In this guide to cultural criticism, Arthur Asa Berger presents complex concepts in jargon-free language, making the book an ideal introductory text. It covers the key theorists, concepts, and subject areas, from literary, sociological and psychoanalytical theories of semiotics and Marxism. Berger brings cultural criticism to life by making these theories relevant to see students' lives. Illustrating his explanations with excerpts from classic works, Berger gives readers a sense of the style of important thinkers and helps place them in context. There is an extensive bibliography which will be an invaluable resource for those who wish to explore the topics in greater depth.

Sociological Theory and Cultural Criticism

Sociological theory and cultural criticism

In this chapter I address sociological criticism—in the broadest sense of the term—and its application to cultural criticism. Sociology is a very large and amorphous field that covers an enormous number of areas. Within this field are scholars and writers with many different interests, philosophical positions, and methodological approaches. My focus here is on aspects of sociological thought that have relevance to cultural studies in general and to the media, popular culture, and related matters in particular.

I start with a discussion of a concept that is of central concern, culture. Although culture is the fundamental concept of anthropological thought, in its mass-mediated forms and with popular culture, specifically, it becomes a subject that is dealt with ...

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