The result is a book that shakes the boundaries of debate, from one of the foremost writers on culture and postmodernism of the present day.
Mike Featherstone is Professor of Communications and Sociology at Nottingham Trent University.CONTRIBUTORS OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA :Zygmunt Bauman University of LeedsHenning Bech University of CopenhagenElizabeth Beck-Gernsheim Universtiy of ErlangenMary Evans University of Kent at CanterburyDavid Frisby University of GlasgowMike Hepworth University of AberdeenEva Illouz Tel-Aviv UniversityMaria Esther Maciel Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisMichael Richardson SOAS, University of LondonLaura Rival University of Kent at CanterburyAndrew Travers SomersetJeffrey Weeks South Bank UniversitySasha Weitman Tel-Aviv UniversitySam Whimster London Guildhall UniversityElizabeth Wilson University of North LondonCas Wouters University of Utrecht
Examining ideas ranging from world systems theory to postmodernism, Jonathan Friedman investigates the relations between the global and the local, to show how cultural fragmentation and modernist homogenization are equally constitutive trends of global reality. With examples taken from a rich variety of theoretical sources, ethnographic accounts of historical eras, the analysis ranges across the cultural formations of ancient Greece, contemporary processes of Hawaiian cultural identification and Congolese beauty cults. Throughout, the author examines the interdependency of world market and local cultural transformations, and demonstrates the complex interrelations between globally structured social processes and the organization of identity.
Jonathan Friedman also documents the development and significance of a global perspective in an anthropology that illuminates a wide variety of domains from prehistory to world hegemony. In so doing, he interrogates the emergence of the concept of culture and suggests that anthropology itself is best understood within the trajectory of modernity.
Nonetheless some important cultural changes have occurred since World War II. In particular, the book examines some of the processes which have uncoupled culture from the social; the erosion of the ideal of the heroic life in the face of the onslaught from consumerism and the deformation of culture; and the rise of new forms of identity development. It explains why culture has gained a more significant role in everyday life and also why it has come to preoccupy the Academy in recent years.
Mike Featherstone looks at the effects of the multiplication of cultural goods and images on our ability to read culture and develop fixed meanings and relationships. He highlights the importance of the global in attempting to cope with the objective difficulties of cultural overproduction. The book concludes that the rise of non-Western nation-states with different cultural frames produces different reactions of modernity, making it more appropriate to refer to global modernities.
Unmatched in coverage and used world-wide, this is the essential companion for all students of cultural studies, culture and society, media and cultural theory, popular culture and cultural sociology.
Developing a comparative analysis of the UK and US, the new Germany and Japan, Lash and Urry show how restructuration after organized capitalism has its basis in increasingly reflexive social actors and organizations. The consequence is not only the much-vaunted postmodern condition' but also a growth in reflexivity.
In exploring this new reflexive world, the authors argue that today's economies are increasingly ones of signs - information, symbols, images, desire - and of space, where both signs and social subjects - refugees, financiers, tourists and "fl[ci]aneurs " - are mobile over ever greater distances at ever greater speeds.
Drawing on the work of feminists, sociologists and cultural theorists, this book contains a wide-ranging and accessible set of contributions to contemporary debates on sexuality, love and eroticism.
Love & Eroticism is simultaneously published as volume 15, issue 3-4 of Theory, Culture & Society.