Popular Culture and the Future of Politics: Cultural Studies and the Tao of South Park (Critical Studies in Television)

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9780739137208: Popular Culture and the Future of Politics: Cultural Studies and the Tao of South Park (Critical Studies in Television)
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Popular Culture and the Future of Politics: Cultural Studies and the Tao of South Park argues that progressives should conceive the connections between media, policy, and culture beyond the limits of "politics" and "news." With sustained analyses of groundbreaking contemporary examples of what has become known as "convergence culture," Ted Gournelos brings together a wide range of media without sacrificing depth. His examples, such as South Park, The Simpsons, The Onion, The Daily Show, Chappelle's Show, and The Boondocks, are chosen for their political scope and social impact and demonstrate the ways in which what we know as "politics" is rapidly changing. The book's forays into established fields like feminist, race, and queer theory are combined with perspectives drawn from political economy and rhetoric to demonstrate the power of irony, humor, and cultural dissonance in modern approaches to dissonant cultural politics.

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Ted Gournelos is assistant professor of critical media and cultural studies at Rollins College.

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Gournelos ably mobilizes South Park's challenge to traditional broadcasting and marketing strategies, to mount a convincing and insightful case about oppositional culture in the contemporary era. His Taoist model of allusive, responsive and disruptive processes reveals South Park and similar texts as models which both critique a range of political discourses and the contradictory media practices which mount them. Gournelos' scholarship is comprehensive, offering an engaging and persuasive account of post 9/11 ideological flux and moral ambiguity (Paul Wells, Loughborough University)

Amidst South Park's general irreverence and grotesquerie lies one of American media's more interesting sites for oppositional politics. With care and significant skill, Gournelos examines the show and other satirical voices in contemporary culture, explaining exactly how and why the glorious horror of Eric Cartman and friends matter. (Jonathan Gray, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

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