European Readings Of American Popular Culture

European Readings Of American Popular Culture

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Since the Second World War, Europe has undergone a continual invasion: wave after wave of American popular culture. The diffusion of American culture in Europe is both a European story about America and an American story about Europe. This work examines this cross-cultural phenomenon from the European viewpoint. Nearly two dozen European experts in their respective fields offer an invigorating, engaging, and open-minded examination of America as perceived with the acute insight of the interested European outsider—a fruitful tradition that stretches back to Lafayette, de Tocqueville, and Goethe, to name three. Of interest to scholars, students, and general readers alike.

The book's focus is both sensuous and intellectual: how America is seen (The Image); heard (Popular Music); perused (The Written Word); digested (Food); learned from its common ways (Social Customs); perceived by minorities (Ethnic Cultures); and taken as an instrument of change (Americanization). It is the first book of its kind published in the United States. It is rich with selected, up-to-date critical bibliographies in areas for which very little information is otherwise available. In sum: a cogent, cross-cultural analysis of how U.S. popular culture exposes both European dreams of well-being and nightmares of discontent. These are insights which deserve to be savored.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313294297
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/16/1996
Series: Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture Series , #50
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 1350L (what's this?)

About the Author

JOHN DEAN is an American, born and educated in the United States, who has lived half his life in Europe. He is currently professor of American Civilization and Mass Media Studies at Université Strasbourg II. He has written books and professional articles on popular culture, including American Popular Culture (1992).

JEAN-PAUL GABILLIET is professor of English and North American Studies at the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies. He is the author of an unpublished doctoral thesis on anthropological aspects of comic books and comic-book reading in North America, as well as numerous articles on North American popular culture and U.S.-Canadian relations.

Table of Contents



Ever the Twain Shall Meet by John Dean and Jean-Paul Gabilliet

Introduction: America and Europe: A Clash of Imagined Communities by Rob Kroes

The Image

Blackface Minstrels and Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Nineteenth-Century Entertainment Forms as Cultural Exports by John G. Blair

Creative Chiasmus: Comparative Evolution of U.S. Television and Cinema Products in the 1980s by Francis Bordat

A Comics Interlude by Jean-Paul Gabilliet

My Very Own America by Jean-Claude Mézières

Popular Music

Rocking and Rapping in the Dutch Welfare State by Mel van Elteren

Here, There, and Everywhere: Rock Music, Mass Culture, and the Counterculture by Claude Chastagner

Negotiations and Love Songs: Towards a Verifiable Interpretation of Popular Music by Karl Adams, Henri Drost and Eugéne van Erven

The Written Word

Harlequin Romances in Western Europe: The Cultural Interactions of Romantic Literature by Annick Capelle

Reader's Digest: A Rosy World for Both Sides of the Atlantic by Daniel Baylon

"Seriously Lurid": The Pitfalls of Publishing American Crime Fiction in Britain by Andrew Pepper


Pride and Prejudice: American Cuisine, the French, and Godliness by Mireille Favier

"Wash Your Hands with Coca-Cola": Coca-Cola's European Tribulations by Laurent Ditmann

Social Customs

The Barbie Doll by Marianne Debouzy

Serial Heroes: A Sociocultural Probing into Excessive Consumption by Robert Conrath

The Mayflower Need Not Sail Back: The US of A is Going European by Claude-Jean Bertrand

Ethnic Cultures

"America" in Popular Irish Fiction and Drama: Elements of a Transcultural Discourse by Ciáran Ross

Minorities in US Films: The New Wave 60s-70s by Penny Starfield

America on My Mind by Lazare Bitoun


A Taste of Honey: Adorno's Reading of American Mass Culture by Kaspar Maase

The Experience of Freedom and Vacuum: An Anthropologist at Euro Disney by Marc Augé

Popular Culture and Mass Culture: A Franco-European Dilemma by Jean-Marie Domenach (translated by Jean-Paul Gabilliet)

Selected Bibiography


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