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Reading Culture

Reading Culture
Theory, Praxis, Politics

June 2006 | 244 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
This book analyses how forms of public culture in India—cinema, the comic book, the museum and the tourist brochure—generate social meanings. It 'reads' the strategies through which they reflect, reinforce and at times contest existing power relations within society.

Using a range of theories and approaches, Pramod Nayar demonstrates how a cultural form or genre encodes narratives of power, and works to marginalize certain identities, norms, modes of thinking and knowledge while valorizing others. Using precise jargon-free language, this rigorous examination of the poetics and politics of representation, of the relations between cultural forms and power, serves as a comprehensive introduction to the practice of cultural studies.

Reading Culture breaks new ground in analyzing the rhetoric of cinema, the comic book, museums and tourism in India to reveal their political subtexts. From patriotic songs in Hindi films to comic-book superheroes, from the poetics of display in museums to the projection of 'authenticity' in tourist brochures, this book highlights the politics of public culture. These exhaustive yet highly readable critical analyses will be welcomed by students and scholars of culture studies, museum studies, media studies, humanities and the fine arts.
Reading Culture  
Screen Culture
Panel Culture
The Comic Book  
Cabinet Culture
The Museum  
Brochure Culture

"In this comprehensive introduction to cultural studies- unique in that it does not come from a eurocentric perspective- Nayar covers the morality of national identity and gender relations implicit in cinema, the class-consciousness of comic books, the "high culture" preserved within museum cabinets and the transitory but pervasive and traditional mores represented in literature designed to entice tourists to an exciting but perfectly safe and comfortable India."

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ISBN: 9780761934745