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Culture Works

The Political Economy of Culture

2001

Richard Maxwell, editor

Culture Works

Tears down the imaginary walls separating culture, economics, and politics.

This book offers readers a number of ways to link cultural experience to political economy-to become aware of the ways in which political and economic realities and decisions determine the outlines of spaces and activities in everyday life. Unsettling and provocative, Culture Works shows how particular economies and power relations work in familiar and central cultural experiences: art, beer, advertising, dance, sport, shopping, the Web, and media.

Contributors: David L. Andrews, Michael Curtin, Susan G. Davis, Danielle Fox, Chad Raphael, Anna Beatrice Scott, Ben Scott, Inger L. Stole, Thomas Streeter.

Cultural Politics Series, volume 18


When we read best-selling books, go to movies, visit art museums, go dancing, take in a game, we customarily ignore the political economy that hammers these features of culture into shape; normally, at such times, we’re not thinking about corporate board room votes, lobbyists, public funding for the arts, the end of the Cold War, stock swaps, intellectual property, or the class divisions of public space. This book aims to change that by offering readers a number of ways to link cultural experience to political economy-to become aware of the ways in which political and economic realities and decisions determine the outlines of spaces and activities in everyday life.

Unsettling and provocative, Culture Works tears down the imaginary walls separating culture, economics, and politics. Writing across the established borders between anthropology, sociology, art history, economics, communication and media studies, political theory, and performance, the authors seek to show how particular economies and power relations work in familiar and central cultural experiences: art, beer, advertising, dance, sport, shopping, the Web, and media. Their essays provide a series of lucid, critical accounts of various aspects of the political economy of culture and its attendant issues of production, consumption, corporatization, and the struggle for meaning. A refreshing example of a politics of writing and critical thinking that cultural studies and political economic analysis can produce when working together, the result will change the ways in which readers experience, consider, and understand culture works.

Contributors: David L. Andrews, U of Maryland; Michael Curtin, Indiana U; Susan G. Davis, U of Illinois; Danielle Fox; Chad Raphael, Santa Clara U; Anna Beatrice Scott, U of California, Riverside; Ben Scott; Inger L. Stole, U of Illinois; Thomas Streeter, U of Vermont.

Cultural Politics Series, volume 18

Culture Works

Richard Maxwell is associate professor of media studies at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the author of The Spectacle of Democracy (Minnesota, 1994).

Culture Works

Contents

1. Why Culture Works Richard Maxwell
2. Art Danielle Fox
3. Beer Ben Scott
4. Advertising Inger L. Stole
5. Dance Anna Beatrice Scott
6. Sport David L. Andrews
7. Shopping Susan G. Davis
8. The Web Chad Raphael
9. Media Michael Curtin and Thomas Streeter

Contributors

Index