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Cultural Theory and Popular Culture


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Table of Contents

1. What is popular culture?



Popular culture

Popular culture as other The contextuality of meaning Notes Further reading 2. The 'culture and civilization' tradition Matthew Arnold Leavisism Mass culture in America: the post-war debate The culture of other people Notes Further reading 3. Culturalism into cultural studies Richard Hoggart: The Uses of Literacy Raymond Williams: 'The analysis of culture' E.P. Thompson: The Making of the English Working Class Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel: The Popular Arts The Centre of Contemporary Cultural Studies Notes Further Reading 4. Marxisms Classical Marxism The English Marxism of William Morris The Frankfurt School Althusserianism Hegemony Post-Marxism and cultural studies Utopian Marxism Notes Further Reading 5. Psychoanalysis Freudian psychoanalysis Lacanian psychoanalysis Cine-psychoanalysis Slavoj Zizek and Lacanian fantasy Notes Further Reading 6. Structuralism and post-structuralism Ferdinand de Saussure Claude Levi-Strauss, Will Wright and the American Western Roland Barthes: Mythologies Post-structuralism Jacques Derrida Discourse and power: Michel Foucault The panoptic machine Notes Further reading 7. Class and class struggle Class and popular culture Class in cultural studies Class struggle Consumption as class distinction Class and popular culture The ideological work of meritocracy Notes Further reading 8. Gender and Sexuality Feminisms Women at the cinema Reading romance Watching Dallas Reading women's magazines Post-feminism Men's studies and masculinities Queer theory Intersectionality Notes Further reading 9. 'Race', racism and representation 'Race' and racism The ideology of racism: its historical emergence Orientalism Whiteness Anti-racism and cultural studies Black Lives Matter Notes Further reading 10. Postmodernism The postmodern condition Postmodernism in the 1960s Jean-Francois Lyotard Jean Baudrillard Fredric Jameson Postmodernism and the pluralism of value The global postmodern Afterword Notes Further reading 11. The materiality of popular culture Materiality Materiality as actor Meaning and materiality Materiality without meaning Material objects in a global world Notes Further reading 12. The politics of the popular The cultural field The economic field Post-Marxist cultural studies: hegemony revisited The ideology of mass culture Notes Further reading

About the Author

John Storey is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland, UK, and Chair Professor of the Changjiang Scholar Programme at the Comparative Cultural Studies Centre, Shaanxi Normal University, China. He has published widely in cultural studies, including twenty-six books. The most recent is Radical Utopianism and Cultural Studies (2019).


This classic text explains how we can use cultural theory to understand the kaleidoscope of popular culture that surrounds us and shapes our lives. It is an outstandingly clear, beautifully written and authoritative book - and its breadth and depth will spark connections for old and new readers alike.

Professor Jo Littler, City, University of London, UK

Since its first publication in 1993 this has been my go-to introduction to cultural theory and popular culture. In part, this is because Storey writes with admirable clarity and concision but also because it is broad-ranging and full of useful and insightful examples that help students see how theory works in practice. Other reasons for choosing this as a course book are that it is constantly updated to take account of developments in cultural studies and that it is linked to a reader in which students can explore some of the texts that are discussed and illustrated in this book.

Dr David Walton, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

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