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How do we understand Christmas? What does it mean? This book is a lively introduction to the study of popular culture through one central case study. It explores the cultural, social and historical contexts of Christmas in the UK, USA and Australia, covering such topics as fiction, film, television, art, newspapers and magazines, war, popular music and carols. Chapters explore the ways in which the production of meaning is mediated by the social and cultural activities surrounding Christmas (watching Christmas films, television, listening or engaging with popular music and carols), its relationship to a set of basic values (the idealised construct of the family), social relationships (community), and the ways in which ideological discourses are used and mobilised, not least in times of conflict, terrorism and war. Packed with examples ranging from Charles Dickens' seminal text, A Christmas Carol, Coca-colonisation and Santa Claus, Victorian cartoons and Christmas cards, to Dr Who, The Office, 'A Fairy Tale of New York', 'Happy Christmas (War is Over)', and such dystopian films as Jingle All the Way and All I Want For Christmas, the case studies offer an incisive account of the ways in which Christmas relates to social change, and how such recent events as 9/11 and the continuing conflict in Iraq focus attention on traditional themes of community and family. Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture offers students and scholars alike an opportunity to explore the hidden agendas of the world's most popular festival and what it means to the outsider looking in.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780748628094
ISBN-10: 0748628096
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 18mm)
Pages: 232
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 28-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Sheila Whiteley

Sheila Whiteley is Visiting Professor (Media) at the University of Brighton and author of Women and Popular Music (2000) and Too Much Too Young: Popular Music, Age and Gender (2005) and editor of Sexing the Groove: Popular Music and Gender (1997) and Queering the Popular Pitch (2006).

Books By Author Sheila Whiteley

Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality by Sheila Whiteley

The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality

Hardback, March 2016
Countercultures and Popular Music by Sheila Whiteley

Countercultures and Popular Music

Hardback, May 2014
Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture by Sheila Whiteley

Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture

Hardback, April 2008
Too Much Too Young by Sheila Whiteley

Too Much Too Young

Paperback, March 2005