The American Surfer

Radical Culture and Capitalism

By Kristin Lawler

© 2011 – Routledge

210 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415811477
pub: 2012-09-05
US Dollars$43.95
Hardback: 9780415874892
pub: 2010-10-06
US Dollars$140.00

About the Book

The image of surfing is everywhere in American popular culture – films, novels, television shows, magazines, newspaper articles, music, and especially advertisements. In this book, Kristin Lawler examines the surfer, one of the most significant and enduring archetypes in American popular culture, from its roots in ancient Hawaii, to Waikiki beach at the dawn of the twentieth century, continuing through Depression-era California, cresting during the early sixties, persistently present over the next three decades, and now, more globally popular than ever. Throughout, Lawler sets the image of the surfer against the backdrop of the negative reactions to it by those groups responsible for enforcing the Puritan discipline – pro-work, anti-spontaneity – on which capital depends and thereby offers a fresh take on contemporary discussions of the relationship between commercial culture and counterculture, and between counterculture and capitalism.

Table of Contents

1. Radical: Surf Culture, Image, and Capitalism 2. Island Time: Primitives, Puritans, and Hucksters 3. The Oceanic Feeling: Surfing’s Lost Paradise 4. Riders on the Storm: Surfers and the Sixties 5. The Malibu Surfer Problem: Play and the Cultural Politics of the Class Struggle

About the Author

Kristen Lawler is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes