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16+ Obras 895 Miembros 7 Reseñas

Sobre El Autor

John Fiske was born in Hartford, Connecticut on March 30, 1842. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1865, he opened a law practice in Boston but soon turned to writing. His career as an author began in 1861, with an article on "Mr. Buckle's Fallacies," published in the National Quarterly mostrar más Review. Since that time he had been a frequent contributor to American and British periodicals. Early in his career Fiske also achieved popularity as a lecturer on history and in his later life was occupied mostly with that field. In 1869 to 1871 he was University lecturer on philosophy at Harvard, in 1870 an instructor in history there, and in 1872 to 1879, assistant librarian. On resigning as librarian in 1879, he was elected as a member of the board of overseers, and at the end of the six year term, was reelected in 1885. Since 1881 he had lectured annually on American history at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and since 1884 had held a professorship of American history there. He lectured on American history at University College, London, in 1879, and at the Royal institution of Great Britain in 1880. A large part of his life had been devoted to the study of history; but at an early age, inquiries into the nature of human evolution led him to carefully study the doctrine of evolution, and it was of this popularization of European evolutionary theory that the public first knew him. Fiske's historical writings include The Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789, The Beginnings of New England, The American Revolution, The Discovery of America, Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, The Mississippi Valley in the Civil War, and New France and New England. John Fiske died in 1901. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras de John Fiske

Obras relacionadas

The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media (1992) — Contribuidor — 53 copias, 1 reseña
Erilaisuus (2003) — Contribuidor — 2 copias


Conocimiento común

Nombre legal
Fiske, Stanford H. John
Fecha de nacimiento
University of Cambridge
communications scientist
University of Wisconsin-Madison



Fiske woke me from my dogmatic slumber. My opinions of pop culture have been informed by Frankfurt School writings in the Forties on “the culture industry.” They curmudgeonly argue that movie studios and other capitalist media enterprises brainwash the masses into becoming passive consumers. But, Fiske retorts, this view doesn’t give audiences enough credit. We don’t passively consume media, we produce our own meanings with them, meanings that help us cope and even empower us in our subordinate positions within capitalism.

To him, pop culture is the art of making-do with what’s around us. We are born into this society not of our choosing and lack an authentic folk culture or the ability to control much of our lives. However, we can control which media we consume and what we do with it. Sure, these products are commodities bearing the values of hegemonic capitalism. But to be successful, they must also appeal to us or we would ignore it, as we did with the Eddie Murphy movie Pluto Nash. Due to their relatively shallow nature, pop culture texts have a lot of potential to be read into and for people to make their own meanings from them.

Fiske shows that Aboriginal people in Australia, for example, liked the Rambo movies because they related to Rambo fighting the cops in their own anti-colonial sentiments. Teenage girls felt empowered by Madonna because dressing up like her was a way of taking charge of their own sexuality. Both of these are capitalist commodities with harmful, dominant ideologies present. But, since people aren’t stupid, they can somewhat evade those meanings and take what they can from them. Even when only fulfilling interior fantasies, Fiske believes pop culture produces self-confidence that is the basis for social action.

Fiske’s explanation for why these commodities have hegemonic values is that producers want their products to have mass appeal. The dominant ideology is what we all share in capitalism, so it’s what the products almost always display. I have much more to say about this book and will probably write something longer about it soon. Highly recommended for fellow culture snobs and pessimists.
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100sheets | 2 reseñas más. | Jun 7, 2021 |
Don't look over it, if you can't get over it
tcanaleso | otra reseña | Apr 14, 2019 |
This is an academic (but very readable) look at the act of doing and being diversity in an institutional context. The foundation of Ahmed's book is a series of interviews with diversity professionals at universities in the UK and Australia, as well as her personal experience as a woman of color in the institutions where she's worked. Ahmed doesn't give the reader any easy steps to take, but instead brings us a clear look at how institutions work and what that means for the people or groups who are trying to change an institutional culture that reproduces and favors whiteness.

