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.

Introduction: Cultural Analysis

Introduction: Cultural analysis

The perspective on cultural analysis presented in this book aims to be multidimensional in its approach to scholarship and orientated towards the critical study of issues that are of public interest.

A multidimensional analysis seeks to make sense of the ontological complexity of cultural phenomena – that is, the many-sidedness of their existence. It is concerned with the circulation of culture and the interaction of production and consumption, including the materiality and significatory qualities of cultural forms.

There are innumerable possible topics that might be studied in such a way, none of which would necessarily be lacking in value. Choices have to be made, however; decisions have to be taken as to priority. That is why questions of public interest are privileged ...

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