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Cultural Analysis

Cultural Analysis

November 2009 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book represents a distinctive approach to cultural analysis, using multi-dimensional methods for addressing issues of public interest.

The approach, which deploys Jim McGuigan's original concept of the cultural public sphere, is demonstrated in several case studies, including:

  • Celebrity death
  • Festivals and urban regeneration
  • Race and multicultural controversy
  • Popular television (for instance, Little Britain and The Apprentice)
  • Social significance of the all-purpose mobile communication device in a privatized and individualized way of life
  • Riskiness and uncertainty at both the levels of environmental politics and working life in the creative and media industries

These various case studies are analyzed with regard to the dialectic of production and consumption in cultural circulation and situated in relation to major issues of social change.

The book stresses the impact of neoliberalism throughout the world since the 1970s and the formation of a cool-capitalist culture that has colonized everyday life around much of the globe.

In effect, this is a radical intervention in the research agendas and conceptual development of cultural policy studies, cultural sociology, and, more generally, in the broad field known as cultural studies. It offers challenging theoretical arguments that are substantiated with concrete evidence of cultural and social processes.

Introduction - Cultural Analysis
The Cultural Public Sphere
British Identity and the People's Princess
The Social Construction of a Cultural Disaster
A Community of Communities
Identity and the Crisis of Community
Sociology of the Mobile Phone
Risky Culture
Neoliberalism, Urban Regeneration and Cultural Policy
Apprentices to Cool Capitalism
Cultural Studies and Cool Capitalism

Jim McGuigan has done it again. The complex cultural machinery hiding behind the apparently simple 'facts of life' still fresh in our collective memory, has been pulled out from its hiding, exposed, disassembled and put together again, and showed in action of shaping up its products; all that done to the benefit of us all - simultaneously producers and product of the life we share. Another great contribution to cultural studies; and to our understanding of the world notorious for defying/escaping understanding. This is exactly what we need 'cultural analysis' for
Professor Zygmunt Bauman
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds

Jim McGuigan is one of cultural studies' leading practitioners. This volume is a generous and wide-reaching exploration of how to use cultural theory to explore a wide variety of topics, brought together under the sign of the struggle for a vigorous, participatory public sphere
Toby Miller
University of California

A classic!

Ms Paula Hearsum
Faculty of Arts & Architecture, Brighton University
July 22, 2010

This is a good book to have available in the library so that I can direct students to consult it for how to write a case study.

Dr Debra Shaw
Humanities and Social Sciences, University of East London
July 12, 2010

The book in general is interesting and topically relevant. Though for a basic course in Cultural Analysis the books is somewhat too specific chapterwise. For instance the focus on British identity is too specifik compared with a general approach to identity and culture. Nevertheless, it goes into the overall recommendations for courses in generel.

Mr Kim Hansen
Institute of Language and Culture, Aalborg University
May 13, 2010

McGuigan's text gets right to the heart of cultural analysis and, unlike many other texts at this level in this area, provides a theorised approach to culture.

Dr Mark Erickson
School of Applied Social Science, Brighton University
April 30, 2010

McGuigan's book is supplemental to my course because it offers a good analysis of the sociology of the mobile phone. That way it is not in the core of Computer Science but necessary to know especially for students aiming at user or customer centred tasks in ICT companies.

Dr Hannakaisa Isomaki
Information Technology, University of Jyvaskyla
March 29, 2010

Nice text to introduce people to the field of current cultural studies. But often too much a bird's eye view.

Mr A.J. Van den Bergh
European Studies, The Hague University
March 25, 2010

Excellent general overview of issues for level 6 students.

Ms Susan Kinnear
Communications , Chester University
March 19, 2010

A well written text which provides excellent commentary for students.

Guy Brown
Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University
February 27, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

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