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University Readers
Pop Culture

Pop Culture

by Ebony Utley


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The thirteen essays selected for Power and Pleasure in Popular Culture aim to explain why popular culture is an irresistible guilty pleasure. This anthology forces readers to think about why they enjoy popular culture by asking questions about its relationship to power: Who truly has power over popular culture—its creators or its consumers? Under what circumstances is popular culture empowering? When is it disempowering? Is pleasure contingent upon acquiescing to power, resisting power, and/or wielding power over others? These questions are considered from the perspectives of gender, sexual orientation, class status, and racial identity.

Additional emphasis on food, fashion, television, film, music, political cartoons, virtual communication, and physical bodies increases the likelihood that students will identify with the content found in this book and connect the readings with their lived experiences. The various theoretical approaches presented within also encourage students to use their critical media literacy skills to determine what aspects of popular culture have the power to turn them on. With original section introductions written by Dr. Ebony A. Utley, Power and Pleasure in Popular Culture is an ideal reader for any course dealing with the complexities of popular culture.

Ebony A. Utley, Ph.D., is an expert in popular culture, race, and romantic relationships. Dr. Utley’s research explores the tension between power and pleasure in popular culture, examines how Americans talk about race and racism, asks probing questions about marriage and infidelity, and explores hip hop’s relationship to love and religion. She is the author of Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta’s God. In addition to national radio, print, and online appearances, Dr. Utley lectures at universities across the country and is an assistant professor of communication studies at California State University Long Beach. She resides on the web at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609271275
Publisher: University Readers
Publication date: 08/17/2011
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.45(d)

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