Polity has a strong and fast expanding list in the field of cultural studies. We publish many of the key scholars in the field and our list has earned a reputation for innovative, path-breaking publications. We also have a strong list of textbooks in cultural studies which are adopted at colleges and universities around the world.
Our authors include some of the key social and cultural theorists whose works have shaped the discipline of cultural theory, including Theodor W. Adorno, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Derrida, Jürgen Habermas, Paul Virilio and Slavoj Žižek. We have also published some of the leading cultural studies scholars, including David Buckingham, Simon Frith, Douglas Kellner, Angela McRobbie, Mark Poster, Roger Silverstone, John B. Thompson, John Tomlinson and Janet Wasko.
Visit Highlights for all our new and forthcoming publications.
"McNamara has written an excellent and most useful book. Drawing on a rich vein of information from her industry research as well as from the academic literature, McNamara’s Paparazzi is indispensable for anyone wanting to properly understand the contemporary production and circulation of celebrity."
Graeme Turner, University of Queensland
"Rojek's book is a tour-de-force of interdisciplinary social criticism. Ambitious in scope, brilliant in execution, it constitutes nothing less than a profound meditation on what it means to be a human being today."
David Inglis, University of Exeter
"With his customary élan, Jean Chalaby has done a great service to our understanding of the international flow of culture. The Format Age is a judicious theoretical and empirical intervention. Bravo!"
Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside
Sale & Salisbury: Kittler Now: Current Perspectives in Kittler Studies
"This brilliant collection of essays responds to [Kittler’s] groundbreaking work on media, mathematics, music, poetry and war. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to question the status of the ‘human’ in a world populated increasingly by media and machines."
Nicholas Gane, Warwick University
"Original and rigorous, and yet accessible, these essays reveal the continued relevance of Derrida’s work in helping us think our present intellectual, cultural and political situations in our day-to-day lives."
Nicole Anderson, Macquarie University, Sydney
Deery: Reality TV
"This vibrant, accessible book provides an up-to-date synthesis of current patterns in and thinking about reality TV."
Misha Kavka, The University of Auckland
Sullivan & McKee: Pornography: Structures, Agency and Performance
"Here, at last, is an introductory book that grounds the study of pornography in theory and empirical research, discusses it in relation to industry, labour, technology, regulation and performance, and is thoroughly accessible and engaging."
Feona Attwood, Middlesex University
Entwistle: The Fashioned Body, 2nd edition
The Fashioned Body provides a wide-ranging and original overview of fashion and dress from an historical and sociological perspective. With a new preface and new material on the evolving fashion industry, this second edition gives a clear summary of the theories surrounding the role and function of fashion in modern society.
Longhurst & Bogdanović: Popular Music & Society, 3rd edition
"This third edition by Longhurst and Bogdanović offers a comprehensive updated sociological analysis of the field of popular music which incorporates media and cultural studies into its frame. It reflects backward and telegraphs forward the key theories, approaches, analysis and criticisms that abound in the field. It is both accessible and scholarly and will be a key resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in sociology, and media and cultural studies."
Helen Thomas, University of the Arts London
Smith: Mexican Screen Fiction
This new book by Paul Julian Smith is the first to examine the flourishing of audiovisual fiction in Mexico since 2000, considering cinema and TV together. It covers much material previously unexplored and engages with emerging themes, including violence, youth culture, and film festivals.
Connell and Pearse: Gender: In World Perspective 3rd edition
How can we understand gender in the contemporary world? What psychological differences now exist between women and men? How are masculinities and femininities made? And what is the relationship between gender issues and globalizing concerns such as environmental change and economic restructuring?
Raewyn Connell, one of the world's leading scholars in the field, is here joined by Rebecca Pearse as they answer these questions and more. Their book provides a readable introduction to modern gender studies, covering empirical research from all parts of the world in addition to theory and politics. As well as introducing the field, Gender provides a powerful contemporary framework for gender analysis with a strong and distinctive global awareness.
Faubion: Foucault Now
"No thinker of the last generation helped shape our understandings of the world more powerfully than Foucault. This splendid and up-to-date anthology shows that his work, through its various phases, retains its analytic power today."
