The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Subcultural Identities, And Cultural Theory

1st Edition

Ramona Liera Schwichtenberg, Deidre Pribram, Dave Tetzlaff, Ron Scott

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Routledge
Published July 9, 2019
Reference - 336 Pages
ISBN 9780429312403 - CAT# KF11457

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Summary

Various cultural theories (foremost among them, postmodernism) have figured in the debate over the politics of representation. These theories have tended to look at representation in the context of either audience enablement or commercial constraint; that is, do the images empower the public or inhibit it? One key area consistently overlooked has the been the study of subcultural or subordinate groups who appropriate what is traditionally considered "mainstream." The Madonna Connection is the first book to address the complexities of race, gender, and sexuality in popular culture by using the influence of a cultural heroine to advance cultural theory. Madonna's use of various media—music, concert tour, film, and video—serves as a paradigm by which the authors study how images and symbols associated with subcultural groups (multiracial, gay and lesbian, feminist) are smuggled into the mainstream. Using a range of critical and interpretive approaches to this evolving and lively cultural phenomenon, the authors demonstrate the importance of personalities like Madonna to issues of enablement and constraint. Are "others" given voice by political interventions in mass popular culture? Or is their voice co-opted to provide mere titillation and maximum profit? What might the interplay of these views suggest? These are some of the questions the authors attempt to answer. Some celebrate Madonna's affirmation of cultural diversity. Others criticize her flagrant self-marketing strategies. And still others regard her as only a provisional challenge to the mainstream.

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