In the decades since his death, Adorno's thinking has lost none of its capacity to unsettle the settled, and has proved hugely influential in social and cultural thought. To most people, the entertainment provided by television, radio, film, newspapers, astrology charts and CD players seem harmless enough. For Adorno, however, the culture industry that produces them is ultimately toxic in its effect on the social process. Here, Robert Witkin unpacks Adorno's notoriously difficult critique of popularculture in (...) an engaging and accessible style, looking first at the development of the overarching theories of authority, commodification and negative dialectics within which Adorno's work needs to be seen. This book is an essential guide for understanding one of the key thinkers of our time. (shrink)
The eight essays contained in Philosophical Feminism and PopularCulture explore the portrayal of women and various philosophical responses to that portrayal in contemporary post-civil rights society. The essays examine visual, print, and performance media — stand-up comedy, movies, television, and a blockbuster trilogy of novel. These philosophical feminist analyses of popularculture consider the possibilities, both positive and negative, that popularculture presents for articulating the structure of the social and cultural practices in (...) which gender matters, and for changing these practices if and when they follow from, lead to, or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of gender. The essays bring feminist voices to the conversation about gender where is it taking place and attest to the importance of feminist critique in what is sometimes claimed to be a post-feminist era. (shrink)
Addressing the contradictions surrounding modern-day femininity and its complicated relationship with feminism and postfeminism, this book examines a range of popular female/feminist icons and paradigms. It offers an innovative and forward-looking perspective on femininity and the modern female self.
Media in Question sets the agenda for a revitalized debate on the hybrid communicative practices that constitute the postmodern media landscape: practices that cross the boundaries between fact and fiction, information and entertainment, public knowledge, and popularculture. In this challenging and provocative collection, the individual contributors rethink key issuesùthe meaning of the public interest, the quality of media performance, and deregulation. In the process they raise questions rarely addressed in normative media theories, for example, the ethics of (...) sports reporting, the moral reasoning in popularculture, and the required professional standards for infotainment genres such as reality television and gossip journalism. Accessible and wide-ranging, The Media in Question will be essential reading for students in mass communication and political communication studies. (shrink)
This paper gives an overview of the placebo effect in popularculture, especially as it pertains to the work of authors Patrick O’Brian and Sinclair Lewis. The beloved physician as placebo, and the clinician scientist as villain are themes that respectively inform the novels, The Hundred Days and Arrowsmith. Excerpts from the novels, and from film show how the placebo effect, and the randomized clinical trial, have emerged into popularculture, and evolved over time.
Popularculture is ubiquitous. And referencing popularculture can be an excellent pedagogical tool. Used properly, it provides students with easily accessible examples—in some cases examples they have already been interested in. Given these facts, the creation and expansion of the literature on the intersection of popularculture and philosophy is not surprising. The purpose of these volumes has been controversial since their inception, but they do seem ideally suited as introductory texts. This essay (...) examines four recent volumes in popularculture and philosophy as pedagogical tools. These volumes on Sherlock Holmes, Christmas, Dr. Seuss, and Facebook all offer unique and useful tools for the teacher attempting to introduce students to philosophy. (shrink)
Circulation of ideas among philosophers is the core of Philosophy itself. The lack of this circulation can lead to obscurantism and cultural provincialism. The latter, for instance, afflicted Italy during the first half of the 20th century because of the close-minded neo-idealism of Croce and the mutual indifference of science and philosophy. Antonio Gramsci tried to overcome the problem of provincialism. In this essay, I explain how he attempted to overcome it. I focus on his conceptual categories like heg emony, (...) organic intellectual, national-popular and so on. (shrink)
Nihilism, American style -- The quest for evil -- The negative zone : suburban familial malaise in American beauty, Revolutionary road, and Mad men -- Normal nihilism as comic : Seinfeld, Trainspotting, and Pulp fiction -- Romanticism and nihilism -- Defense against the dark arts : from Se7en to the Dark knight and Harry Potter -- God got involved : sacred quests and overcoming nihilism -- Feels like the movies.
