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"Arguably the most famous book in its field... In theoretical terms, the legacy of Doing Cultural Studies confirms that this classic read is not just about the Walkman itself, but represents a series of clear observations about the symbolic meanings of culture."
- LSE Review of Books
Why think about the Walkman in the 21st century? Can the Walkman help us understand today’s media and cultural practices? Through the notion of the 'circuit of culture', this book teaches students to critically examine what culture means, and how and why it is enmeshed with the media texts and objects in their lives. Students will:
- Unpack the key concepts of contemporary culture, such as mobility, materiality, consumption and identity
- Learn to think about some of the cultural conundrums of the present and their relation to the past, such as branding culture
- Look with fresh eyes at today's media world and the cultural practices it gives rise to
- Gain practical experience with the historical comparative method
- Practice their critical skills with up-to-date exercises and activities
This book takes students on a journey between past and present, giving them the skills do to cultural analysis along the way. It remains the perfect 'how to' for students in media studies, cultural studies, design and sociology.
Table of ContentsIntroduction to the Second Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
1. MAKING SENSE OF THE WALKMAN
What is 'Culture'?
Back to the Future: Materiality and Culture
Meanings and Practices
Meaning by Association: Semantic Networks
Back to the Future: Meanings and Associations
Back to the Future: Produsage: The Changing Relationship Between Production and Consumption?
Culture in the Age of Electronic Reproduction
Back to the Future - Benjamin v/2.0
Back to the future: Mobile Privatization?
Walk-men and Walk-women: Subjects and Identities
Back to the Future: Advertizing and Branding
2. THE PRODUCTION OF THE SONY WALKMAN
Introduction: The Many Origins of an Idea
Cultures of Production, Contexts of Innovation
Back to the Future: Technological Innovation, Heroic Individuals and Distributed Agency
Sony, Japan and the United States
Sony: Signifying 'Japan'?
Happy Accidents at Work: Enter the Walkman
Making the Walkman to Sell: Connecting Production and Consumption
Assembling for the Young Consumer: The Mothers of the Invention
Naming the Machine: Sony Grammar
Marketing and Public Relations
Back to the Future: Promotional Culture
Monitoring Consumption and Market Research
Back to the Future: Produsage Revisited
3. DESIGNING THE WALKMAN: ARTICULATING PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
Designers as Cultural Intermediaries
The Organization of Design at Sony
Lifestyling the Walkman
Back to the Future: The Power of Software: Culture Made Malleable?
The Walkman: How 'Japanese' Is It?
4. SONY AS A GLOBAL FIRM
Following the Walkman: Competition and Financial Crisis
Sony Goes Global and Local
Back to the Future: The Global-Local Nexus
Combining Hardware and Software: The Culture Industry
Back to the Future: Synergies and Cultural Industries
5. CONSUMING THE WALKMAN
Perspectives on Consumption
Back to the Future: Perspectives on Consumption
Back to the Future: Authenticity
The Production of Consumption
The Walkman and the Production of Consumption Critique
Back to the Future: "Revolutionary" Technologies?
Back to the Future: Optimism and Pessimism in Relation to Web 2.0
Back to the Future: No sense of Place?
Consumption as Socio-cultural Differentiation
Walkman Consumption and Social Differentiation
Consumption as Appropriation and Resistance
6. REGULATING THE WALKMAN
The Walkman and Questions of Cultural Regulation
The Walkman: The Public and the Private
Walkman Use and the Blurring of Boundaries
Back to the Future: Cultural Regulation of Modern Technologies
Summary of Chapters 5 and 6
Reading A: Bruno Latour: 'Technology is society made durable'
Reading B: Axel Bruns: 'Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation'
Reading C: Walter Benjamin: 'The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction'
Reading D: Raymond Williams: 'Mobile privatization'
Reading E: Ana Andjelic: 'Time to rewrite the brand playbook for the digital'
Reading F: Nick Lyons: 'Scratching a global dream'
Reading G: Shu Ueyama: 'The selling of the "Walkman"'
Reading H: Thomas A. Harvey: 'How Sony Corporation became first with kids'
Reading I: Lev Manovich: 'There is Only software'
Reading J: Jonathan Zittrain: 'The Personal Computer Is Dead'
Reading K: Rey Chow: 'Listening otherwise, music miniaturized: a different type of question about revolution'
Reading L: Lev Grossman: 'Irańs protests: Twitter, the Medium of the Movement'
Reading M: Tim ÓReilly: 'What Is Web 2.0'
Reading N: Mirko Tobias Schäfer: 'Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production'
Reading O: Lain Chambers: 'A miniature history of the Walkman'
Reading P: Vincent Jackson: 'Menace II society'