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Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity Paperback – May 15 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; New edition edition (May 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226280659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226280653
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 449 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #843,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
Let's begin here: talk shows are bad for you, so bad you could catch a cold. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Joshua Gamson is a signpost pointing hopefully to a bright new era of scholarly work on popular culture. In the past, books from university presses on everything from Barney to Barbie have either been hopelessly theoretical (usually toked out on Focault) or with the polite condescendion of an overworked television critic. With this book, Joshua Gamson has brilliantly changed the levels of the game.
Freaks Talk Back knows talk shows from the inside, outside and above. Gamson asserts that Oprah, Ricki and Donahue are meeting grounds for ideas on alternative genders, often expressing a progressive, if fleeting, level of acceptance. He underlines the ambivalence he feels as a gay man and a scholar, seeing Freaks talking to millions of homes via the talk show but doing so under the banner of freakishness.
While this might not be forceful leveling of trash TV we'd like, it is a thoughtfully developed and couragous conclusion. A sociologist, Gamson sat in on hundreds of talk shows, interviewing guests,personel, and audience to arrive at his conclusions. He includes himself in the discussion, admitting his weekness for TV trash, and his rollicking Saturday nights out in drag. Rather than indulgant, these anecdotes are refreshing, showing the author's willingness to be both intellecutally sophisticated and accessible, the true dream of quality writing on popular culture. Through humor, diligance, and self-awareness of his project's trip wires, Joshua Gamson shows us why "popular" and "scholarly" need not in front of a studio audience, screaming at each other.
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Format: Hardcover
As a gay man, Gamson provides an interesting perspective on LGBT issues and exposes many of the hypocritical and often contradictory themes recurrent to the shows. There are many entertaining episodes recounted, but the book is more of a unique blend of sociological and personal importance. The writing can be a bit dry at times, but it is an intertaining and thought-provoking book for gays and non-gays alike.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Gamson raises the watermark on studies of sexuality & media Nov. 14 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Joshua Gamson is a signpost pointing hopefully to a bright new era of scholarly work on popular culture. In the past, books from university presses on everything from Barney to Barbie have either been hopelessly theoretical (usually toked out on Focault) or with the polite condescendion of an overworked television critic. With this book, Joshua Gamson has brilliantly changed the levels of the game.
Freaks Talk Back knows talk shows from the inside, outside and above. Gamson asserts that Oprah, Ricki and Donahue are meeting grounds for ideas on alternative genders, often expressing a progressive, if fleeting, level of acceptance. He underlines the ambivalence he feels as a gay man and a scholar, seeing Freaks talking to millions of homes via the talk show but doing so under the banner of freakishness.
While this might not be forceful leveling of trash TV we'd like, it is a thoughtfully developed and couragous conclusion. A sociologist, Gamson sat in on hundreds of talk shows, interviewing guests,personel, and audience to arrive at his conclusions. He includes himself in the discussion, admitting his weekness for TV trash, and his rollicking Saturday nights out in drag. Rather than indulgant, these anecdotes are refreshing, showing the author's willingness to be both intellecutally sophisticated and accessible, the true dream of quality writing on popular culture. Through humor, diligance, and self-awareness of his project's trip wires, Joshua Gamson shows us why "popular" and "scholarly" need not in front of a studio audience, screaming at each other.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Engaging glimpse into the sordid world of TV talk. June 23 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a gay man, Gamson provides an interesting perspective on LGBT issues and exposes many of the hypocritical and often contradictory themes recurrent to the shows. There are many entertaining episodes recounted, but the book is more of a unique blend of sociological and personal importance. The writing can be a bit dry at times, but it is an intertaining and thought-provoking book for gays and non-gays alike.

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