The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Subcultural Identities, and Cultural Theory

The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Subcultural Identities, and Cultural Theory

by Cathy Schwichtenberg

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This hefty collection of Material Girl scholarship is enough to satisfy even the most insatiable and intellectual fan. The authors of these academic essays--professors in philosophy, rhetorical studies, marketing, cultural studies and the like--see the entertainer and her relationship to modern culture in interesting ways, but some of the connections they make are tenuous. Roseann M. Mandziuk's assertion that Madonna's inarticulate presence on Nightline ``spoke loudly for a feminist realist epistemology'' is backed up by scanty evidence, and it is hard to take seriously Melanie Morton's comparison of Madonna and Jean Genet. The strictly theoretical essays are less compelling than those that view popular culture through the lens of contemporary sociology, such as the observations of Laurie Schulze, Anne Barton White and Jane D. Brown on perceptions of Madonna as a bad role model, and Thomas K. Nakayama and Lisa N. Penaloza's survey of how members of different racial and ethnic groups interpret Madonna's attitudes toward race and ethnicity. Schwichtenberg, a professor of speech communication at the University of Georgia, provides a unifying introduction, in which she manages to draw parallels among the widely varied pieces without generalizing overmuch . (Dec.)
Library Journal
Coming hot on the spiked heels of the reputedly torrid title Sex (Warner, 1992) by Madonna herself, this weighty tome attempts to examine the performer's ``themes'' and their relationships with and within popular culture. Madonna's use of images in her works to ``sneak'' the agendas of subcultural groups (i.e., racial, feminist, gay/lesbian) into the mainstream is the major thrust of the 13 essays by various academicians, scholars, and filmmakers presented. They tackle such topics as religion, feminist politics, seduction, and the effacements of postmodern culture. Somewhat tedious and technical for the nonspecialist to enjoy, much less get anything out of, the book is already causing a minor flap in some corners of academia regarding its worth as a line of scholarly inquiry. With postmodernists and positivists the primary parties to this dispute, only academic libraries should consider this title, especially those with comprehensive popular culture collections.-- David M. Turkalo, Social Law Lib., Boston

Product Details

Westview Press
Publication date:
Cultural Studies
1450L (what's this?)

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