How can we study popular culture? What makes 'popular culture' popular? Is popular culture important? What influence does it have? An Introduction to Studying Popular Culture provides a clear and comprehensive answer to these questions. It presents a critical assessment of the major ways in which popular culture has been interpreted, and suggests how it may be more usefully studied. Dominic Strinati uses the examples of cinema and television to show how we can understand popular culture from sociological and historical perspectives. He traces the development of popular Hollywood cinema, addressing key topics such as production, distribution and exhibition, narrative, and genre, with case studies of gangster and horror films, and film noir. Strinati shows how television has been studied rather differently, with study focusing on consumption as much as on production, and he looks at how the television audience has been studied and evaluated. Returning to the idea of genre, he uses the example of soap opera to show how genre can be used to study popular television. Finally, he assesses whether or not popular television has become a 'post-modern' medium.
Dominic Strinati is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. He is the author of An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture (Routledge, 1995) and co-editor (with Stephen Wagg) of Come on Down: Popular Media Culture in Post-War Britain.