Hermann von Helmholtz was a leading figure of nineteenth-century European intellectual life, remarkable even among the many scientists of the period for the range and depth of his interests. A pioneer of physiology and physics, he was also deeply concerned with the implications of science for philosophy and culture. From the 1850s to the 1890s, Helmholtz delivered more than two dozen popular lectures, seeking to educate the public and to enlighten the leaders of European society and governments about (...) the potential benefits of science and technology to a developing modern society. David Cahan has selected fifteen of these lectures, which reflect the wide range of topics of crucial importance to Helmholtz and his audiences. Among the subjects discussed are the origins of the planetary system, the relation of natural science to science in general, the aims and progress of the physical sciences, the problems of perception, and academic freedom in German universities. This collection also includes Helmholtz's fascinating lectures on the relation of optics to painting and the physiological causes of harmony in music, which provide insight into the relations between science and aesthetics. Science and Culture makes available again Helmholtz's eloquent arguments on the usefulness, benefits, and, intellectual pleasures of understanding the natural world. With Cahan's Introduction to set these essays in their broader context, this collection makes an important contribution to the philosophical and intellectual history of Europe at a time when science played an increasingly significant role in social, economic, and cultural life. (shrink)
The idea for this paper started with an image that is likely wholly imaginary but interesting nonetheless. It's the late 1920s in New York City. John Dewey, after a busy day of teaching and working through the notes that will eventually become Individualism Old and New, leaves his office at Columbia University. Instead of turning south toward home, he turns north and east, into Harlem. He strolls for a bit, turns up 7th Ave., and stops in front of the Regent (...) Theatre. He goes inside, takes off his coat, and catches the early showing of The Lights of New York. Fifty-seven minutes later, he leaves the Regent. He heads home, has a bite to eat with his daughter, but still feels restless. After dinner, he puts on his .. (shrink)
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in a (...) variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
This book introduces the critical concepts and debates that are shaping the emerging field of game studies. Exploring games in the context of cultural studies and media studies, it analyses computer games as the most popular contemporary form of new media production and consumption. The book: Argues for the centrality of play in redefining reading, consuming and creating culture Offers detailed research into the political economy of games to generate a model of new media production Examines the dynamics (...) of power in relation to both the production and consumption of computer games This is key reading for students, academics and industry practitioners in the fields of cultural studies, new media, media studies and game studies, as well as human-computer interaction and cyberculture. (shrink)
Boys, Boyz, Bois concerns questions of ethics, gender and race in popular American images, national discourse and cultural production by and about black men. The book proposes an ethics of masculinity, as ethnics refers to a system of morality and valuation and as ethics refers to a care of the self and ethical subject formation. The texts of analysis include recent films by black/African American filmmakers, gansta rap and hip-hop and black star persona: texts ranging from Blaxploitation and New (...) Black Cinema to contemporary music video to autobiography and the public image of Sidney Poitier. The book is a significant contribution to cultural studies and gender studies and critical race theory. What is distinctive about the book is the question of ethics as a question of race and gender. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Preface; A.McRobbie -- Notes on Contributors -- Introduction; C.Scharff & R.Gill -- PART I: SEXUAL SUBJECTIVITY AND THE MAKEOVER PARADIGM -- Pregnant Beauty: Maternal Femininities under Neoliberalism; I.Tyler -- The Right to Be Beautiful: Postfeminist Identity and Consumer Beauty Advertising; M.M.Lazar -- Spicing It Up: Sexual Entrepreneurs and The Sex Inspectors; L.Harvey & R.Gill -- '(M)Other-in-Chief: Michelle Obama and the Ideal of Republican Womanhood'; L.Guerrero -- Scourging the Abject Body: Ten Years Younger and (...) Fragmented Femininity under Neoliberalism; E.Tincknell -- PART II: NEGOTIATING POSTFEMINIST MEDIA CULTURE -- Are You Sexy, Flirty, Or A Slut? Exploring 'Sexualisation' and How Teen Girls Perform/Negotiate Digital Sexual Identity on Social Networking Sites; J.Ringrose -- 'Feminism? That's So Seventies': Girls and Young Women Discuss Femininity and Feminism in America's Next Top Model; A.L.Press -- Media 'Sluts': 'Tween' Girls' Negotiations of Postfeminist Sexual Subjectivities in PopularCulture; S.Jackson & T.Vares -- Is 'the Missy' a New Femininity?; J.Kim -- PART III: TEXTUAL COMPLICATIONS -- Of Displaced Desires: Interrogating 'New' Sexualities abd 'New' Spaces in Indian Diasporic Cinema; B.Bose -- Notes on Some Scandals: The Politics of Shame in Vers le Sud; S.Wearing -- The Limits of Cross-Cultural Analogy: Muslim Veiling and 'Western' Fashion and Beauty Practices; C.Pedwell -- PART IV: NEW FEMININITIES: AGENCY AND/AS MAKING DO -- Through the Looking Glass? Sexual Agency and Subjectification Online; F.Attwood -- Reckoning with Prostitutes: Performing Thai Femininity; J.Haritaworn -- Migrant Women Challenging Stereotypical Views on Femininities and Family; U.Erel -- Negotiating Sexual Citizenship: Lesbians and Reproductive Health Care; R.Ryan-Flood -- PART V: NEW FEMINISMS, NEW CHALLENGES -- The New German Feminisms: Of Wetlands and Alpha-Girls; C.Scharff -- The Contradictions of Successful Femininity: Third-Wave Feminism, Postfeminism and 'New' Femininities; S.Budgeon -- Skater Girlhood: Resignifying Femininity, Resignifying Feminism; D.H.Currie, D.M.Kelly & S.Pomerantz -- Will These Emergencies Never End? Some First Thoughts about the Impact of Economic and Security Crises on Everyday Life; G.Bhattacharyya -- Index. (shrink)
At the Intersection of High and Mass Culture analyses the contradictions and interaction between high and low art, with particular reference to Hollywood and European cinema. Written in the essayist, speculative tradition of Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno, this study also includes analyses of several key films of the 1980s. Tracing the boundaries of such genres as film noir, science fiction and melodrama, it demonstrates how these genres were radically expanded by such filmmakers as Neil Jordan, Chris Merker and (...) Georges Franju. This work also reflects on kitsch, the star system, racial and gender stereotypes, and the nature of audience participation. While defining the conditions under which the symbiotic relationship between high and mass culture can be cross-fertilising, this study stresses their inevitably contradictory characteristics. (shrink)
This book argues for the ethical relevancy of contemporary fiction at the beginning of the 21st century. The writers discussed in Contemporary Fiction and the Ethics of Modern Culture pay close attention to the concrete realities of the everyday world, such as the feelings of isolation created in urban environments; the roles played by sports, drugs, advertising, and the media; and the widespread use of computer, telecommunication, and entertainment technologies. Through reading novels by such writers as David Foster Wallace, (...) Richard Powers, and Irvine Welsh, this book looks at how these works seek to transform the ways that readers live in the world. This book should appeal to scholars of contemporary literature, persons interested in cultural studies, critics interested in ethics, scholars of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, students of contemporary literature, and general readers of contemporary literature. (shrink)
Fags, Hags and Queer Sisters is a provocative account of the importance of women and cross-gender identification in "gay" male culture. It offers a range of cultural readings from Tennessee William's classic A Streetcar Named Desire and Forster's 'gay' novel Maurice through Pulp Fiction , queer lifestyle magazines, Roseanne , slash fan fiction, and Jarman's Edward II to Almodovar's camp classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Theoretically sophisticated, yet passionate, accessible and opinionated, Fags, Hags and Queer (...) Sisters takes issue with many of the sacred cows of contemporary gay politics, and offers a number of new concepts in lesbian and gay theory. (shrink)
This infamous book has enjoyed a lively underground reputation since its first publication in 1970. Richard Meltzer (a.k.a. R. Meltzer) took his training as a young philosopher and applied it with unalloyed enthusiasm to the lyrics, sound, and culture of rock and roll. Never before had anyone noticed the relationship between the philosophy of Heidegger and a tune by Little Anthony and the Imperials, heard the cries of agony in the Shangri Las' “Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)”, or transcribed (...) every "papa-ooma-mow-mow" in the Trashmen's “Surfin' Bird.”From Dionne Warwick to Plato, Jim Morrison to Bert Brecht, Conway Twitty to Miguel de Unamuno, Meltzer subverts high and low culture in his search for meaning, emotion, and codes in popular music. At once an earnest investigation and a crypto put-on, the book can be read for its nuggets of information and insights or for its humor. Here with Greil Marcus's new introduction, yet another generation of readers can be outraged and inspired. (shrink)
On origins -- Adorning the feminine, or the language of fans -- Salon poets, the Bécquer craze, and Romanticism -- Textual economies : the embellishment of credit -- Fabricating history -- The dream of negation -- The margins of home : modernist cursilería -- The culture of nostalgia, or the language of flowers -- Coda : the metaphor of culture in post-Franco Spain.
Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1 Acknowledgments -- Chapter 2 Introduction: The Chatter of the Present -- Chapter 3 Definitions of Solitude -- Chapter 4 Distraction: The Flip Side of Engagement -- Chapter 5 Antigone: Literature as "Thinking Apart" -- Chapter 6 The Workshop Model in New York City -- Chapter 7 The Folly of the "Big Idea" -- Chapter 8 The Cult of Success -- Chapter 9 Mass Personalization and the "Underground Man" -- Chapter 10 The Need for Loneliness (...) -- Chapter 11 The Practice of Solitude -- Chapter 12 Discernment and the Public Sphere -- Chapter 13 Conclusion: Setting up Shop -- Chapter 14 Bibliography -- Chapter 15 About the Author -- Chapter 16 Index. (shrink)
The end of aesthetic experience -- Don't believe the hype -- The fine art of rap -- Affect and authenticity in country musicals -- The urban aesthetics of absence : pragmatist reflections in Berlin -- Beneath interpretation -- Somaesthetics and the body/media issue -- The somatic turn : care of the body in contemporary culture -- Multiculturalism and the art of living -- Genius and the paradox of self-styling.
Introduction -- Postfeminism, family values, and the social fantasy of the hometown -- Time crisis and the new postfeminist life cycle -- Postfeminist working girls : new archetypes of the female labor market -- Hyperdomesticity, self-care and the well-lived life in postfeminism.
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim is (...) to find places where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popularculture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
What makes humans different from other animals, what humans are entitled to do to other species, whether time travel is possible, what limits should be placed on science and technology, the morality and practicality of genetic engineering—these are just some of the philosophical problems raised by Planet of the Apes. Planet of the Apes and Philosophy looks at all the deeper issues involved in the Planet of the Apes stories. It covers the entire franchise, from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Monkey (...) Planet to the successful 2012 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The chapters reflect diverse points of view, philosophical, religious, and scientific. The ethical relations of humans with animals are explored in several chapters, with entertaining and incisive observations on animal intelligence, animal rights, and human-animal interaction. Genetic engineering is changing humans, animals, and plants, raising new questions about the morality of such interventions. The scientific recognition that humans and chimps share 99 percent of their genes makes a future in which non-human animals acquire greater importance a distinct possibility. Planet of the Apes is the most resonant of all scientific apocalypse myths. (shrink)
Kitsch-or tacky, simplistic art and art forms-is used by various political actors to shape and limit what we know about ourselves, what we know about our past and our future, as well as what our present-day public policy options might be. Using a plethora of historic and contemporary examples (such as Forrest Gump and Boys Town ), the author maps out how kitsch is employed in various political and educational sites to shape public opinion and understandings. Bibliography. Index.
Total work of art in an age of mechanical reproduction -- Total stage: Wagner's festspielhaus -- Total machine: the Bauhaus theatre -- Total montage: Brecht's reply to Wagner -- Total state: Riefenstahl's triumph of the will -- Total world: Disney's theme parks -- Total vacuum: Warhol's performances -- Total immersion: cyberspace.
