Tabloid Culture: Trash Taste, Popular Power, and the Transformation of American Television
During the latter half of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, television talk shows, infotainment news, and screaming supermarket headlines became ubiquitous in America as the “tabloidization” of the nation's media took hold. In Tabloid Culture Kevin Glynn draws on diverse theoretical sources and an unprecedented range of electronic and print media in order to analyze important aspects and key debates that have emerged around this phenomenon.
Glynn begins by situating these media shifts within the context of Reaganism, which gave rise to distinctive ideological currents in society and led the socially and economically disenfranchised to access new forms of information via the exploding television industry. He then tackles specific daytime talk shows and tabloid newscasts such as Jerry Springer and A Current Affair, reality-TV programs such as Cops and America's Most Wanted, and two different supermarket tabloids' coverage of the O.J. Simpson case. Tabloid Culture is the first book to treat these diverse yet related media forms and events in tandem. Rejecting the elitist dismissal of sensationalist media, Glynn instead traces the cultural currents and countercurrents running through their forms and products. Locating both reactionary and oppositional meanings in these texts, he demonstrates how these particular media genres draw on and contribute to important cultural struggles over the meanings of race, sexuality, gender, class, “normality,” “truth,” and “reality.” The study ends by discussing how the growing use of the Internet provides an entirely new realm in which such material can circulate, distort, inform, and flourish.
This innovative and provocative study of contemporary mainstream media culture in the United States will be valuable to those interested in both print and television media, the cultural-political influence of the Reagan era, and American culture in general.
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abduction African American alien America's Most Wanted articulated audience Bakhtin Baudrillard Billy Tipton body Bourdieu broadcast circulation Cops Crime criminal critical Current Affair daytime talk shows discourse dominant Donahue electronic everyday example express fantastic tabloids formations forms Foucault Freaks Talk Back gender genre Globe guests hyperreal Ibid identity images issues Jean Baudrillard Jesse Ventura journalism journalistic Kecksburg mainstream masculine media event menippean mobilization murders newscasts Nicole Nicole's normal norms notes O.J. Simpson official Oprah perspective police political popular culture popular knowledges postmodern Povich power-bloc produce quoted racial racism Reagan reality relationship reports representation Ricki Routledge says sense sexual significant simulation social power society Star struggles suggests supermarket tabloids tabloid culture tabloid media tabloid stories tabloid talk shows tabloid television tabloid TV tastes television's tion Tony Frost trans truth typically University Press Ventura victims viewers voices Weekly World woman women York
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