Discourse on Popular Culture

Discourse on Popular Culture : Class, Gender and History in the Analysis of Popular Culture

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This study examines the history of analyses of popular culture in Britain, from the 18th century to 1989. It highlights the ways in which discussions of popular culture have been structured by considerations of power, class and gender and have generally marginalized the cultural contributions of women. The book focuses on a series of key phases in the history of discourses on popular culture, phases during which the nature of popular culture became a crucial issue for theorists situated within the dominant culture. By focusing on these key phases, it is able to bring out some of the cultural and political assumptions underlying the prevailing discourses on popular culture. Among the examples discussed are: 18th-century peasant poetry, penny fiction and the revival of folk music in the 19th century; popular theatre in the early 20th century; and the transformation of discourses on popular culture brought about by the development of broadcasting.
The book argues that the assumptions underlying discourses on popular culture - assumptions concerning class and culture, the role of women, authenticity and cultural decline - raise issues which should be examined critically in current discussions of popular culture. This wide-ranging work should be of interest to students of communication and cultural studies, litrature and literary theory, women's studies and cultural history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 516g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745604196
  • 9780745604190

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Table of contents

A history of changing definitions of "The Popular"; "Peasant Poets" 1730-1848 - consistency in difference; popular culture and the periodical press 1830-1855; poetry, pottery and song - the mediation of "Popular" forms; workers' popular theatre; technology and cultural decline - as seen on TV.
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