Popular Culture Values and the Arts

Essays on Elitism versus Democratization


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About the Book

In countries around the world, the rise of class divisions and unbridled capitalism are changing the conventional definitions of art and esthetics. Historically, the philanthropy of the elite has played a leading role in supporting, funding, and distributing artistic works. While such measures may be pure in intent, many worry that private funding may be gentrifying the arts and creating a situation in which art will only be valued for its prestige or, worse, its price tag.
This collection of essays examines the current movement to democratize the arts and make the world of artistic endeavor open and accessible to all.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

The late Ray B. Browne (1922–2009) edited the Journal of Popular Culture, served as an officer of the Popular Culture Association and wrote prolifically on the subject. He was the founding chair of the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University.
Lawrence A. Kreiser, Jr., is an assistant professor at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; his interest in the psychology of conflict drives him into studies in the conflicts of cultures.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ray B. Browne and Lawrence A. Kreiser, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 230
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3944-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5345-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction: Arts and Cultures

Ray B. Browne and Lawrence A. Kreiser, Jr.      3

Part 1. Folk Roots

1. Cultural Aesthetics: Anthropology and the (In)Visible Values of “Art”

Benjamin K. Urish      35

2. Garden of the Folk Arts

Ray B. Browne and Lawrence A. Kreiser, Jr.      49

3. Carnival as Living Element of our Cultural Heritage

Vasiliki Sirakouli      60

Part 2. Developing the Oversized Spirit

4. Values, Popular Culture and Social Change

Arthur G. Neal      73

5. Values for and of Popular Culture in a Democracy: Heroic, Superheroic, Hyperheroic?

John Shelton Lawrence      84

6. Reading “Monolith” Texts: A Consideration of Uluru, Stone Mountain, and Devils Tower as Cultural Intersections

Douglas Noverr      103

Part 3. Breaking the Cast

7. Artists Taking the High Road and the Low

Joy Sperling      109

8. Subversive Children’s Stories: The Work of American Book Women, 1930–1980

Amy E. Singer      125

9. Who Gets to Play? The Hegemony of Copyright and Trademark in Art and Popular Culture

Holly Crawford      138

10. Negotiating Dissent: The Adrian Mole Diaries and The Young Ones

Janine Utell      151

Part 4. Promoting the American (and World) Dream

11. Art and Religion: The Power to Persuade

Gregory J. Thompson      163

12. Selling Culture to the People: Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations in a Changing World

Bob Batchelor      176

Part 5. Outsider Views of American Cultures

13. The Contradictory Values of U.S. Popular Culture

Mel van Elteren      191

About the Contributors      215

Index      219