Culture in the Age of Three Worlds

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Verso, 2004 - Social Science - 280 pages
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Before the midpoint of the twentieth century, culture as a subject was routinely relegated to the background of any period's study. From the 1950s on, however, it moved very clearly to the foreground. Suddenly culture was everywhere: no longer the property of an elite, the masses had a culture and culture had a mass. Accordingly, the study of culture and the critique of culture became an increasingly central part of political and intellectual lifethe cultural turn, as it came to be known in the humanities and social sciences. This book is a product of and a reflection on that cultural turn, which Michael Denning argues was a fundamental aspect of the age of three worlds, that short half-century (1945-1989) when it was imagined that the world was divided into threethe capitalist first world, the communist second world, and the decolonizing third world. Recasting the legacies of British cultural studies and the radical traditions of the American studies movement in a global context, Denning analyses the political and intellectual battles over the meanings of culture, addresses the rise of a distinctive "American ideology" based on this short "American century", and charts the lineaments of the global cultures that emerged as three worlds gave way to one.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Rethinking the Age of Three Worlds
15
Globalization and Culture Process and Epoch
17
A Global Left? Social Movements in the Age of Three Worlds
35
The Novelists International
51
Working on Culture
73
The Socioanalysis of Culture Rethinking the Cultural Turn
75
The End of Mass Culture
97
The American Ideology The Age of Three Worlds as the American Century
167
The Special American Conditions Marxism and American Studies
169
The Peculiarities of the Americans Reconsidering Democracy in America
192
Neither Capitalist Nor American The Democracy as Social Movement
209
A Cultural Front in the Age of Three Worlds?
227
Notes
235
Acknowledgments
269
Index
272

The Academic Left and the Rise of Cultural Studies
121
Whats Wrong with Cultural Studies?
147

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References to this book

Liquid Life
Zygmunt Bauman
No preview available - 2005
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About the author (2004)

Michael Denning teaches American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Mechanic Accents, Cover Stories, Culture in the Age of Three Worlds, and The Cultural Front.

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