Monday, May 2, 2011

Fiske - Understanding Popular Culture

Fiske, John. Understanding Popular Culture. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989.

Fiske is representing the British school of cultural studies in opposition to the oldest way of studying popular culture - as a democratic form of managing social differences into a final harmony - as well as the slightly newer way - of situating popular culture within a model of power, the culture industries. Fiske is more optimistic. Popular culture is a site of struggle. The dominant hegemony is powerful, but popular tactics allow audiences and consumers to cope with, evade, and resist the dominant forces.

He discusses his "two economies of culture" model, specifically applicable to TV, which I have discussed elsewhere in this blog.

Fiske touches on many key cultural theorists as he presents his own version of theory. Barthes, Hall, Williams, Foucault, and the other usual suspects all loom large.

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