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Doing cultural studies; the story of the Sony Walkman, 2d ed.


Doing cultural studies; the story of the Sony Walkman, 2d ed.

Du Gay, Paul and Stuart Hall, Linda Janes, Anders Koed Madsen, Hugh Mackay, Keith Negus.



175 pages




This textbook was originally a product of an Open U. course created by the authors on culture, media, and identities, meant to introduce students to the field of cultural studies and why cultural practices and institutions play an important role. The course used the case study of the Sony Walkman to illustrate the field's themes and how culture works in late-modern societies, helping students critically reflect on contemporary cultural practices through historical comparison and the case of the Sony Walkman. The authors draw on a relational model of the circuit of culture, which focuses on practices of regulation, consumption, production, identity-work, and representation of cultural artifacts, and discuss the meaning of the Walkman; how its production was represented by individuals and Sony; how it was encoded with certain meanings during its production process and how the company established an identification between object and consumers, particularly in design; Sony's attempts to become a global entertainment corporation by combining the production of cultural hardware (the Walkman) and software (music); the processes and practices of cultural consumption; and the effects of Walkman use on the regulation of cultural life in modern societies. Meant to be a commentary on the 1996 edition, this edition adds boxes with new readings on current technology and its impact, addressing themes of the boundary between the public and private as a basis for regulation; the interrelation of production, consumption, and identity; and representation in a digital world. It adds new readings at the back of the book that introduce a theoretical concept, empirical development, or shift in specific practice, as well as four readings on developments in mobile technology and their cultural effects. In addition, the text takes into account new approaches and theories, such as actor-network theory.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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