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Doing Cultural Studies


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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition Introduction to the First Edition 1. MAKING SENSE OF THE WALKMAN Introduction What is 'Culture'? Back to the Future: Materiality and Culture Meanings and Practices Meaning by Association: Semantic Networks Back to the Future: Meanings and Associations Signifying Practices Contemporary Soundscapes Back to the Future: Produsage: The Changing Relationship Between Production and Consumption? Culture in the Age of Electronic Reproduction Back to the Future - Benjamin v/2.0 Back to the future: Mobile Privatization? Walk-men and Walk-women: Subjects and Identities Back to the Future: Advertizing and Branding Summary 2. THE PRODUCTION OF THE SONY WALKMAN Introduction: The Many Origins of an Idea Cultures of Production, Contexts of Innovation Heroic Individuals Back to the Future: Technological Innovation, Heroic Individuals and Distributed Agency Sony, Japan and the United States Sony: Signifying 'Japan'? Happy Accidents at Work: Enter the Walkman Making the Walkman to Sell: Connecting Production and Consumption Assembling for the Young Consumer: The Mothers of the Invention Naming the Machine: Sony Grammar Marketing and Public Relations Back to the Future: Promotional Culture Monitoring Consumption and Market Research Back to the Future: Produsage Revisited 3. DESIGNING THE WALKMAN: ARTICULATING PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION Designers as Cultural Intermediaries The Organization of Design at Sony Lifestyling the Walkman Back to the Future: The Power of Software: Culture Made Malleable? The Walkman: How 'Japanese' Is It? 4. SONY AS A GLOBAL FIRM Following the Walkman: Competition and Financial Crisis Sony Goes Global and Local Back to the Future: The Global-Local Nexus Combining Hardware and Software: The Culture Industry Back to the Future: Synergies and Cultural Industries 5. CONSUMING THE WALKMAN Introduction Perspectives on Consumption Back to the Future: Perspectives on Consumption Back to the Future: Authenticity The Production of Consumption The Walkman and the Production of Consumption Critique Back to the Future: "Revolutionary" Technologies? Back to the Future: Optimism and Pessimism in Relation to Web 2.0 Back to the Future: No sense of Place? Consumption as Socio-cultural Differentiation Walkman Consumption and Social Differentiation Consumption as Appropriation and Resistance 6. REGULATING THE WALKMAN The Walkman and Questions of Cultural Regulation The Walkman: The Public and the Private Walkman Use and the Blurring of Boundaries Back to the Future: Cultural Regulation of Modern Technologies Summary of Chapters 5 and 6 Selected Readings Reading A: Bruno Latour: 'Technology is society made durable' Reading B: Axel Bruns: 'Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation' Reading C: Walter Benjamin: 'The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction' Reading D: Raymond Williams: 'Mobile privatization' Reading E: Ana Andjelic: 'Time to rewrite the brand playbook for the digital' Reading F: Nick Lyons: 'Scratching a global dream' Reading G: Shu Ueyama: 'The selling of the "Walkman"' Reading H: Thomas A. Harvey: 'How Sony Corporation became first with kids' Reading I: Lev Manovich: 'There is Only software' Reading J: Jonathan Zittrain: 'The Personal Computer Is Dead' Reading K: Rey Chow: 'Listening otherwise, music miniaturized: a different type of question about revolution' Reading L: Lev Grossman: 'Iran's protests: Twitter, the Medium of the Movement' Reading M: Tim O'Reilly: 'What Is Web 2.0' Reading N: Mirko Tobias Schafer: 'Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production' Reading O: Lain Chambers: 'A miniature history of the Walkman' Reading P: Vincent Jackson: 'Menace II society'

About the Author

Paul du Gay is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University Stuart Hall was born and raised in Jamaica and arrived in Britain on a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford in 1950. In 1958, he left his PhD on Henry James to found the New Left Review, which did much to open a debate about immigration and the politics of identity. Along with Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart he established the first Cultural Studies programme at a British university in Birmingham in 1964, bringing the study of popular culture into the understanding of political and social change. After spending more than four decades as one of the UK's leading public intellectuals, Hall retired from formal academic life in 1997 and since then has continued to devote himself to questions of representation, creativity and difference. He became the chair of two foundations, Iniva, the Institute of International Visual Arts, and Autograph ABP, which seeks to promote photographers from culturally diverse backgrounds, and championed the opening of Iniva's new Rivington Place arts complex in east London in 2007. Linda Janes is the Course Administrator for PhD Students in the School of Engineering at the University of Portsmouth. Anders Koed Madsen is Professor in Humanities at Aalborg University in Denmark. Dr Hugh Mackay is an Honorary Associate of the Faculty of Sociology at Open University Keith Negus entered higher education as a mature student, having spent many years playing keyboards and guitar in a variety of bands after leaving school. He gained a degree in Sociology from Middlesex Universit and then completed a PhD study of the acquisition, production and promotion of recording artists at SouthBank University. He subsequently taught at the Universities of Leicester and Puerto Rico and was based in the Department of Media and Communications prior to moving the Department of Music at Goldsmiths. He is Director of the Popular Music Research Unit, convenor of BMus Popular Music, convenor of the MA Music (Popular Music Research) and a coordinating editor of Popular Music (Cambridge University Press).


In today's world, with economy the central tenet of contemporary culture and popular culture and finance inextricably linked, this exemplary Walkman study will be a template and a source of inspiration for scholars who appreciate the materiality of culture and continuity between production and consumption.
Barbara Czarniawska
Professor of Management Studies, University of Gothenburg

This publication provides a welcome opportunity to return to a classic text of cultural studies pedagogy and to apply its insights to contemporary issues of culture, media and identity and their connections to the production and consumption of technology. The combination of the original Walkman case study with useful 'back to the future' sections provides a great opportunity for students to reflect on the cultural meanings of smart phones, social media and user-generated knowledge.
Dr Richard Elliott
School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex

Arguably the most famous book in its field, Doing Cultural Studies: the Story of the Sony Walkman is the text that lead to Cultural Studies becoming a respected and accepted discipline throughout the rest of the world.... Any 21st century observer might object and ask, somewhat perplexed, "who owns a Walkman nowadays?"... 16 years after the first edition, the authors can now write in a comparative fashion between two eras: `Comparing the cultural practices associated with the Walkman with the practices related to modern Web-based mobile devices reveals both continuities and changes in the ways such technologies have been represented, identified with, produced, consumed and regulated, and the way they have been discussed in the media as well as in academic debates within the cultural and social sciences' (p. xii).

In theoretical terms, the legacy of Doing Cultural Studies confirms that this classic read is not just about the Walkman itself, but represents a series of clear observations about the symbolic meanings of culture... This fundamental reading on Cultural Studies should be read not only by students and scholars in this particular field, but by students in a variety of domains including sociology of culture, political economy of culture, popular music studies, media studies, and marketing. Non-scholars will also be able to follow it and appreciate its numerous ideas. Most importantly, those who read this book's first edition many years ago must read this enriched second edition as it remains timely and relevant for today, in its accurate understanding of how we, collectively, identify and consume culture. The now forgone era of the Walkman serves as a useful comparison about how some things seem to change or can remain the same in subtle ways. That is what academic books are made for.

Read the full review here -- Dr. Yves Laberge, LSE Review of Books

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