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.

Genre, Society, and Culture

Genre, society, and culture

This chapter deals with a number of social and political aspects of genre. It begins with a discussion of the four political cultures that exist in America (according to the theories of Aaron Wildavsky, a prominent political scientist at the University of California) and with speculations about which genres might appeal to these political cultures. It then discusses the relationship between genres and the life cycle and suggests that as we get older we engage in “genre migration,” moving, for example, from listening to hard rock radio stations when we are adolescents to easy listening radio stations when we are middle aged.

The chapter also includes a discussion of the impact of dramatic fictions on television, on people, and ...

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