Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Propagation of Cultural Cues for Boys and Girls

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Propagation of Cultural Cues for Boys and Girls

Article excerpt

Gender and Popular Culture

Authors: Katie Milestone and Anneke Meyer

Edition: First

Publisher: Polity

Pages: 200

Price: Pounds 55.00 and Pounds 15.99

ISBN: 9780745643939 and 3946

Gender and Popular Culture presents readers with a rich analysis of the ways in which gender norms, identities and relations are produced in popular culture. Defining the subject area as a "range of cultural texts which signify meaning through words, images and practices", the book examines a wealth of contemporary popular cultural texts across three key axes: production, representation and consumption. The authors draw on both primary and secondary research, with emphasis on the socio-political implications of cultural processes. In particular, the book develops primarily a social constructionist analysis of femininity and masculinity; however, in many instances it adopts a clear feminist polemical approach.

Interestingly, the first section, "Production, gender and popular culture", steers clear of political economy analyses of media industries. Instead, the authors use the representation of the creative workplace in the television series Mad Men as a starting point for a historical discussion on the gendered ideas of genius, authorship and talent in the advertising, music and film industries. Indeed, in a comprehensive overview of cultural work in relation to the shifting patterns of gender relations in the West, the authors make sure that they also touch on key theoretical concepts in cultural studies. The student in media and cultural studies will find the careful application of these terms to real examples, from the record producer Phil Spector to Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle, particularly informative. Equally, the section on "Representation" provides relevant illustrations from magazines, television programmes, film and the news. …

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