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 3: The Social Construction of a Cultural Disaster
The Social Construction of a Cultural Disaster
This chapter presents a case study of London's Millennium Dome exposition. It examines the public debate concerning the Dome as constructed in the news media and presents a multidimensional analysis of its cultural, economic and political significance.
From a policy-orientated perspective, it is vital that cultural analysis should engage with current issues of controversy in such a way that contests official discourse and the limitations of journalism. The Millennium Experience – the centrepiece of which was an exposition housed in a dome-like tent – became the biggest news story in Britain during the year 2000. Yet, in spite of the enormous amount of news coverage and comment it attracted, journalists failed to explain ...