‘Popular culture’ is more than just a broad term for entertainment and frivolous diversions and is highly relevant to many aspects of society.
In this exciting textbook, the authors offer insights into the important, but often overlooked, relationship between popular culture and social problems. Drawing on historical and topical examples, they apply an innovative theoretical framework to examine how facets of popular culture—from movies and music, to toys and games, as well as billboards, bumper stickers, and bracelets—shape how we think about, and respond to, social issues.
Including student features and evocative case studies, this is the first book to make the link between popular culture and social problems and will help students understand the relationship between them. Deftly combining the fun and irreverence of popular culture with a critical scholarly inquiry, this timely book delivers an engaging account of how our interactions with popular culture matter more than we think!
R.J. Maratea is Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Seton Hall University. His research focuses on the sociological implications of mass communication, with an emphasis on Internet technology, deviance, social control, and the construction of social reality.
Brian Monahan is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Marywood University. He is the author of The Shock of the News (NYU 2010) and several articles exploring how media represent crime and other social problems.
Understanding Social Problems and Popular Culture;
Blaming Popular Culture for the Existence of Social Problems;
Spreading Problem Claims Through Popular Culture;
Popular Culture and Pushback;
Marketing Social Problems Through Popular Culture;
"A fresh perspective on the construction of social problems, not found in traditional textbooks. Students from any major will find new and applicable ways of thinking about social problems in our culture and media." Amie Levesque, University of Denver, USA
"The best book for social problems if you want to connect with students who are immersed in popular culture." David Altheide, Emeritus Regents' Professor, Arizona State University
"An original method of classifying the various ways social problems and popular culture intersect. Anyone who reads this book is likely to come away a more thoughtful consumer of all sorts of news and entertainment media." Joel Best, University of Delaware, USA
"Offering up-to-the-minute illustrations of cultural trends and accessible explanations of enduring sociological concepts, Maratea and Monahan deftly explore how corporations, politicians, advocates and activists use popular culture to shape the public’s response to social problems." Jared Del Rosso, University of Denver, USA