Blue-Collar Pop Culture [2 volumes]: From NASCAR to Jersey Shore

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Overview

The terms "blue collar" and "working class" remain incredibly vague in the United States, especially in pop culture, where they are used to express and connote different things at different times. Interestingly, most Americans are, in reality, members of the working class, even if they do not necessarily think of themselves that way. Perhaps the popularity of many cultural phenomena focused on the working class can be explained in this way: we are endlessly fascinated by ...

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Blue-Collar Pop Culture: From NASCAR to Jersey Shore [2 volumes]

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Overview

The terms "blue collar" and "working class" remain incredibly vague in the United States, especially in pop culture, where they are used to express and connote different things at different times. Interestingly, most Americans are, in reality, members of the working class, even if they do not necessarily think of themselves that way. Perhaps the popularity of many cultural phenomena focused on the working class can be explained in this way: we are endlessly fascinated by ourselves.

Blue-Collar Pop Culture: From NASCAR to Jersey Shore provides a sophisticated, accessible, and entertaining examination of the intersection between American popular culture and working-class life in America. Covering topics as diverse as the attacks of September 11th, union loyalties, religion, trailer parks, professional wrestling, and Elvis Presley, the essays in this two-volume work will appeal to general readers and be valuable to scholars and students studying American popular culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The text is well researched and documented. . . . This is a scholarly work best suited for the shelves of academic libraries, especially those that support social or cultural studies curricula."

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Library Journal

"The scope of the collection distinguishes it from more focused treatments. Together the essays offer both in-depth analyses of exemplary films or television shows and overviews of genre trends. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."

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Choice

Library Journal
This narrative work carries a somewhat misleading title. The topic of discussion is not the milieu of working-class men and women per se, but rather, for the most part, the portrayal of this socioeconomic stratum in the mass media. Author or editor of more than 40 books on such topics as literature, literary theory, and popular culture, Booker (English, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville) gathers 38 essays by scholarly contributors that examine gender, politics, stereotypes, and class conflict as filtered through the prisms of television, film, and even comic strips. A sprinkling of essays looks at other aspects of wage-earning life, such as music ("The Boss and the Workers: Bruce Springsteen as Blue-Collar Icon"), sports ("Driving to Victory: NASCAR in American Culture"), and what is termed "Everyday Blue-Collar Culture" ("Money in the Ruins: The Conversion of Abandoned Blue-Collar Worksites into Tourist Attractions"). The text is well researched and documented; each chapter concludes with "Notes" and/or "Works Cited" sections. The impetus for this work, as stated in the introduction, is that, as far as the United States is concerned, "the working class is, to an extent, underrepresented in American popular culture, making it all the more important for critics to focus on working-class themes when studying popular culture." It is not clear, however, what greater representation of those themes would accomplish, if anything. VERDICT This is a scholarly work best suited for the shelves of academic libraries, especially those that support social or cultural studies curricula. Somewhat broader in scope is Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez's equally commendable Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader (SAGE, 2011).—Michael Bemis, Washington Cty. Lib., R.H. Stafford Branch, Woodbury, MN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313391989
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/31/2012
  • Pages: 714
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2014

    Good stuff!

    Good stuff!

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