Cultural Analysis of Texts
Publication Year: 2000
Drawing upon a range of perspectives from textual and cultural studies, this book synthesizes textual, contextual and audience analysis into an overall picture of meaning making. Using examples ranging from Balzac to blonde jokes, modernist poetry to pop lyrics, the book discusses the factors that contribute to the formation of meaning: language, media, texts, contexts and readers. In the cultural study of texts — texts, contexts and practices — are equally important, the author argues. Meaning making takes place in the articulation between these different elements. But how can one examine all three areas at the same time? In The Cultural Analysis of Texts, Mikko Lehtonen develops a model to enable just such an approach.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Stop the World, I Want In!
- Chapter 2: The Meaningfulness of the World, the Worldliness of Meanings
- Chapter 3: Language as Human Being in the World
- Chapter 4: The World of Sign Systems and Technologies
- Chapter 5: The World of Texts
- Chapter 6: The World of Contexts
- Chapter 7: The World of Readers
- Chapter 8: The World of Articulation
© Mikko Lehtonen 2000
First published 2000
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 0 7619 6550 5
ISBN 0 7619 6551 3 (pbk)
Library of Congress catalog card number available
Typeset by Keystroke, Jacaranda Lodge, Wolverhampton. Printed in Great Britain by Biddles Ltd, Guildford, Surrey
We begin to think where we live. When I was writing this book I lived in Tampere, an industrial city that lies in between two lakes in southern Finland, which is often claimed to be the centre of Finnish literature, sometimes the mecca of Finnish rock, at other times the city of women, occasionally the red city, and not only the cradle of Finnish ice hockey but currently the cradle of Finnish cultural studies, as well. When I still lived in Helsinki, every time I visited Tampere I felt I was in Finland (Helsinki being a Finnish-Swedish-Russian-German city). But Tampere, too, was founded by a Swedish king and industrialized by a certain Scotsman with the kind assistance of the then Russian Tsar (at least the rapids are originally from Tampere). Moreover, currently Tampere is known not only for the sole Lenin Museum in existence in the world, but also for its many international conferences, for its bedrock that is among the most ancient in the world (of which the residents know nothing about, but which enthusiastic international tourists hurry to touch in vast crowds) and for the tiny neighbouring town called Nokia. A small Finnish locality has swiftly developed into a global city.
So, where did I live as I thought about and wrote this book? Here, but in a ‘here’ the locality of which is increasingly determined by its connection to other places. Besides, in the name of honesty I must confess that my work in Tampere would not have been possible had I not had the opportunity to spend time also in the famed reading room of the old British Library, the very place where Marx, Gandhi and other such personalities with a bit more renown than myself have tried to settle comfortably in their chairs.
Even Tampere globalizes, but different contexts – local, national and international – maintain their significance even in a globalized world. Hence, this book's context of birth has been not only the everyday of highly literate people of Tampere but also the ever-increasing community of researchers in the fields of culture, literature and media, to whose smorgasbord the book hopefully brings its zesty addition.
Excellent assistance in the process of recontextualizing the book was provided by the translators Kris Clarke and Aija-Leena Ahonen. Welcome help was also given by Pertti Alasuutari, Sari Elfving and Juha Koivisto of Tampere, as well as the North-Carolina-based Larry Grossberg, and Julia Hall and Seth Edwards in London. My warm thanks to you all!
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