Human Being Human explores the classical question What is a human being? and produces original and challenging insights in the process of providing an answer. In examining our human being, Christopher Hauke challenges the notion of human nature, questions the assumed superiority of human consciousness and rational thinking and pays close attention to the contradiction of living simultaneously as an autonomous individual and a member of the collective community. The main chapters include: Whose in Charge Here? Knowledge, Power and Human (...) Being That Thinking Feeling Is Modern Consciousness Different? Modern Consciousness and the Quest for Spirituality Endings, the Unconscious and Time Orpheus, Dionysus and PopularCulture The book is also structured around brief panel essays with a distinctly personal tone, such as: The Rise of revulsion: Spitting and The Stones, What is the Double When the Original is Gone? And "I lived with the speaking clock". All these themes are amplified by examples drawn from psychotherapy, film, literature and popularculture, and illustrated with many evocative photographs and film stills. Human Being Human provides an original perspective on what it is to be a human being, the value of popularculture, the relationship between the individual and the collective and our assumptions about truth, reality and power. Written in a highly accessible style, this book is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying and will fascinate anyone interested in contemporary psychology, cultural studies, film and media, social history and psychotherapy. (shrink)
In this book Jeremy Dunning-Davies deals with the influence that "conventional wisdom" has on science, scientific research and development. He sets out to explode' the mythical conception that all scientific topics are open for free discussion and argues that no-one can openly raise questions about relativity, dispute the 'Big Bang' theory, or the existence of black holes, which all seem to be accepted facts of science rather than science fiction. In today's modern climate with "Britain's radioactive refuse heap already big (...) enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall" (Edmund Conway, Economics Editor The Daily Telegraph 28.11.06), it is alarming that there are potential advances in hadronic mechanics which could conceivably pave the way for new clean energies and even a safe in-house method for the disposal of nuclear waste, that have not even been considered by the present establishment. These examples are from the field of physics but there can be little doubt that outside factors have affected the progress of most, if not all, branches of science for many years. Factors other than purely scientific ones still appear to be exerting tremendous influences on progress in a wide variety of fields. Is it too idealistic or nai;ve, to expect that science should remain pure and stay unaffected by such factors? Dr Dunning-Davies presents a beautifully written argument that if science is to progress, and be of any real use, these external factors must be held at bay. (shrink)
Why has the ring of the telephone become a beep? What ever happened to the bumpers and fenders of cars? Why do food commercials never mention hunger?In this encyclopedia of low-brow aesthetics, Daniel Harris concentrates on the nuances of non-art, the uses of the useless, the politics of product design and advertising. We learn how advertisers exaggerate our sensual responses to eating, how close-up nature photography exaggerates the accessibility of the natural world, and how the mutated physiology of dolls invites (...) our pity and affection.In studying its aesthetics, we find consumerism instills disappointment rather than gratification, convincing us that our lives are deficient and wanting. If we are what we buy, then we must buy in order to be. (shrink)
Mortal and immortal DNA : Craig Venter and the lure of "lamia" -- Homeopathy : Holmes, hogwarts, and the Prince of Wales -- Citizen Pinel and the madman at Bellevue -- The experimental pathology of stress : Hans Selye to Paris Hilton -- Gore's fever and Dante's Inferno : Chikungunya reaches Ravenna -- Giving things their proper names : Carl Linnaeus and W.H. Auden -- Spinal irritation and fibromyalgia : Lincoln's surgeon general and the three graces -- Tithonus and the (...) fruit fly : new science and old myths -- Swiftboating "America the beautiful" : Katharine Lee Bates and a Boston marriage -- Nothing makes sense in medicine except in the light of biology -- Apply directly to the forehead : Holmes, Zola, and Hennapecia -- Elizabeth Blackwell breaks the bonds -- Chronic lyme disease and medically unexplained syndromes -- Eugenics and the immigrant : Rosalyn Yalow and Rita Levi-Montalcini -- Science in the Middle East : Robert Koch and the cholera war -- How to win a Nobel prize : thinking inside and outside the box -- Homer Smith and the lungfish : the last gasp of intelligent design -- DDT is back : let us spray! -- Academic boycotts and the Royal Society -- Teach evolution, learn science : John William Draper and the "bone bill" -- Diderot and the yeti crab : the encyclopedias of life -- Dengue fever in Rio : Macumba versus Voltaire. (shrink)
The idea of culture has been subject to critical debate in anthropology during the past decade as the result of a shift in emphasis from the bounded local culture to transnational cultural flows. But at the very same time that cultural mobility is being emphasized by anthropologists, the people they study are recasting culture as a place of belonging as they construct local identities. Siting Culture argues that it is only through rich ethnographic studies that anthropologists (...) may explore the significance of place in the global space of relations which mold the lives of people throughout the world. By examining the concept of culture through case studies from Europe, Africa, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean, it probes the methodological and theoretical implications of the divergent scholarly and popular concepts of culture. (shrink)
Culture and Psyche is a collection of Sudhir Kakar's essays on cultural psychology, which analyses various facets of Indian identity and sexuality through sources as diverse as case studies, Indian myths and legends, and popular cinema. The second edition of this classic includes a new introduction and three additional essays which explore issues like riots, the psychology of Islamist terrorism, among others.
Ralph Burhoe developed his proposals for a social reformation at a time when the “two cultures” debate was still active. It is suggested here that Burhoe, sharing with his contemporaries an understanding of culture that was Western and normative in character, overlooked the distinction between the culture of the elites and popularculture, and consequently between religion as presented by theologians and church officials and popular religion. Therefore, his proposals for the revitalization of traditional religions, (...) even if implemented, would not work. Some contradictions within his own program are pointed out, and the social role of the sciences after World War II, as well as the ambiguities of their presence in the so-called underdeveloped nations, is analyzed. As a positive conclusion, it is suggested that Burhoe's main contribution should be sought, not in his outline for a social reformation, but in his role as an organizer of the dialogue between religion and science. (shrink)
Morality and mental health are now inseparably linked in our view of character. Alcoholics are sick, yet they are punished for drunk driving. Drug addicts are criminals, but their punishment can be court ordered therapy. The line between character flaws and personality disorders has become fuzzy, with even the seven deadly sins seen as mental disorders. In addition to pathologizing wrong-doing, we also psychologize virtue; self-respect becomes self-esteem, integrity becomes psychological integration, and responsibility becomes maturity. Moral advice is now sought (...) primarily from psychologists and therapists rather than philosophers or theologians. In this wide-ranging, accessible book, Mike W. Martin asks: are we replacing morality with therapy, in potentially confused and dangerous ways, or are we creatively integrating morality and mental health? According to him, it's a little bit of both. He surveys the ways in which morality and mental health are related, touching on practical concerns like love and work, self-respect and self-fulfillment, guilt and depression, crime and violence, and addictions. Terming this integrative development "the therapeutic trend in ethics," Martin uses examples from popularculture, various moral controversies, and draws on a line of thought that includes Plato, the Stoics, Freud, Nietzsche, and contemporary psychotherapeutic theories. Martin develops some interesting conclusions, among them that sound morality is indeed healthy, and that moral values are inevitably embedded in our conceptions of mental health. In the end, he shows how both morality and mental health are inextricably intertwined in our pursuit of a meaningful life. This book will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists, as well as the general reader. (shrink)
Once seen as synonymous with "anti-feminism" postfeminism is now understood as the theoretical meeting ground between feminism and anti-foundationalist movements such as postmodernism, post-structuralism and post-colonialsm. In this clear exposition of some of the major debates, theorists and practitioners, Ann Brooks shows how feminism is being redefined for the twenty first century. Individual chapters look at postfeminism in relation to feminist epistemology, Foucault, psychoanalytic theory and semiology, postmodernism and postcolonialism, cultural politics, popularculture, film and media, and sexuality (...) and identity. For all students looking for guidance through the sometimes murky waters of contemporary feminist theory, this book will provide a reassuring first port of call. (shrink)
Background: The global expansion of biobanks has led to a range of bioethical concerns related to consent, privacy, control, ownership, and disclosure. As an opportunity to engage broader audiences on these concerns, bioethicists have welcomed the commercial success of Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To assess the impact of the book on discussion within the media and popularculture more generally, we systematically analyzed the ethics-related themes emphasized in reviews and articles about (...) the book, and in interviews and profiles of Skloot. Methods: We conducted a content analysis of a population of relevant English-language articles and transcripts (n = 125) produced by news organizations and publications in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. We scored each article for the emphasis and appearance of 9 ethics-related themes. These were informed consent, welfare of the vulnerable, compensation, scientific progress, control/access, accountability/oversight, privacy, public education, and advocacy. Results: The informed consent theme dominated media discussion, with almost 39.2 percent of articles/transcripts featuring the theme as a major focus and 44.8 percent emphasizing the theme as a minor focus. Other prominent themes and frames of reference focused on the welfare of the vulnerable (18.4 percent major emphasis; 36.0 percent minor emphasis), and donor compensation (19.2 percent major; 52.8 percent minor). Ethical themes that comprised a second tier of prominence included those of scientific progress, control/access, and accountability/oversight. The least prominent themes were privacy, public education, and advocacy. Conclusions: The book has been praised as an opportunity to elevate media discussion of bioethics, but such claims should be re-considered. The relatively narrow focus on informed consent in the media discussion generated by Skloot’s book may limit the ability of ethicists and advocates to elevate attention to donor control, compensation, patenting, privacy, and other ethical issues. Still, ethicists should view the book and a pending major TV film translation as opportunities to highlight through media outreach, consultation exercises and public forums a broader range of bioethical concerns that would otherwise be under-emphasized in news coverage. Such efforts, however, need to be carefully planned and evaluated. (shrink)
