1st Edition

Popular Culture as Everyday Life

Edited By Dennis Waskul, Phillip Vannini Copyright 2016
    322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In Popular Culture and Everyday Life Phillip Vannini and Dennis Waskul have brought together a variety of short essays that illustrate the many ways that popular culture intersects with mundane experiences of everyday life. Most essays are written in a reflexive ethnographic style, primarily through observation and personal narrative, to convey insights at an intimate level that will resonate with most readers.  Some of the topics are so mundane they are legitimately universal (sleeping, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, etc.), others are common enough that most readers will directly identify in some way (watching television, using mobile phones, playing video games, etc.), while some topics will appeal more-or-less depending on a reader’s gender, interests, and recreational pastimes (putting on makeup, watching the Super Bowl, homemaking, etc.). This book will remind readers of their own similar experiences, provide opportunities to reflect upon them in new ways, as well as compare and contrast how experiences relayed in these pages relate to lived experiences. The essays will easily translate into rich and lively classroom discussions that shed new light on a familiar, taken-for-granted everyday life—both individually and collectively.

    At the beginning of the book, the authors have provided a grid that shows the topics and themes that each article touches on.  This book is for popular culture classes, and will also be an asset in courses on the sociology of everyday life, ethnography, and social psychology.


    Introduction: Popular Culture as Everyday Life

    Phillip Vannini and Dennis D. Waskul

    Essays on the Daily Life of Popular Culture

    1. Watching Television

    Thomas Conroy

    2. Watching Reality Television

    Tony E. Adams

    3. Watching Drug Commercials

    Charles Edgley

    4. Using Mobile Phones

    Christopher J. Schneider

    5. Sharing and Waiting on Facebook

    Staci Newmahr

    6. Reading

    Michael Schwalbe

    7. Making Video

    Phillip Vannini

    8. Sharing Selfies

    Uschi Klein

    9. Playing Music

    Simon Gottschalk

    10. Seeing Live Music

    Emily M. Boyd

    11. Playing Games is (Not Always) Fun

    J. Patrick Williams

    12. Sleeping

    Carolyn Ellis

    13. Having Sex

    Beth Montemurro

    14. Going to the Bathroom

    Dennis D. Waskul

    15. Getting Dressed

    John C. Pruit

    16. Putting on Makeup

    Rebecca F. Plante

    17. Drinking Coffee

    Pernille S. Stroeback

    18. Exercising

    Michael Atkinson

    19. Kicking Ass

    Dale C. Spencer

    20. Watching the Super Bowl

    Bernard D. Glowinski and Joseph A. Kotarba

    21. Home-Making

    Karen McCormack

    22. Having Pets

    Leslie Irvine

    23. On Not Driving

    Sherryl Kleinman

    24. Snow-Gazing

    David Redmon

    25. Shopping

    Keith Berry

    26. Trick-or-Treating

    William Ryan Force

    27. Staying in Hotels

    Orvar Löfgren

    28. (Not) Smoking

    Justin A. Martin

    29. Consuming Craft

    Michael Ian Borer


    Phillip Vannini is Canada Research Chair in Public Ethnography and Professor of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University. He is the author of five books and editor of seven, as well as the editor of two book series, including Interactionist Currents (Ashgate). All of his scholarship deals with cultural and everyday life issues. Several of his journal articles and chapters for edited books have also dealt with popular culture and everyday life issues, such as research studies on camping, eating, drinking, travelling, building, consuming, body modification, experiencing the weather, and more.

    Dennis D. Waskul is a Professor of Sociology and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has authored or edited six books and is editor of the book series Interactionist Currents (Ashgate). He has published many empirical studies, including various investigations of the use of new media technologies for sexual purposes, sensual sociology, and the intersections of fantasy and lived experience. Dennis serves on the editorial board for multiple journals, including Sexualities and Qualitative Sociology.

    "Relevant for multiple disciplines, Popular Culture as Everyday Life offers readers a unique (and even experimental) perspective on popular culture that at times reads like a diary, at other times like a history lesson, and at still other times promises to be a time capsule or snapshot representing popular culture as it currently exists in the early twenty-first century. Whether they are embracing the culture, resisting the culture, or merely co-existing with the culture, the authors in this volume collectively document and examine the place, function, meaning, and value that the culture in question has in their everyday lives."

    -- Carol Rambo, University of Memphis


    "Peter Berger argued that the most important thing you can know about someone is what they take for granted, and these days, it is largely about popular culture. The gripping essays show the richness of "the mundane doings of people and their ways of life" in constructing social and moral orders, even as they celebrate the profoundly trivial. The chapters will motivate students to do their own investigations of everyday life."

    -- David Altheide, Arizona State University


    "Popular Culture as Everyday Life celebrates how daily commonplaces can become rich subjects for deep sociological insights. The diverse chapters reveal the mundane doings of people to be anything but. A must read for anyone who has ever slept, gotten dressed, drank coffee, put on makeup, gone to the bathroom, has never smoked or kicked ass, has watched television, or has had sex."

    --Eugene Halton, University of Notre Dame