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.
Chapter 9: Apprentices to Cool Capitalism
Apprentices to Cool Capitalism
The Apprentice — an American series with versions elsewhere, including a British franchise and a Chinese copy, Winner – is an emblematic television programme of the 2000s. This chapter aims to produce a critical analysis of the discourse of the third series of the American Apprentice, shown on US television in 2005 and in Britain in 2006. Reference will also be made to the 2007 British series and points of comparison drawn between the two versions, particularly concerning how class is signified in both countries but differently.
The case study presented in this chapter is part of a larger project on ‘cool capitalism’ (McGuigan, 2010). At a time when the power of capitalism globally has never been so great ...