Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Popular Culture, 3rd Edition

  • Susie O'Brien
  • Imre Szeman
  • ISBN-10: 0176508651
  • ISBN-13: 9780176508654
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2010, 2004
  • COPYRIGHT: 2014 Published
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About the Product

Popular Culture: A User’s Guide is an introduction to the critical study of popular culture. The text enables readers to examine parts of the contemporary cultural landscape that they may have been looking at all along without really analysing. Popular Culture seeks to create a level of awareness that goes beyond our everyday intimacy, not only to make readers aware of the underlying socioeconomic structures that determine the shape of media and, by extension, consciousness, but also to recognize the many ways that popular culture manages to manoeuvre around these structures, giving students the tools to understand their role not just as consumers but also as agents of popular culture. This book reflects a diversity of pop cultural sources, but just as importantly provides an interesting, uniquely Canadian perspective on Western pop culture that emerges out of Canada’s specific structural relationship to the mythical pop cultural centre of “America.”


  • There is an emphasis throughout on the politics of popular culture.

  • Case studies and real-life examples are used throughout the text.

  • Suggested activities are included in each chapter.

About the Author

Susie O'Brien

Susie O’Brien is a professor in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where she is also currently Associate Director, Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition.

Imre Szeman

Imre Szeman is Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor of English, Film Studies and Sociology at the University of Alberta. He conducts research on and teaches in the areas of social and cultural theory, film and visual culture, globalization and nationalism, and Canadian studies. Szeman is the recipient of the John Polanyi Prize in Literature (2000), the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award (2003), the Scotiabank–AUCC Award for Excellence in Internationalization (2004), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2005–7), and the President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision at McMaster University (2008), among other awards. He is the founder of the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies and a founding member of the US Cultural Studies Association. Szeman is founding editor of Reviews in Cultural Theory and a member of the editorial collective of the journal Mediations. Current projects include a book on the cultural politics of oil, an edited collection on energy and culture, and research on the aesthetics and politics of contemporary documentary film.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introducing Popular Culture
Chapter 2: The History of Popular Culture
Chapter 3: Representation and the Construction of Social Reality
Chapter 4: The Production of Popular Culture
Chapter 5: The Consuming Life
Chapter 6: Identity and the Body
Chapter 7: Identity and Community
Chapter 8: Subcultures and Countercultures
Chapter 9: Space, Place, and Globalization
Chapter 10: Popular Culture in the 21st Century
Works Cited

New to this edition

  • The text has been thoroughly updated with examples of events, books, films, television programs, and statistics, in order to bring the book in line with current developments in society and popular culture.
  • The text places a greater emphasis on the important role of popular culture in contemporary political protests, as well as the place of social media in popular culture.
  • A new chapter (Chapter 10) on twenty-first-century pop culture addresses new themes and theoretical approaches in the contemporary study of culture (including internet culture, social media, and ecology and the environment).
  • This edition includes expanded coverage of post-feminism, queer theory, LGBTQ identity, cosmopolitanism, and the approach of Situationists.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Manual for Popular Culture, 3e (Online Only)  (ISBN-10: 0176651837 | ISBN-13: 9780176651831)

Student Supplements

eBook: Popular Culture 3e: A User's Guide  (ISBN-10: 0176561420 | ISBN-13: 9780176561420)