Their new book tells the compelling story of how material
objects such as watches and sportswear have become powerful
cultural symbols, and how the production of symbols, in the form of
globally recognized brands, has now become a central goal of
capitalism. Global Culture Industry provides an empirically
and theoretically rich examination of the ways in which these
objects - from Nike shoes to Toy Story, from global football to
conceptual art - metamorphose and move across national
This book is set to become a dialectic of enlightenment for the age of globalization. It will be essential reading for students and scholars across the social sciences.
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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“Their empirical work is thorough and detailed, with each
chapter providing a rich description of the history, life, and
geography of the cultural object in question.”
British Journal of Sociology
“Scott Lash and Celia Lury reconceptualize our
understanding of cultural industries in the context of
globalization. By analysing and documenting the shift from
representation to objects in contemporary production of meaning,
they open new avenues for research on communication and culture:
things materialize our imaginary, we communicate through objects.
This pathbreaking study will stimulate the intellectual debate for
years to come.”
Manuel Castells, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
“Scott Lash and Celia Lury throw down the gauntlet to
liberal and Marxist economic and cultural theory. They discover
meaning-making at the centre of both production and consumption.
Totems rule the marketplace, and popular culture generates,
displaces and energizes iconic brands. The circulation of economic
value has become a conversation between symbolic things. Deeply
researched and theoretically sophisticated, Global Culture Industry
is an important book.”
Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University
“By tracing the lives of a series of cultural objects,
Lash and Lury analyse with great insight how, in our age of
globalization, culture comes to play an ever more central and
intense role in economic production. In the process, they revise
powerfully our traditional notions of the culture
Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire and Multitude
2. Method: Ontology, Movement, Mapping.
3. The Biography of Euro 96: Branding the Event.
4. Art as Concept/Art as Media/Art as Life.
5. The Thingification of the Media: Animism and Animation.
6. The Mediation of Things: In Medias Res.
7. Flow: The Practices and Properties of Circulation.
8. Image, Markets and Display in Brazil.
9. Conclusion: Virtual Objects and the Social Imaginary.
C. Lury, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London