Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change (Hardback)
  • Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change (Hardback)
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Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change (Hardback)

(editor), (editor), (editor)
£89.00
Hardback 400 Pages
Published: 09/03/2020
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Winner, 2021 Ray and Pat Browne Edited Collection Award, given by the Popular Culture Association
How popular culture is engaged by activists to effect emancipatory political change
One cannot change the world unless one can imagine what a better world might look like. Civic imagination is the capacity to conceptualize alternatives to current cultural, social, political, or economic conditions; it also requires the ability to see oneself as a civic agent capable of making change, as a participant in a larger democratic culture. Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination represents a call for greater clarity about what we’re fighting for—not just what we’re fighting against.
Across more than thirty examples from social movements around the world, this casebook proposes “civic imagination” as a framework that can help us identify, support, and practice new kinds of communal participation. As the contributors demonstrate, young people, in particular, are turning to popular culture—from Beyoncé to Bollywood, from Smokey Bear to Hamilton, from comic books to VR—for the vernacular through which they can express their discontent with current conditions.
A young activist uses YouTube to speak back against J. K. Rowling in the voice of Cho Chang in order to challenge the superficial representation of Asian Americans in children’s literature. Murals in Los Angeles are employed to construct a mythic imagination of Chicano identity. Twitter users have turned to #BlackGirlMagic to highlight the black radical imagination and construct new visions of female empowerment. In each instance, activists demonstrate what happens when the creative energies of fans are infused with deep political commitment, mobilizing new visions of what a better democracy might look like.

Publisher: New York University Press
ISBN: 9781479847204
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

An exceptionally well-conceived and thoughtfully assembled collection that resuscitates a cultural studies oriented toward the popular, in service of politically urgent questions about agency and resources for imagining otherwise. Across a wide array of case studies that span genres, media, and geopolitical contexts, the entries in this volume build on each other in a rich and versatile way. - Eva Cherniavsky, author of Neocitizenship: Political Culture after Democracy

Raises timely, critical questions and provides creative answers to this current moment in US history ... The essays thus function as a handbook for how individuals and groups can find creative collaborative approaches to crystallize their aspirations for a better society. This collection is a useful resource for scholars and advanced students in media studies, critical cultural studies, social movements, and sociology. - CHOICE

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