Re-Reading Popular Culture

Article excerpt

Re-Reading Popular Culture Joke Hermes. Maiden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

This informative volume sets out to analyze the internationalizing qualities of popular entertainment. The author, who is a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam, outlines the purposes of her book to describe the merits and abilities of popular entertainment. First "popular culture makes us welcome and offers belonging. Its economic and celebratory logic (depending on its corporate-capitalist origins, or its users or reader provenance), after all, make it imperative that ever more buyers or like-minded fans are found." second, is "the fascination" we have about statements in popular culture. Third, "popular culture links the domains of the public and the private and blurs their borderline more than any other institution or practice." Discussing and comparing American and Continental popular entertainments Hermes accomplishes her purposes clearly and convincingly. But her book raises a caveat and a problem that is becoming increasingly misleading. The title of her book is "Popular Culture," but all she discusses is popular entertainment, as though popular entertainment is the entirety of popular culture when it is only one portion. …