Synopses & Reviews
"Popular culture" is more than just a broad term for entertainment and frivolous diversions; it is also highly relevant to our understanding of society. This exciting book is the first to offer insights into the important, but often overlooked, relationship between popular culture and social problems. Drawing on historical and topical examples, the authors apply an innovative theoretical framework to examine how facets of popular culturefrom movies and music to toys, games, billboards, bumper stickers, and braceletsshape how we think about, and respond to, social issues, such as problems of gender, sexuality, and race.
Including student features, evocative case studies, and access to online material, this book will help students explore and understand the essential connection between popular culture and social problems. Deftly combining the fun and irreverence of popular culture with critical scholarly inquiry, this timely book delivers an engaging account of how our interactions withand consumption ofpopular culture matter far more than we may think.
In his new textbook, Joel Best gives readers a complete set of tools for analyzing any social problem. Best helps readers think carefully about how activists, experts, and their opponents frame social problems through the logic that they use, the rhetoric of claims-making, and the ways that access to resources determines who gets their claims heard. In order to help students connect theory to everyday life, the text includes colorful examples and case studies from the real world.
Each reading includes a brief headnote and a handful of study questions.
The reader features multiple readings on the following topics: crime, disaster, drugs, families, gender, health and environment, inequality, race, and violence.
About the Author
R. J. Maratea is assistant professor of criminal justice at New Mexico State University.Brian Monahan is assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Marywood University. He is the author of The Shock of the News: Media Coverage and the Making of 9/11.