1st Edition

Popular Culture and the Austerity Myth Hard Times Today

Edited By Pete Bennett, Julian McDougall Copyright 2017
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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

    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



    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.