through investigations into youth, the dialogue between the canon and the popular in Shakespeare, and the so-called topographies of the popular in spatial and visual representation. In exploring the interface between cultural studies and popular culture through a number of significant case studies, this volume will be of interest not only within the fields of cultural studies, but also within media and communication studies, film studies, and gender studies, among others.
In part, Topographies of Popular Culture takes its cue from recent theorisations of spatiality in the field of critical theory, and from such global transformations as the processes and after-effects of decolonisation and globalisation. It contemplates the spatiality of genre and the interactions between the local and the global, as well as the increasing circulation and adaptation of popular texts across the globe. The ten individual chapters analyse the spaces of popular culture at a scale that extends from an individual’s everyday experience to genuinely global questions, offering new theoretical and analytical insights into the relation between spatiality and the popular.
Iwabuchi has conducted extensive interviews with producers, promoters, and consumers of popular culture in Japan and East Asia. Drawing upon this research, he analyzes Japan’s "localizing" strategy of repackaging Western pop culture for Asian consumption and the ways Japanese popular culture arouses regional cultural resonances. He considers how transnational cultural flows are experienced differently in various geographic areas by looking at bilateral cultural flows in East Asia. He shows how Japanese popular music and television dramas are promoted and understood in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and how "Asian" popular culture (especially Hong Kong’s) is received in Japan.
Rich in empirical detail and theoretical insight, Recentering Globalization is a significant contribution to thinking about cultural globalization and transnationalism, particularly in the context of East Asian cultural studies.