Mix it Up: Popular Culture, Mass Media, and Society

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W.W. Norton, 2010 - Social Science - 238 pages
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What accounts for the rise and fall of popular cultural trends? Why do A-list movie stars make so much money? How do television networks decide what programs to air? Do video games encourage violent behavior among young people, or do they make users smarter? Does advertising really work? In Mix It Up, David Grazian answers these questions and introduces students to a sociological perspective of popular culture and mass media.

Based on the author's popular course at the University of Pennsylvania, Mix it Up focuses on the role of media and popular culture in everyday life, with a particular emphasis on the organization and functioning of the mass media industry; the increasingly blurry relationship between cultural consumption and production; and the social significance of leisure activities, from sports to shopping.

Whether it's DJ culture, YouTube videos, or mash-ups, Mix It Up takes an empirically driven (yet user-friendly) approach to examining media and pop culture from all corners of society. Writing in a “non-textbook” style, Grazian relies on a variety of theoretical perspectives and fleshes out his discussions with examples from empirical sociological studies as well as excerpts from field notes, face-to-face interviews, and other research materials collected over the last decade.

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About the author (2010)

David Grazian is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on popular culture and mass media, urban sociology, and ethnographic methods. Over 400 students take his sociology of popular culture and mass media course each semester, making it one of the largest courses at the University of Pennsylvania. In his research he uses ethnographic and other qualitative methods to study the production and consumption of commercial entertainment in cities. His books include Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs (2003), On the Make: The Hustle of Urban Nightlife (2008), and American Zoo: A Sociological Safari (2015).

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