BackgroundThe global expansion of biobanks has led to a range of bioethical concerns related to consent, privacy, control, ownership, and disclosure. As an opportunity to engage broader audiences on these concerns, bioethicists have welcomed the commercial success of Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To assess the impact of the book on discussion within the media and popularculture more generally, we systematically analyzed the ethics-related themes emphasized in reviews and articles about the (...) book, and in interviews and profiles of Skloot.MethodsWe conducted a content analysis of a population of relevant English-language articles and transcripts (n = 125) produced by news organizations and publications in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain/Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. We scored each article for the emphasis and appearance of 9 ethics-related themes. These were informed consent, welfare of the vulnerable, compensation, scientific progress, control/access, accountability/oversight, privacy, public education, and advocacy.ResultsThe informed consent theme dominated media discussion, with almost 39.2 percent of articles/transcripts featuring the theme as a major focus and 44.8 percent emphasizing the theme as a minor focus. Other prominent themes and frames of reference focused on the welfare of the vulnerable (18.4 percent major emphasis; 36.0 percent minor emphasis), and donor compensation (19.2 percent major; 52.8 percent minor). Ethical themes that comprised a second tier of prominence included those of scientific progress, control/access, and accountability/oversight. The least prominent themes were privacy, public education, and advocacy.ConclusionsThe book has been praised as an opportunity to elevate media discussion of bioethics, but such claims should be re-considered. The relatively narrow focus on informed consent in the media discussion generated by Skloot’s book may limit the ability of ethicists and advocates to elevate attention to donor control, compensation, patenting, privacy, and other ethical issues. Still, ethicists should view the book and a pending major TV film translation as opportunities to highlight through media outreach, consultation exercises and public forums a broader range of bioethical concerns that would otherwise be under-emphasized in news coverage. Such efforts, however, need to be carefully planned and evaluated. (shrink)
Many have bowed before the recently acquired powers of ‘new technologies’. However, in the shift from tekhnē to tekhnologia, it seems we have lost human values. These values are communicative in nature as technological progress has placed barriers like distance, web pages and ‘miscellaneous extras’ between individuals. Certain values, like the interpersonal pleasures of rendering service, have been lost as their domain of predilection has for many become fully commercially oriented, dominated by the cadence of profitability. Though the popular (...) cultures of the artificial have surged forth to deliver us from the twentieth century, they have enabled some very superfluous dreaming—Man has succumbed to the Godly role of simulating himself and creating other beings. Communication is replaced by machines, services are rendered via many automated devices, procreation has entered the public sphere, robots and entertainment agents educate our youth and mesmerising screen-integrating ‘forms of intelligence’ even think for us. As such, this so-called culture threatens the very values Man constructed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to guide himself into the future. But what if the phenomena mentioned just reflect our new values? The author presents an investigation into this cultural shift, its impact on human practices with regards the mind and the body and evokes some pros and cons of generally accepting the ‘Culture of the Artificial’. (shrink)
