Culture: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By Ben Highmore


166 pages

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pub: 2015-10-15
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What are the qualities and properties that make something cultural? What does claiming something as cultural allow us to do?

Culture offers students a workable understanding of the category ‘culture’ and explores how the realm of the ‘cultural’ can be practically explored as a way of understanding the world.

Ben Highmore provides a clear and robust defence of the productivity of cultural analysis in a media saturated world, while also instilling a sense of modesty in qualifying what can and can’t be accomplished in the name of cultural analysis.

With extensive examples and case studies throughout, the book demonstrates both the productivity and the limitations in orientating analysis to the cultural.

A thought-provoking and engaging examination, Culture is an ideal introductory text for students of media and cultural studies.


"This book is full of things to think with, sometimes to argue with. Highmore roams around 'culture', thinking aloud, drawing in diverse materials, examples and experiences -- a painting by Turner, dirt, the clatter of Kinshasa, a hundred parakeets is a nursing home. The chapter on death manages to be both gut-wrenching and critically incisive, and is his finest work. In the end, Highmore argues for the study of culture that matters, and makes his case compellingly, sometimes surprisingly. He writes that 'culture gets under your skin', and so does this terrific book."

David Bell, Senior Lecturer in Critical Human Geography, University of Leeds, UK

"Ben Highmore has written the up-to-the-minute introduction to the concept of culture that we needed. It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to the topic than this fresh, interdisciplinary, engagingly-written book."

Simon During, Professorial Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, The University of Queensland, Australia

"This is a fascinating and valuable book, one destined to find a broad readership among students and staff or anyone else interested in the complications of culture. Beautifully written and thoughtful throughout, it worries responsibly about culture and cultural analysis and how these might allow us to better understand the world."

John Storey, Professor of Cultural Studies and Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, UK

"Highmore (cultural studies, Univ. of Sussex, UK) addresses the topic of culture in full recognition of the hermeneutical complication inherent in the task. Instead of trying to define culture, the author moves diagonally to his theme by considering a cluster of topics by which the multiple meanings of culture are shown to resonate in palpable harmony. Discussing in turn notions such as politics, experience, death, and landscape, Highmore demonstrates how culture is continually formed, deformed, and reformed and how this formation produces the very concept of culture. Peppered with refreshing examples and case studies, the book provides a lively introduction to the important topic of culture that anyone interested in cultural analysis will find useful."

B. G. Chang, University of Massachusetts, CHOICE

Table of Contents

A note to the reader 1. Introduction 2. Landscape 3. A Whole Way of Life 4. Politics 5. Experience 6. Death 7. Two Cheers for Culture? Bibliography

About the Author

Ben Highmore is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. He is a key author in cultural studies and his research is broadly concerned with the culture of everyday life. His publications include A Passion for Cultural Studies (2009) and Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday (2011).

About the Series

Key Ideas in Media & Cultural Studies

The Key Ideas in Media and Cultural Studies series covers the main concepts, issues, debates and controversies in contemporary media and cultural studies. Titles in the series constitute authoritative, original essays rather than literary surveys, but are also written explicitly to support undergraduate teaching. The series provides students and teachers with lively and original treatments of key topics in the field.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies