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Palgrave Macmillan

A Passion for Cultural Studies

ISBN 9781403997173
Publication Date July 2009
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The culture that infiltrates our lives can provoke a range of feelings and afflictions – culture can move you, get under your skin and stir up your emotions. Ben Highmore uses these feelings, or 'passions', to explore the culture that surrounds us and uses it as a basis to introduce and explain the key ideas, debates and theories that are central to cultural studies.

Impressively accessible and packed with absorbing examples from everyday life, this compact book is the ideal entry-point into cultural studies. The chapters examine problematic and complex issues that are core to cultural studies, looking at the experience of migration, the nature of the media, the lure of commodities, the world of taste and the culture of love. Cleverly written in a way that's easy to follow and enjoyable to read, the text gives a sense of the discipline as a way of thinking rather than an amalgamation of theories, and whets the appetite of all those interested in cultural studies.

Whether you're a student who's new to the field, or a seasoned scholar seeking a fresh idea about what cultural studies can do, this clear and concise text encourages you to become truly passionate about cultural studies.

BEN HIGHMORE is Reader in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. He is the author of Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction, Cityscapes and Michel de Certeau, and is also editor of The Everyday Life Reader and The Design Culture Reader.

Introduction: Passionate Cultures
Bitter Tastes
The Feeling of Structures
The Lure of Things
Keeping in Touch
Events of the Heart
Beginnings (In Place of an Ending)
Further Reading 


'Ben Highmore has written the book that students and teachers of cultural studies have long been waiting for. The text intervenes convincingly into some entrenched and ongoing debates and disputes, and in doing so offers a lot more than a mere introduction. It offers a way to make sense of culture that is at once compelling, eminently reliable, persuasive and authoritative. A Passion for Cultural Studies is an exceptional text.' - Paul Bowman, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
'Modest in scope, persistent in pursuit of its topic, even avowedly personal and sentimental at times, this short book promises to be a long player: it will spark students' engagement in the animating debates and questions of cultural studies. In short: A Passion for Cultural Studies delivers on the promise of its title.' – Richard Stamp, Senior Lecturer of Media and Cultural Studies, Bath Spa University
'The engaging quality of this text is in no small part due to the supple and resourceful way that Highmore reinvents the concept of 'passion', tearing it away from its poly-saturated use within commodity advertising, and casting it as the touchstone for a global debate about how and why we care about what we care about. For those who care about the contemporary fate of Cultural Studies, this is a text that demands attention.' – John Mowitt, Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota
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