Popular Culture and the Austerity Myth: Hard Times Today, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Popular Culture and the Austerity Myth

Hard Times Today, 1st Edition

Edited by Pete Bennett, Julian McDougall


238 pages

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Contemporary popular culture is engaged in a rich and multi-levelled set of representational relations with austerity. This volume seeks to explore these relations, to ask: how does popular culture give expression to austerity; how are its effects conveyed; how do texts reproduce and expose its mythic qualities? It provides a reading of cultural texts in circulation in the present ‘age of austerity’. Through its central focus—popular culture—it considers the impact and influence of austerity across media and textual categories. The collection presents a theoretical deconstruction of popular culture’s reproduction of, and response to, mythical expressions of ‘austerity’ in Western culture, spanning the United Kingdom, North America, Europe and the Middle East and textual events from political media discourse, music, videogames, social media, film, television, journalism, folk art, food, protest movements, slow media and the practice of austerity in everyday life

Table of Contents

Part I: The Way We Live Now: Austerity Myths in Everyday Life

1. Trying to discern the impact of austerity in lived experience

Gargi Bhattachary

2. The allotment in the restaurant: the paradox of foody austerity and changing food values

Abigail Wincott

3. Snatches of Songs: Lyrical Reflections upon Alienation and Austerity, From Thatcher to Cameron’s Coalition

Allister Mactaggart

4. "Jolly Fucker": The Face of Farage

Julian McDougall

Part II: Popular Culture: Myths from the Front

5. "Actually we should be growing up": Neoliberalism & Austerity in NEON

Anne Graefer

6. Living in the Shadow of Manhattan: The White Knight Rises

Pete Bennett

7. (Negatively) Benefits Street: The Return of Naked Ideology

Julian McDougall

Part III: Out on the Streets: Myths and Acts of Resistance

8. From Hooverville to Bloomsbergville: Protest Camps and Cultural Imaginaries of Austerity in the United States

Anna Feigenbaum and Fabian Frenzel

9. On ready-made revolutions in the Arab world: how armchair journalism and citizen empowerment 2.0 fit into the rhetoric of contemporary neoliberal discourse

Donatella Della Ratta

10. Cinema America Occupato: Reclaiming the Cultural Commons With Slow Media

Antonio Lopez and Peter Sarram

Part IV: Popular Culture: Mythical Symmetries

11. Death and Dead End Jobs: Independent American Horror and the Great Recession

Craig Ian Mann

12. Poor Relations: Youth and Poverty in post-Millennial British Cinema

Dr Stella Hockenhull

13. Video games and representations of crime: the morality of criminality in an "age of austerity."

Wayne O’Brien


Helen Davies and Claire O’Callaghan


About the Editors

Pete Bennett is Senior Lecturer in Postcompulsory Education at University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Julian McDougall is Head of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice and Associate Professor in Media and Education at Bournemouth University, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture