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Online Articles


[Few topics on popular culture can be adequately researched on the web alone. These reading suggestions are designed as beginning points for further offline study.]

Allen, Robert C.Speaking of Soap Operas.Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985.
Excellent study of the production and consumption of daytime soap operas.
Bordo, Susan.The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in PrivateNew York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.
Excellent study of changing images of masculinity in recent US popular culture.
Burston, Paul and Colin Richardson, eds.A Queer Romance: Lesbians, Gay Men and Popular Culture.New York: Routledge, 1995.
Good collection of essays on various ways that gays and lesbians have been represented in and have responded to popular culture.
Clover, Carrol J.Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.
Thetitle says it all. Ever wonderwhy people (maybe even you?) like slasher films? Here’sa sophisticated set of psycho-social answers.
Fregoso, Rose Linda.The Bronze Screen: Chicana and Chicano Film Culture.Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
The best study yet of Chicanas as subjects in and creators of film.
Gaspar de Alba, Alicia.Chicano Art Inside/Outside the Master’s House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition.Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998.
Brilliant interpretation of a major Chicano art retrospective that raises key questions about the construction of high art vs. popular art among marginalized ethno-racialized groups.
Jhally, Sut.The Codes of Advertising: Fetishism and the Political Economy of Meaning in the Consumer Society.New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987.
Strongstudy of how advertising texts shape racial, gender, and class beliefs and createa “consumer” consciousness.
Kaplan, E. Ann.Rocking Around the Clock: Music Television, Postmodernism and Consumer Culture.New York: Methuen, 1987.
Sophisticated analysis of the relations among MTV videos, consumer culture, and the psychodynamics of identity formation in youth.
Lewis, Lisa.Gender Politics and MTV.Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990.
Takes an audience-ethnographic approach that sees Madonna and similar figures as empowering to girls and young women.
Lipsitz, George.Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture.Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990.
Innovative study of relations between mass-produced pop culture and the realities of communal memory dimly present in those commodified productions.
Lutz, Catherine and Jane L. Collins.Reading National Geographic.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
Two visual anthropologists study the racial, gender, and international politics of this influential journal.
Peiss, Kathy.Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York.Philadelphia, PN: Temple University Press, 1986.
Classic American Studies text, looking at the various forms of early 20th century pop culture aimed at women from the working class.
Radway, Janice.Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Culture.Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1991.
One of the most often cited “classics” in American Studies literature, this analysis combines production analysis, textual analysis and ethnographic audience analysis of the “romance novel” genre.
Rose, Tricia.Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America.Hanover, NH: Published by University Press of New England for Wesleyan University Press, 1994.
Arguably the best book yet on rap, this study analyses both the political economic cultural roots of rap, and its textual meanings.
Ross, Andrew, Tricia Rose, and Andrew Rose, eds.Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture.New York: Routledge, 1994.
Excellent collection of essays on rock, rap, heavy metal, dance scenes, and the youth cultures that surround them.
Walters, Suzanna Danuta.All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
An excellent book looking not only at gay visibility in film but in all forms of media up to its publication in 2001. While this book focuses primarily on television, it does pick up where Russo (above) left off.
Williamson, Judith.Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising.London: Boyars, 1978.
The classic text on how advertisements address and create their audiences.