• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Witty and accessible, Popular Culture Genres is a fascinating study of genres and genre criticism. Author Arthur Asa Berger empowers readers to make their own analysis by providing the methods and examples of good criticism. Part I deals with genres from a critical perspective, asking questions such as: How do the conventions of different genres affect the creation and production of texts and the audiences of those texts? Do certain genres have significant social and political implications? And, how do genres evolve? Part II takes a look at five “classic” popular texts (in both their novel and film versions). Viewing these works in the context of their respective genres is not only instructive in nature but captivating reading as well.

Formulas and Texts
Formulas and texts

This chapter defines formulas and deals with their use in mass-mediated texts. It considers the relationship that exists between genres, which are understood as “kinds of texts” and formulas, which are understood as “conventions” used in structuring texts. It also deals with the ideas of a number of theorists who have written on genres and formulas.

On the Nature of Formulas

In the Six-Gun Mystique, an early study of the nature of formulaic literature, John G. Cawelti (a humanities professor from the University of Chicago) suggests that there are three approaches or “major forms of deterministic interpretation” that critics have used in recent years. The first approach deals with literature as a “reflection of the dominant intellectual and political concerns of a ...

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