We immerse ourselves daily in expressions of popular culture—YouTube videos, hip hop music, movies, adverts, greeting cards, videogames, and comics, to name just a few possibilities—and far too often we pay only scant critical attention to them. The essays in this collection redress this situation by probing a wide range of topics within the field of popular culture studies. Written in engaging and jargon-free prose, contributions critically examine various offerings in film, television, social media, music, literature, sports, and related areas. Moreover, they often pay special attention to the ways in which these pop culture artefacts intersect with issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability. Providing a rich mixture of broad perspectives and intriguing case studies, the essays form a compelling mosaic of findings and viewpoints on popular culture. Exploring everything from toxic masculinity in twenty-first century television programmes to gendered greeting cards and adult colouring books, this provocative volume is essential reading for anyone interested in that fabricated and all-pervasive environment we call popular culture.
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Martin F. Norden, PhD, teaches screenwriting and film history as Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the editor of Lois Weber: Interviews and the author of more than one hundred other publications on film history. He has presented his research at dozens of professional conferences across North America and Europe.Robert E. Weir, PhD, recently retired from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he taught in the Department of History. He is the former executive secretary of the Northeast Popular Culture Association (NEPCA) and became the organisation’s president in 2018. He is the author and editor of seven books and countless articles on social, cultural, and sports history. He is also a blogger, freelance writer, and music critic.