• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book represents a distinctive approach to cultural analysis, using multi-dimensional methods for addressing issues of public interest. The approach, which deploys Jim McGuigan's original concept of the cultural public sphere, is demonstrated in several case studies, including:

  • Celebrity death Festivals and urban regeneration
  • Race and multicultural controversy
  • Popular television (for instance, Little Britain and The Apprentice)
  • Social significance of the all-purpose mobile communication device in a privatized and individualized way of life
  • Riskiness and uncertainty at both the levels of environmental politics and working life in the creative and media industries

These various case studies are analyzed with regard to the dialectic of production and consumption in cultural circulation and situated in relation to major issues of social change. The book stresses the impact of neoliberalism throughout the world since the 1970s and the formation of a cool-capitalist culture that has colonized everyday life around much of the globe. In effect, this is a radical intervention in the research agendas and conceptual development of cultural policy studies, cultural sociology, and, more generally, in the broad field known as cultural studies. It offers challenging theoretical arguments that are substantiated with concrete evidence of cultural and social processes.

A Community of Communities
A community of communities

For the British-born generations, seeking to assert their claim to belong, the concept of Englishness of ten seems inappropriate, since to be English, as the term in practice is used, is to be white. Britishness is not ideal, but at least it appears acceptable, particularly when suitably qualified – Black British, Indian British, British Muslim, and so on.

However, there is one major and so far insuperable barrier. Britishness, as much as Englishness, has systematic, largely unspoken, racial connotations. Whiteness nowhere features as an explicit condition of being British, but it is widely understood that Englishness, and therefore by extension Britishness, is racially coded. ‘There ain't no black in the Union Jack’, it has been said. … Race is ...

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