Dancing in Spite of Myself
Essays on Popular Culture
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In Dancing in Spite of Myself, Lawrence Grossberg—well known as a pioneering figure in cultural studies—has collected essays written over the past twenty years that have also established him as one of the leading theorists of popular culture and, specifically, of rock music. Grossberg offers an original and sophisticated view of the growing power of popular culture and its increasing inseparability from contemporary structures of economic and political power and from our everyday lives.
In the course of conducting this exploration into the meaning of “popularity,” he investigates the nature of fandom, the social effects of rock music and youth culture, and the possibilities for understanding the history of popular texts and practices. Describing what he calls “the postmodernity of everyday life,” Grossberg offers important insights into the relation of pop music to issues of postmodernity and inton the growing power of the new cultural conservatism and its relationship to “the popular.” Exploring the limits of existing theories of hegemony in cultural studies, Grossberg reveals the ways in which popular culture is being mobilized in the service of economic and political struggles. In articulating his own critical practice, Grossberg surveys and challenges some of the major assumptions of popular culture studies, including notions of domination and resistance, mainstream and marginality, and authenticity and incorporation.
Dancing in Spite of Myself provides an introduction to contemporary theories of popular culture and a clear statement of relationships among theories of the nature of rock music, postmodernity, and conservative hegemony.