Popular Culture as Everyday Life  book cover
1st Edition

Popular Culture as Everyday Life

ISBN 9781138833395
Published November 24, 2015 by Routledge
322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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

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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