Cultural Studies: A Practical Introduction by Michael Ryan

By Michael Ryan

This hands-on survey introduces scholars to the various fields that include cultural stories, from visible tradition to renowned song and new media. it may be used as a standalone textual content or is the best better half quantity to Ryan's Cultural stories: An Anthology.

  • Provides a accomplished evaluation of the sector, from cyberculture and electronic media to style and new formulations of gender identity
  • Includes scholar workouts and actions for every chapter
  • Teaches cultural research via useful examples and application
  • Gives scholars throughout disciplines the instruments to turn into practitioners of Cultural reports and energetic cultural analysts  
  • The ideal significant other quantity to Ryan's Cultural reviews Anthology (2008)

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Additional resources for Cultural Studies: A Practical Introduction

Sample text

The masculine stories were written at a time when men were the designated breadwinners 32 Gender and Sexuality for families, and competition for scarce resources imposed on them an ideal of toughness as a mechanism for assuring survival in a harsh economic landscape. Concomitantly, the chick-lit phenomenon arguably appealed to young women who belonged to a generation unleashed for the first time in human history from traditional strictures on women. More independent sexually and self-sufficient economically than their mothers or ancestors, they faced a more precarious and risky social universe in which the quest for a mate involved new forms of cultural negotiation and placed one in contact with a wider range of possible partners.

But gender and sexuality have always also been areas of enormous human creativity and play, where both the natural drive to reproduce humanity and the urge toward pleasure through and with others are on display. The cultural realm of gender and sexuality extends from deep within the human mind to billboards and television commercials that exist in communal public spaces. The constant along that range is the way affect and image are welded together in human experience both within the private realm of cognition and in the public realm of cultural representation.

And the imprinting of those ideals and norms on women makes the existing gender power relations appear to arise spontaneously from a natural process – women seem to spontaneously want to engage in service labor for men – but in fact, those internal dispositions toward certain kinds of behavior are learned. They seem original, but they are repetitions, rote rehearsals of scripts whose scripted character has been erased or forgotten. What appears to be nature, in other words, may be a fabrication.

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