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The book is divided into four parts. Part One focuses on theories concerning industry and spectacle, performance, and adaptation. Part Two discusses convergence theory and then applies the four theories to three familiar forms of entertainment—circus, theatre, and film. The third part of the text presents case studies on cultural tourism and discusses the point at which cultural traditions and rituals are transformed into entertainment for public consumption. Part Four considers when competition becomes performance, as manifested on the global cultural stage that is the Olympic Games. Competition as entertainment is also examined within the context of college sports, and reality programming.
Popular Entertainment is written for lower-division general education courses in Traditions and Cultures. It is also an excellent supplemental text for courses in the history of the theatre, theatre arts, and the social impact of entertainment.