Popular Stories and Promised Lands: Fan Cultures and Symbolic Pilgrimages

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Popular Stories and Promised Lands enters a conversation
about who we are, where we've been, and where we might be going by suggesting
that possible answers to those questions can be found in the popular stories
we encounter at the ...

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1999 Hard cover 2nd ed. No dust jacket o/w absolutely brand new! ! -No international shipping available Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 304 p. Studies in Rhetoric and ... Communication (Hardcover). Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Popular Stories and Promised Lands enters a conversation
about who we are, where we've been, and where we might be going by suggesting
that possible answers to those questions can be found in the popular stories
we encounter at the movies, on television, in popular magazines, and even
on the funny pages. 

As countless scholars and popular writers have noted,
those of us living in the United States find ourselves at a cultural crossroads.
We are increasingly aware that the stories that once permeated life in
these United States, stories that tell us that social and economic progress
comes from working hard, that everyone has an equal opportunity to experience
such progress, do not resonate to the degree they once did. Because many
Americans have traditionally defined themselves, others, and their unique
sense of place through these stories, we find ourselves displaced socially,
economically, politically, and/or culturally.  

So, Roger Aden says, we go to places of our own making.
Fans of the television series The X-Files return to the Funhouse
each week for a dose of frightening fun. Fans of the weekly magazine Sports
Illustrated
play in the American Elysian Fields where democratic efforts
at balancing work and play are valued. Fans of the movie Field of Dreams
work as altruistic producers in an alternative garden spot. 

Grounded in the author's own experiences and reinforced
by the voices of approximately two hundred additional fans of the four
popular stories, this book offers a compelling case for understanding the
alleged wasteland of popular culture as a fertile site of individually
and communally created sacred places. 
 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A masterful production of a reading experience in which a diversified, assertive audience is collectively and individually rising to produce a communal wave around this popular culture stadium. By the end of the book I am completely and unabashedly with them, cheering and applauding this scholarly performance."

—H. L. Goodall Jr., University of North Carolina-Greensboro

"Aden's book brings theoretical and methodological rigor to scholarship in popular culture. His perspectives on narrative and place unify a wide range of interests in impressive ways."

—Barry Brummett, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Booknews
Engages a conversation about who we are, where we've been, and where we might be going, and suggests that possible answers to those questions can be found in the popular stories we encounter at the movies, on television, in popular magazines, and on the funny pages. Discussion of , , , and offers a compelling case for understanding the alleged wasteland of popular culture as a fertile site of individually and communally created sacred places. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817309381
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Studies in Rhetoric and Communication Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger C. Aden is Associate Professor of Interpersonal Communication
at Ohio University. 
 

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: I'm a Big Fan: Popular Stories, Habitus, and Places That Matter 1
Pt. 1 Theoretical Development
1 The Search for Promised Lands: Dominant Visions of Sacred Places in U.S. Culture 17
2 The Foundations of Symbolic Pilgrimage: Theoretical Conversations About Places That Matter 52
3 Symbolic Pilgrimages: Experiencing Popular Stories as Purposeful, Imaginary-Yet-Real Journeys 79
Pt. 2 Illustrations
4 Exiled in Cubeville, Striving for Nerdvana: Dilbert as a Critique of Phony Meritocracy 115
5 Transforming the Panopticon Into the Funhouse: Negotiating Disorientation in The X-Files 149
6 Playing in a Perfect Place: Sports Illustrated and an American Elysian Field 186
7 Integrating Self and Community as a Means of Finding Homes: The Shift from Consumerism to Altruistic Producerism in Field of Dreams 219
Conclusion: The Return Home 250
Postscript 260
References 263
Index 285
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