Probing Popular Culture: On and Off the Internet, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Probing Popular Culture

On and Off the Internet, 1st Edition

By Marshall Fishwick


308 pages

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“When it comes to seeing depth and lateral connections in the development of popular culture, nobody exceeds Marshall Fishwick.”

-Canadian Psychology

In Probing Popular Culture: On and Off the Internet, one of the leading authorities in American and popular culture studies presents an eye-opening examination of the Information Age’s influence on what we do, how we live, and who we are. Dr. Marshall Fishwick, author of the textbooks Great Awakenings: Popular Religion and Popular Culture; Popular Culture: Cavespace to Cyberspace; and Popular Culture in a New Age focuses his penetrating gaze upon the impact of the icons and events that color the fabric of our lives. Peppered with quotes from influential figures ranging from Plato to P. T. Barnum, this book provides food for thought that will spark smart discussion about every aspect of popular culture—from Henry Ford to Y2K, the impact on popular culture of the September 11 tragedy, and more.

Probing Popular Culture examines our cultural icons, our fads, our hopes, and our fears-and ties them into the images we see everyday in the news and on the Web. Dr. Fishwick probes the most recent developments, crises, and anxieties encountered on our headlong dash down the Information Superhighway—and illustrates the reasons behind the media madness. Religion, sports, food, comic books, TV, and movies-none escape his microscopic dissection.

Probing Popular Culture focuses on:

  • historical pioneers—from Socrates to Walt Whitman and Walt Disney-who pondered and studied the phenomenon known as “popular culture”
  • culture frenzies—why Americans have a tendency toward trends, fads, and frenzies
  • the emergence of America as a “super” popular culture with current predominance in world media, movies, clothing, music, and food
  • the loss of old traditions and the invention of new ones
  • “hype”—its definition, its origin, and its negative effect on the human race
  • the “gaps” that have developed all over the world—mainly between the United States and other countries—because of the introduction of the Information Age in popular culture
  • and much more
Who will arbitrate, regulate, and modify our flow of information? How much is too much? What is at stake? What lies ahead? Probing Popular Culture takes an incisive look at the current situation and probes for answers. With a foreword by Dr. Fishwick’s former student, Tom Wolfe, a preface by Peter Rollins (Editor-in-Chief of Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies), and the inclusion of opinions from other authorities on popular culture, this volume will be interesting and informative to the college student, the general reader, and the specialist.

Table of Contents

  • About the Author
  • Contributors
  • Foreword (Tom Wolfe)
  • Preface (Peter Rollins)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Welcome to the Twenty-First Century
  • Notes from the Backbench
  • The Probing Process
  • Pioneer Probers
  • Probing a Frenzy
  • The American Studies Link
  • The Popular Culture Boom
  • The East-West Pop Link
  • The Great Tradition
  • Pop Hype
  • The Gap
  • To Hack or Not to Hack
  • 9/11
  • Cyberlore
  • Heroes: From Haloes to Handcuffs
  • Connecting the Dots
  • Spoiled by Success
  • The Cowboy and World Mythology
  • Paul Bunyan: Fakelore Meets Folklore
  • The Sign of the T: Henry Ford
  • Folk-Joke: Joe Magarac
  • ARF
  • Thunder from the Pulpit
  • Living with Machines
  • Wanted: A New Mythology
  • Helping Humpty-Dumpty
  • What Lies Ahead?
  • Petite Probes
  • The Virus of Superficial Popular Culture Studies (Ray B. Browne)
  • Teachers, Teens, and Technology (Katherine Lynde)
  • The Realm of Splogia: A Report to the World Anthropological Legation (James Combs)
  • My Students Speak
  • Epilogue: How Are We Different?
  • Appendix: Essential Electronic Resources
  • Further Reading
  • Notes
  • Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Internet / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General