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.

Sociology of the Mobile Phone

Sociology of the mobile phone


The rapid take-up and increase in the use of the mobile phone has proved an immensely significant social and cultural phenomenon. Market hyperbole and utopian dreams have greatly exaggerated its importance, however. The fundamental issue for sociology is the process of change and, since the mobile phone is so much bound up with contemporary issues of change, it constitutes a prime object for sociological attention, at both the macro and micro levels of analysis.

This chapter considers the strengths and weaknesses of four clusters of method for studying the sociality of the mobile phone – (social demography; political economy; conversation, discourse and text analysis; and ethnography) and the different kinds of knowledge they produce and the interests ...

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