Postmodernism and Popular Culture

Postmodernism and Popular Culture

Postmodernism and Popular Culture

Postmodernism and Popular Culture


Postmodernism and Popular Culture brings together eleven recent essays by Angela McRobbie in a collection which deals with the issues which have dominated cultural studies over the last ten years.A key theme is the notion of postmodernity as a space for social change and political potential. McRobbie explores everyday life as a site of immense social and psychic complexity to which she argues that cultural studies scholars must return through ethnic and empirical work; the sound of living voices and spoken language. She also argues for feminists working in the field to continue to question the place and meaning of feminist theory in a postmodern society. In addition, she examines the new youth cultures as images of social change and signs of profound social transformation.Bringing together complex ideas about cultural studies today in a lively and accessible format, Angela McRobbie's new collection will be of immense value to all teachers and students of the subject.


HB is back from Newcastle
But gone out-the washing
Machine is roaring away
And the fridge is defrosting
These are his favourite sounds.

(Derek Jarman, Blue, Guardian, 15 September 1993)

The plastic dress is deliberately fake. Ragga is fiercely postmodern and the clothes are glaringly man-made. There is no interest in the authentic, the matured, the antique (in contrast to white street style with its second-hand poor-look grunge aesthetic). Instead, fabric and detailing is trashy and vulgarly feminine. Ric-rac braid to trim a blouse turns up as tramlines stitched on to the functional Lycra leggings, radically altering their high active message.

(Kowdo Eshun, The Independent, 2 September 1993)

This book comprises a number of essays, the first of which was written in the mid-1980s for the Postmodernism conference at the Institute of the Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. the collection takes its title from this piece and the articles which follow chart the growth of a new set of interests in cultural studies and in sociology since then. Instead of providing, by way of an introduction, a short summary of the contents of this book, I think it is more useful for the students and teachers whom I envisage reading Postmodernism and Popular Culture to indicate, in a less academic tone, why the various chapters in this book point in favour of a feminist postmodernism.

It seems that to talk seriously about postmodernism today, one is still by definition being defensive. This is because postmodernism has become everybody's favourite bête noire, while at the same time not only generously providing something solid to argue against, when so many other things have been 'melting into air', but also, in some mysterious way, being a concept in the right place at the right moment. Postmodernism has therefore served this function of shifting the paradigms in cultural

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