Cultural Politics in Contemporary America

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9780415900102: Cultural Politics in Contemporary America
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The Hollywood Presidency of Ronald Reagan was founded on the skills of the 'Great Communicator'; Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA' is used by the Chrysler Corporation to assure us that the 'pride is back'; feminists and right-wing militants converge to oppose pornography; racial tensions increased when the Cosby show tops the ratings. This book is a radical attempt to lay out the complex ways in which the American media and American culture are powerfully interlocked.

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The title doesn't reveal much, but this is a mixed bag of 24 essays on how the process of searching and creating meaning in our "everyday lives is subject to politicization and struggle," the main issue being "exercise of power." As one might guess, some essays are more readable than others. They include Gore Vidal's "Requiem for the American Empire," Jean Bethke Elshtain's "Cultural Conundrums and Gender: America's Present Past," and Angus's "Media Beyond Representation." There's something here for everyone--students and teachers of mass media, popular culture, and communications, as well as those of us who know what the "commodification of culture" and "postmodern culture of staged difference" are.
- Jo Cates, Poynter Inst. for Media Studies Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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