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Popular CultureMark Howell

Popular Culture

(First Edition)
Edited by Mark Howell

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-63487-288-1, 316 pages


Popular Culture challenges readers to explore, engage in, and give serious consideration to topics that are often brushed off as merely “fun.” The book combines original content based on current and emerging theories in the study of popular culture with a selection of articles and essays taken from a wide range of sources.

Readers will learn about the use, evolution, and significance of conventional narrative and formulaic plot structure. Through popular culture artifacts, they will explore how assumptions based on gender-related traits and abilities generate expectations.

In addition, readers will examine the simultaneous embracing of both application-based behavior and a craving for nostalgia and romance. They will investigate the cultural significance of heroes as metaphors for attitudes and behaviors that are valued by society.

Popular Culture provides an inventive way to understand and interpret popular culture and how it relates to everyday life. It clarifies what constitutes popular culture and helps readers understand the importance of formal popular culture study. Eminently suitable for courses on the topic, Popular Culture can also be used in classes on communication, 20th century history, and humanities.

Mark Howell holds a Ph.D. in American culture studies from Bowling Green University. Dr. Howell is a professor of communication at Northwestern Michigan College, where he teaches English composition and American culture. He wrote From Moonshine to Madison Avenue: A Cultural History of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and co-authored Motorsports and American Culture: From Demolition Derbies to NASCAR with Dr. John Miller. He has contributed to the Encyclopedia of American World Popular Culture and the Encyclopedia of American Folklore. He has presented locally, regionally, and nationally, as a member of the American Culture Association. He is member of the voting panel for the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Novi, Michigan and his “Professor of Speed” articles are published throughout the NASCAR season.