He argues that we need to understand politics as a form of popular culture and popular culture as a form of politics. Popular culture involves the organizing of our pleasure, and therefore our values, identities and interests. But at the same time our access to and enjoyment of popular culture depends on a series of political decisions and processes which shape that culture.
In Politics and Popular Culture, Street explores the debate about the political character of popular culture between those who see it as a form of manipulation and those who see it as populist self–expression. He argues that such approaches are limited and that we need to alter our perspective on the politics of popular culture. He does this by looking more closely at the ways in which the state organizes the production and consumption of popular culture, and at how political judgements are part of the creation and the pleasures of popular culture.
This book will be invaluable for students in cultural studies, mass media studies, sociology and politics.
1. Passion, populism, politics.
2. Popular culture as politics.
3. Politics as popular culture.
Part II: Governing Global Culture:.
4. All around the world: the global politics of popular culture.
5. Ruling the waves: the state and popular culture.
6. The local politics of popular culture.
Part III: Political Theory/Cultural Theory:.
7. Cultural theories of politics.
8. Political theories of culture.
9. The politics of judgement: from condemnation to commendation.
10. Political pleasures.
"John Street′s new volume provides a timely and accessible introduction to the topic [of media and communication studies], one which should be welcomed by the world of political science for its lucidity and attention to detail." International Affairs
"[A] well–informed survey. For readers and students in the field of Popular Music the book is an important addition to the literature." International Association for the Study of Popular Music
"(An) excellent, challenging and important book ... comprehensive and provocative critical treatment of the relationship between politics and popular culture ... [which] deserves to be a staple item on university reading–lists about politics and popular culture alike. It is likely to resonate with students, to provoke endless discussion and to provide political scientists and others with a way of opening up what many students view as staid or impenetrable theories about civic culture or rational choice ... a valuable first step." Music and Letters