Much of what she talks about reflects concerns and experiences I've heard from friends and colleagues of color. Other topics shone a light on things I'd never thought about, but that I recognized as an obvious part of the institutional foundations I've experienced. Ahmed's narrative includes looking at the language we use to describe this work (including why "diversity" is such a beloved term), how whiteness as the norm impacts workers and students of color, what actually goes on in committee meetings, the way an institution can be personified, how documents can help and hinder communication, and she ultimately explores some philosophical approaches to thinking through these efforts in a fresh way.

Although there are aspects of the interviews and assertions that are unique to a UK context, most of what Ahmed discusses is just as applicable to institutions in the United States. And while her philosophy and academic background can sometimes make this a dense book, her clear writing style makes it an easy read (and one that made me want to underline every spot-on sentence). I'd really recommend this book for anyone interested in picking apart the successes and failures of institutional diversity efforts (particularly in higher education).
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kristykay22 | otra reseña | Aug 15, 2018 |
John Fiske’s Understanding Popular Culture serves primarily as a companion to his reader, Reading the Popular. Fiske examines the different facets of popular culture using commodities such as denim jeans, Madonna, the television show Dallas, and more. Fiske argues, “Popular culture is deeply contradictory in societies where power is unequally distributed along axes of class, gender, race, and the other categories that we use to make sense of our social differences. Popular culture is the culture of the subordinated and disempowered and thus always bears within it signs of power relations, traces of the forces of domination and subordination that are central to our social system and therefore to our social experience. Equally, it shows signs of resisting or evading these forces: popular culture contradicts itself” (pg. 4-5).
Fiske continues, “Popular culture always is part of power relations; it always bears traces of the constant struggle between domination and subordination, between power and various forms of resistance to it or evasions of it, between military strategy and guerrilla tactics” (pg. 19). His approach “sees popular culture as potentially, and often actually, progressive (though not radical), and it is essentially optimistic, for it finds in the vigor and vitality of the people evidence both of the possibility of social change and of the motivation to drive it” (pg. 21). Fiske writes, “All popular culture is a process of struggle, of struggle over the meanings of social experience, of one’s personhood and its relations to the social order and of the texts and commodities of that order” (pg. 28). He further argues, “The politics of popular culture is that of everyday life” (pg. 56).
Examining popular texts, Fiske argues, “The social experience that determines the relevances that connect the textual to the social and that drive this popular productivity is beyond textual control, in a way that is different from the more specifically textual competence and experience of the writerly reader of the avant-garde text” (pg. 104). He believes that critically-derided texts offer useful insight. Of tabloid fodder, Fiske writes, “The popularity of such sensational publications is evidence of the extent of dissatisfaction in a society, particularly among those who feel powerless to change their situation, and the fact that there are more of them, and that they are more visible, in the United States than in, for example, Australia or the United Kingdom may say something about the exclusiveness of American ideology and the harshness with which it treats those it excludes” (pg. 117). More generally, he writes, “In popular culture, texts as objects are merely commodities, and as such they are often minimally crafted (to keep production costs down), incomplete, and insufficient unless and until they are incorporated into the everyday lives of the people” (pg. 123). To this end, “A popular text, to be popular, must have points of relevance to a variety of readers in a variety of social contexts, and so must be polysemic in itself, and any one reading of it must be conditional, for it must be determined by the social conditions of its reading” (pg. 141).
Fiske concludes, “Popular culture not only maintains social differences, it maintains their oppositionality, and people’s awareness of it. It can thus empower them to the extent that, under the appropriate social conditions, they are able to act, particularly at the micropolitical level, and by such action to increase their sociocultural space, to effect a (micro)redistribution of power in their favor” (pg. 161). Finally, “Popular culture always entails a set of negotiations between the center and the circumference, between the relatively unified allegiances of the power-bloc and the diversified formations of the people, between singular texts and multiple readings” (pg. 171).
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DarthDeverell | 2 reseñas más. | Aug 31, 2017 |


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