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AgitPop [Paperback]

Arthur Berger

Price: CDN$ 33.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 28 2007 1412806453 978-1412806459

In this entirely sophisticated and scholarly account of political culture, Arthur Asa Berger shows how the variety of cultural preferences created the foundations of communication theory. Using the work of Aaron Wildavsky, the author shows how individualism, egalitarianism, collectivism, and fatalism form the basis of culture in complex societies. But more importantly, Berger breaks down the mechanical distinction between mass culture and elite culture, showing how they interpenetrate and cross-over at the level of competitive and hierarchical frames. Agit-Pop suggests that there is an ideological content to popular culture, even though the creators no less than the consumers of that culture are either unaware or dimly aware that they are creating works with an ideological bent.

The work takes up in quick order two examples from different areas of the hierarchical, individualist, egalitarian, and fatalist cultures. From football games to the Iran-Contra Hearings, from MTV to the Human Potential Movement, from Max Headroom to humor on the Jews, and from wrestling to The Terminator, Berger takes up his master themes with a deft touch of his own. Weaving in the work of scholars from Emile Durkheim to Aaron Wildavsky, he manages to make each of the chapters very much his own.

For those who know the earlier work of this author, the reader will be very much at home; for those new to Berger, the volume will be a joyous revelation. The final three chapters reveal a new and deeper aspect of Berger's work. His interpretation of the earlier materials in terms of the semiotics of power, of textual analysis, or destruction of the media, and finally, an analysis and self-analysis of the larger research agenda of which this work is pivotal, should make this book central to the theoretical construction of popular and political culture. For people working in communications theory, political culture, and the sociology of knowledge, this book is a must; for everyone else, it is a joy.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (Feb. 28 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412806453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412806459
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15.8 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g

Product Description

Review

“The case studies are witty and well written but the theorizing is forced… The first 9 of the 12 chapters are highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates.” 

—J. Orman, Choice


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Amazon.com: 1.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost Incomprehensible Garbage June 1 2014
By Not Moses - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thinking I was headed into the familiar and enjoyably toothy territory of Altemeyer's =The Authoritarians=, Bernays's =Crystallizing Public Opinion=, Cialdini's =Influence: Science and Practice=... and maybe even Arendt's =The Origins of Totalitarianism=, Asch's =Effects of Group Pressure upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgments=, or Berger & Luckman's =The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge=, I popped for this book. Fortunately, I was only out about $5.00.

The book is essentially a rant boxed up in a poor attempt to be stylistic. And it should certainly not be confused with =Agitprop: The Life of an American Working-Class Radical: The Autobiography of Eugene V. Dennett=. It may be useful for kindling one's firewood lit, however.

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