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X-Rated!: The Power of Mythic Symbolism in Popular Culture

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Overview

Many attack pop culture as a crude "sexual" and "celebrity-based" culture that is purportedly bringing about the end of moral values. Renowned semiotician Marcel Danesi adds his signature insight to the debate by delving deep into pop culture through a consideration of symbols. Danesi's treatment of letters, such as the X in "X-Rated," the "i" in "iPod," and other such symbols, reveals an ancient mythic structure that blends the sacred and profane dimensions of human psychic life. Danesi takes the reader on a remarkable exploration of the radical turns in American society, a society in which the search for pleasure and sexual expression often reign supreme. X-Rated! is a fascinating trip through that which gives pop culture its secret appeal.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Danesi is a giant in the semiotics of popular culture and has completely reinvigorated a field that has seen too many faux analyses of pop music, cult TV, and fan texts. Through the analyses of the feminine, the sacred and the profane, and the contemporary i-world, to the ubiquitous irrationality of the occult, X-Rated! repeatedly refreshes the parts that other textbooks don’t even reach.”—Paul Cobley, Reader in Communications, London Metropolitan University

“Marcel Danesi is one very hip and very cool scholar. His book does a superb job of explaining and applying ideas from the most important cultural theorists and media scholars to pop culture in an accessible, instructive, and highly entertaining manner. Offering brilliant insights into everything from Deep Throat to postmodernism, from ‘V’ power to X-rated films, from the sacred and the profane to Satanism, the book is required reading for anyone interested in pop culture, media criticism, and cultural studies.”—Arthur Asa Berger, Professor Emeritus, Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts, San Francisco State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230610682
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcel Danesi is Professor of Semiotics and Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He is respected for his work in several areas of semiotic study, including youth culture and metaphor. Among his major publications are Vico, Metaphor, and The Origins of Language; Cool: The Signs and Meanings of Adolescence; The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life; Brands; and Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Semiotica, the leading jourbanal in semiotics.

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Table of Contents

X-Power: American Pop Culture as a Theater of the Profane
• V-Power: The Feminine Form and Pop Culture
• Logo-Power: The Role of Branding and Advertising in Pop Culture
• i-Power: Pop Culture in the Age of the Internet
• N-Power: Occultism in Pop Culture
• Spectacle-Power: Why We Hate to Love and Love to Hate Pop Culture

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