1st Edition

Cultural Politics in Contemporary America

Edited By Ian Angus, Sut Jhally Copyright 1989

    First published in 1989, Cultural Politics in Contemporary America is a radical attempt to lay out the complex ways in which the American media and American culture is powerfully interlocked. At the end of the 20th century, the media exerted an overwhelming influence on the formation of social identity through the production and consumption of images. The Hollywood Presidency of Ronald Reagan was founded on the skills of the ‘Great Communicator’; Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ was used by Chrysler Corporation to assure that ‘the pride is back’; feminists and right-wing militants converged to oppose pornography. The media, American culture, and political power were bound together in a gamble, the stakes of which increased daily.

    ‘Cultural Politics’ incorporates the struggles of race, gender and class; the economy of the commercial media system; the myths of hegemony and imperialism; the crises of privacy and of the intellectual; and such diverse issues as postmodernism, the American automobile, advertising as communication, and television. While political actors have changed and media technology has advanced rapidly, the outcome of this research still holds true for the 21st century and is of importance to students of media studies, cultural studies, postmodernism, postcolonial studies and political science.

    Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Requiem for the American Empire Gore Vidal 2. The Imperial Cannibal Bill Livant 3. American Empire and Global Communication Eileen Mahoney 4. Power, Hegemony, and Communication Theory Leslie Good 5. The Political Economy of Culture Sut Jhally 6. Advertising and the Development of Consumer Society Stuart Ewen 7. Circumscribing Postmodern Culture Ian H. Angus 8. In Living Colour: Race and American Culture Michael Omi 9. Cultural Conundrums and Gender: America’s Present Past Jean Bethke Elshtain 10. Working Class Culture in the Electronic Age Stanley Aronowitz 11. Nature in Industrial Society Neil Evernden 12. Sexual Politics Ellen Willis 13. Action-Adventure as Ideology Gina Marchetti 14. Vehicles for Myth: The Shifting Image of the Modern Car Andrew Wernick 15. Advertising as Religion: The Dialectic of Technology and Magic Sut Jhally 16. The Importance of Shredding in Earnest: Reading the National Security Culture and Terrorism James Der Derian 17. Television and Democracy Michael Morgan 18. MTV: Swinging on the (Postmodern) Star Lawrence Grossberg 19. The Decline of American Intellectuals Russell Jacoby 20. The Myth of the Information Society William Leiss 21. Limits to the Imagination: Marketing and Children’s Culture Stephen Kline 22. The Privatization of Culture Herbert Schiller 23. Media Beyond Representation Ian H. Angus 24. Postmodernism: Roots and Politics Todd Gitlin Notes Contributors


    Ian Angus and Sut Jhally