Cultural Theory: An Anthology

Cultural Theory: An Anthology by Szeman, Imre 140518082X 9781405180825
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ISBN: 140518082X

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Cultural Theory: An Anthology brings together the essential readings that have shaped and defined the field of contemporary cultural theory. The guiding principle of the anthology is to collect those writers and theorists who have produced ideas and concepts in wide use for the analysis and study of culture today. Such concepts are not always narrowly focused on culture, but originate out of attempts across a wide range of disciplines to understand contemporary forms of power, ideology, the organization of space and time, and the production of subjectivity. This volume seeks to collect the most influential ideas in each of these areas-ideas that have been put to use in multiple ways in the study of culture.This anthology is distinct from other theory collections in that it does not model the study of culture in terms of distinct approaches: semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism and so on. Although some of the readings are, of course, inflected by these movements, intellectual traditions or recurring debates between theoreticians within such supposed subfields do not organize the topics here. The idea that critical thought or cultural theory is most accurately characterized through a taxonomy of partisan approaches-each one seemingly separate from the others in a way that demands that scholars adopt one or the other framework-seems to us to misrepresent the character of cultural theory today. Nor is the anthology organized around theories related to the study of specific cultural artefacts (literature, film, television, communication technologies, etc) or cultural practices (practices of technology, subcultures, activism, etc.). Cultural theory seeks to understand the complex nature of the formative social, political and cultural antagonisms of our era; it does so at times by giving attention to those practices, activities and artefacts that we have understood to be culture, but also with an awareness of the shifts and deformations that this concept has undergone over the past half century, such that it has become difficult to separate the levels of the social (cultural, economic, political, etc.) from one another in a meaningful or analytically productive way.In addition to an introductory overview of the field of cultural theory, the anthology will contain a number of pedagogic features that will make it useful to students and scholars alike. Each subsection will include a general introduction and will be followed by an annotated list of suggested readings. The lists will offer the reader approximately ten to fifteen citations of articles and books that comment directly on the texts in the section and offer suggestions for those that develop and follow up on the subsection themes and ideas. Also, each reading will be supplied with an introductory headnote that will provide an overview of the piece, explain the context in which it was written and provide a brief intellectual biography of the author. Editorial notes included in the pieces will provide additional information and context wherever it might be needed. Finally, the anthology will include an index inclusive of all significant concepts, themes, names and places noted in the texts and a glossary of all pertinent terminology found within the volume. These features aim to make the anthology useful for first-time students in cultural theory as well for those seeking possible points of comparison between texts in different subsections.It is increasingly necessary for anthologies such as this to present its readers with a direction for finding material related to its entries. Internet databases and search engines often leave researchers and students at a loss to locate secondary writi

Author: Szeman, Imre

Language: English

Edition: 1

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 558

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Publication Date: 2010-04-26

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