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Picture of American Popular Culture

American Popular Culture

Historical and Pedagogical Perspectives

Editor(s): Seymour Leventman
Contributors: krystal P. banfield, susan michalczyk, alison marrelli, margaret lee zoreda, lynette averill, alison marrelli,

Book Description

American pop culture is no longer merely popular. It has penetrated to such deep-lying cultural and social structures that persons dream and fantasize in pop cultural terms. It is the new reality which increasingly measures all else in the social world. The present volume consists of original essays written expressly for the 2005 Conference of the American Pop Culture Association. They fall under three headings of the Association's lead: History of Pop Culture contains papers of a distinct historical dimension pointing out that although pop culture may become an autonomous force, it exists in a context of space and time. The Teaching of Pop Culture is critical because American pop culture has become so ubiquitous, classroom educators use it to present other unrelated materials, e.g., from history, economics, politics and sociology. Not even high culture such as Classic Literature is immune to pop culture treatment. Utilizing classic literature performs a double function of popularizing high culture while also paying hommage to it.

The authors of these papers are research scholars and academic teachers who have spent their careers communicating to students with great skill and dedication, the great ideas and concepts of popular as well as unpopular culture. The book contains important insights into that complexr, maddening phenomenon, American popular culture

Scholars, educators and general non-fiction readers will find much enlightening material. Most people associate pop culture with movies, music and TV shows. Yet this volume suggests that in modern society pop culture ultimately absorbs almost every facet of the collective life as to become generic and ever-present. Literature, for example, whether American, Japanese or Italian may lose their cultural distinctriveness and writers may forget their bibliographic ties. A literary agent, defending her client on charges of alleged plagiarism, commented, "As a former teenager myself, I recall that spongelike ability to take popular culture and incorporate it into your own lexicon." As this volume implies, pop culture has both uplifting and downgrading possibilities.

"Levantman has assembled a varied and fascinating collection of original and imaginative investigations into the pop culture every American knows and loves (or hates). It's exciting reading and covers all the bases."

Howard Becker,
Author of Art Worlds and Outsiders


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8007-0
ISBN-10: 1-84718-007-8
Date of Publication: 01/08/2006
Pages / Size: 147 / A5
Price: £29.99


Seymour Leventman teaches Sociology at Boston College in Massachusetts. He received his doctorate in Sociology at the University of Minnesota and formerly taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, and Bryn Mawr College. His interest areas include race and ethnicity, marginality, American Studies, and the social history of ideas. His book publications include “Children of the Gilded Ghetto”, “The Power of Negative Thinking”, and “Strangers at Home”, a study of Vietnam veterans’ homecoming.


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8745-1
ISBN-10: 1-84718-745-5
Date of Publication: 01/09/2008
Pages / Size: 147 / A5
Price: £14.99