Manufacturing Desire

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The average person in America watches four hours of television per day and spends the equivalent of nine years of his or her life in front of the television set. If the attention most people devote to popular culture – listening to the news, watching soap operas, reading the comics-were added up, it would reveal that most people spend an enormous amount of time with popular culture which becomes in large measure, their culture. “Manufacturing Desire” is a study of how the mass media broadcast or spread various popular arts; further how the media and popular arts play a major role in shaping our everyday lives.The television shows we watch, the movies we see, the radio programs we listen to, and all the comic strips we read influence social behavior. They give us ideas about what is good and evil, about how to solve problems, and about how we should relate to others. If we understand this, says Berger, then the way we think about our media-influenced culture will be far different than if we see popular culture as mindless entertainment. Berger provides an analysis of the way popular culture and the mass media simultaneously reflect and affect various aspects of American culture and society. He examines commercials, television shows, comics, film, humor, and everyday life in terms of what beliefs and values are found in them, what attitudes toward ourselves, and our societies are contained in them, how they achieve their effects, and what they reflect about present-day American culture and society.This book is analysis of the impact mass media have across America, cross-culturally, and internationally. “Manufacturing Desire” will provide the general reader as well as specialists in communication and information, sociology, and psychology with a better understanding of the effects of mass media and popular culture on contemporary society.

Table of contents

Cover Page
Title Page
Copy Right Page
Content Page
Introduction: Terror, Media, Popular Culture, and Everyday Life in America
I Theoretical Concerns: Introduction
1. New Perspectives on Popular Culture and the Public Arts
2. Teaching Critical Media Analysis for Pleasure and Profit
II Advertising: Introduction
3. 1984: The Commercial
4. Manufacturing Desire
III Humor: Introduction
5. What’s in a Joke? A Microanalysis
6. Eight Scholars in Search of an Interpretation
IV Comics: Introduction
7. Not Just Kid’s Stuff
8. Of Mice and Men: An Introduction to Mouse-ology
9. The Funnies Are Good for You!
V Television: Introduction
10. Three Media Events
11. Television as an Instrument of Terror II
VI Film: Introduction
12. The Terminator
13. Star Wars as Fairy Tale
VII Everyday Life: Introduction
14. Everyday Eating in America
15. Space as a Sign System: A Semiotic Approach to Private and Public Space
16. What Teva Means
VIII Comparative Perspectives
17. Texts in Contexts
18. Is Thailand Going Western?
Name Index
Subject Index

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