Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and beyond. (Book Reviews: General)

By Vom Bruck, Gabriele | Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and beyond. (Book Reviews: General)


Vom Bruck, Gabriele, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute


ARMBRUST, WALTER (ed.). Mass mediations: new approaches to popular culture in the Middle East and beyond. xi, 378 pp., illus., bibliogr. London, Berkeley: Univ. California Press, 2000. [pounds sterling]15.95 (paper), [pounds sterling]35.00 (cloth)

With studies of Middle Eastern history viewed from the bottom up, and of mass education, enjoying growing attention in recent decades, the role of communications technology and media as vehicles of anti-regime discourse and civic pluralism has received considerable impetus. Mass mediations argues that popular culture creates 'new scales of communication and new dimensions of modern identity' (p. 26), and the contributors to this stimulating volume focus on recorded and live music, television, cinema, and the print media. The articles, all of which discuss the book's central argument that modernity need not be associated with either nationalism or globalization, deal with diverse contexts spanning the Muslim world from Morocco to Pakistan, and the diaspora in the United States. In addressing these issues, the authors confirm Daniel Miller's thesis that the 'global' is locally appropriated in specific ways and is not necessarily dominant.

I cannot here do justice to the wealth of material provided by the different authors. Four examples will have to suffice. Focusing on Arab Detroit, Shryock considers whether 'the transnationalization of popular culture' (p. 33) is a response to economic and political changes which detach people from their places of origin. The television programming enjoyed by Arab immigrants is imported from different Arab countries but the shows are locally produced. The result is the creation of Arab identity by nationalist-inspired TV impresarios in a transnational domain. Simultaneously, US government-funded English language programmes with a multicultural agenda serve to turn the various Arab nationals into 'Americans of a recognizably ethnic sort' (p. 57). Shryock proposes that Gellner's thesis about the nexus between the rise of nationalism and mass media applies to Arab Detroit, but argues that the Arabic-speaking mainstream defines its place between different states rather than within a single one. This qualificati on is relevant, but it must be borne in mind that Gellner was not concerned with ethnic minorities living in multinational states. In any case, what kind of Arab nationalism do Syrian soap operas, Egyptian movies, and Iraqi sports programmes nurture in Arab Detroit?

In her subtle analysis of Egyptian singers, some of whom produce recordings for sale in Paris, Zirbel shows how both they and their European audiences participate in debates over 'authentic' Egyptian culture. Relative to the nationalist era, the heyday of the performing arts, recent economic deterioration and growing moral conservatism have caused the decline of the Cairene musical community. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and beyond. (Book Reviews: General)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.