During the past decades, the culture industries have multiplied media spectacles in novel spaces and sites, and spectacle itself is becoming one of the organizing principles of the economy, polity, society, and everyday life. An Internet-based economy has been developing hi-tech spectacle as a means of promotion, reproduction, and the circulation and selling of commodities, using multimedia and increasingly sophisticated technology to dazzle consumers. M edia culture proliferates ever more technologically sophisticated spectacles to seize audiences and augment their (...) power and profit. The forms of entertainment permeate news and information, and a tablodized infotainment culture is more and more popular. New multimedia that synthesize forms of radio, film, TV news and entertainment, and the mushrooming domain of cyberspace, become spectacles of technoculture, generating expanding sites of information and entertainment, while intensifying the spectacle-form of media culture. Political and social life is also shaped more and more by media spectacle. Social and political conflicts are increasingly played out on the screens of media culture, which display spectacles like sensational murder cases, terrorist bombings, celebrity and political sex scandals, and the explosive violence of everyday life. M edia culture not only takes up expanding moments of contemporary experience, but also provides ever more material for fantasy, dreaming, modeling thought and behavior, and constructing identities. Of course, there have been spectacles since premodern times. Classical Greece had its Olympics, thespian and poetry festivals, its public rhetorical battles, and bloody and violent wars. Ancient Rome had its public offerings of bread and circuses, its orgies, its titanic political battles, and the spectacle of Empire with parades and monuments for triumphant Caesars and their armies, extravaganzas put on display in the 2000 film Gladiator.. (shrink)
The common assumption is that works of popular are less serious, less artistically valuable. Popular art is driven by a profit motive; real art, high art, is produced for loftier goals, such as aesthetic appreciation. Further, popular art is formulaic and gravitates toward the lowest common denominator. High art is innovative. It enriches, elevates, and inspires; popular art just entertains. Worse, popular art inculcates cultural biases. It is a corporate tool of ideological indoctrination, making contingent (...) social and economic arrangements seem necessary. Or so the common view holds. In light of these common assumptions, we must ask just what marks the distinction between high art and popular art? Is there really any important difference at all? Is there reason to think that popular is by its very nature aesthetically inferior to high art? In this article, I consider some of the prominent answers to these questions. The discussion is organized around questions concerning two general topics: (1) the nature of popular art, and (2) the putative aesthetic deficiencies of popular art. (shrink)
Can a technological culture accommodate spiritual experience and spiritual thinking? If so, what kind of spirituality? I explore the relation between technology and spirituality by constructing and discussing several models for spirituality in a technological culture. I show that although gnostic and animistic interpretations and responses to technology are popular challenges to secularization and disenchantment claims, both the Christian tradition and contemporary posthumanist theory provide interesting alternatives to guide our spiritual experiences and thinking in a technological (...) class='Hi'>culture. I analyze how creational, network, and cyborg metaphors defy suggestions of (individual) animation or alienation and instead offer different ways of conceptualizing and experiencing communion between the material and the spiritual. (shrink)
In this popular text, Joel Spring provocatively analyzes the ideas of traditional and non-traditional philosophers, from Plato to Paulo Freire, regarding the contribution of education to the creation of a democratic society. Each section focuses on an important theme: “Autocratic and Democratic Forms of Education;” “Dissenting Traditions in Education;” “The Politics of Culture;” “The Politics of Gender;” and “Education and Human Rights.” This edition features a special emphasis on human rights education. Spring advocates a legally binding right to (...) an education that includes an education in human rights. His argument is that until schools are required to fulfill a duty to protect human rights and teach others to protect human rights, government-operated schools will remain authoritarian rather than democratic institutions. Wheels in the Head: Educational Philosophies of Authority, Freedom, and Culture From Socrates to Human Rights, Second Edition , a critically original work, is widely used as a text for courses across the fields of philosophical, social, political, and historical foundations of education, and critical issues in education. Reflecting its global relevance, a Chinese translation was published by the University of Peking Press in 2005. (shrink)
A recent trend in curriculum reform argues that a successful liberal education curriculum must incorporate courses on multiculturalism. Though there is some agreement on what topics to cover in those courses, very little attention has so far been directed to the issue of how those courses must be designed. What is important in addressing this 'how' question is a clear understanding of the concepts involved. The question I explore in this paper is: what is the best way of understanding the (...) nature of the concept of 'Indian culture' that would in turn help us achieve the proposed goal of liberal education. I argue that neither essentialism nor postmodernism - the two popular ways of understanding a concept in mainstream philosophy - is going to be of much help. I also consider a historical alternative suggested by Uma Narayan. I then offer a naturalist way of understanding this concept and note its relative advantages over Narayan's historical account. (shrink)