Simon During, University of Queensland
“Flew's sober and penetrating analysis of the increasingly global character of the creative industries sheds a bright light on a field too often characterized more by heat. Both scholarly and accessible, it should be of great use to academics, policy experts, and media professionals alike.”
Thomas Streeter, author of The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet
Keane: Creative Industries in China
“In this pioneering book, Michael Keane provides a broad introduction to the Chinese discourse of media, arts and design industries. Using substantial fieldwork observation, Keane offers unique insights into the development of concepts of innovation and their relationship with intellectual property, culture, commerce and politics in China.”
Anthony Fung, Chinese University of Hong Kong
New media, development and globalization are key terms through which the future is being imagined and performed in governance, development initiatives and public and political discourse. Yet these authoritative terms have arisen within particular cultural and ideological contexts. This compelling book forces us to look at these terms afresh.
Howells and Negreiros: Visual Culture, 2nd edition
This book is designed to introduce students to the analysis of all kinds of visual text, whether drawings, paintings, photographs, films, advertisements, television or new media forms. The book is illustrated with examples that range from medieval painting to contemporary advertising images, and is written in a lively and engaging style.
McDonnell: Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines
Weekly gossip magazines epitomize the domination of American popular culture by celebrity-mania. But why are readers, especially young women, so attracted to them? Andrea McDonnell argues that, despite a trivial reputation, these magazines are an important site of engagement for their readers, shaping their relationships, ideas and values.
Lash and Lury: Global Culture Industry
“This pathbreaking study will stimulate the intellectual debate for years to come.”
Manuel Castells, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
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.
Girgus: Clint Eastwood's America
The steady rise of Clint Eastwood's career parallels a pressing desire in American society over the past five decades for a figure and story of purpose, meaning, and redemption. This timely examination of Clint Eastwood's oeuvre against the backdrop of contemporary America will be fascinating reading for students of film and popular culture.
Sterritt: Spike Lee's America
“My admiration for Spike Lee has always been substantial, but thanks to this book I now admire him even more. Although David Sterritt does not blink at the many dilemmas the films present, he has greatly enriched our appreciation as well as our understanding of Spike Lee's cinema.”
Krin Gabbard, Stony Brook University
Pomerance: Hitchcock's America
Alfred Hitchcock brought to the American scene a perspicacity and analytical shrewdness unparalleled in American cinema. Murray Pomerance works from a basis in cultural analysis and a detailed knowledge of Alfred Hitchcock's films and production techniques to explore how America is revealed and critically commented upon in Hitchcock's work.
"Jenkins, Ito, and boyd offer us all a wonderful gift in the form of this book – it’s as though one gets a chance to listen in on a great dinner party conversation between three brilliant scholars, reflecting on more than twenty years of trenchant scholarship on culture, play, identity, and the emergence of the digital world."
John Palfrey, Phillips Academy
"From the person who more or less invented cultural labour studies as we know it comes this important set of essays, full of political passion and brilliant insight."
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
Altman & Symons: Queer Wars
The claim that “LGBT rights are human rights” encounters fierce opposition in many parts of the world. Drawing on international relations, anthropology, cultural studies and the literature of the global LGBT movement, this book asks why homosexuality has become so vexed an issue between and within nations, and how we can best advocate for change.
Badiou & Truong: In Praise of Theatre
"A figure like Plato or Hegel walks here among us!"
Warde: The Practice of Eating
"The Practice of Eating offers conceptual clarity and empirical rigour – a compelling synthesis of more than a decade’s research on the sociology of consumption."
Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield
Bauman/Mazzeo: In Praise of Literature
In this new book Zygmunt Bauman and Riccardo Mazzeo examine the contentious issue of the relation between literature (and the arts in general) and sociology (or, more generally, a branch of the humanities claiming scientific status).
"A lyrical meditation on the fragility of the human as well as on the palimpsestic way that our loves and lovers overlay each other in our psyche and repeatedly reappear without clear distinctions."
Christina Howells, University of Oxford
Death Shall Be Dethroned is the “shadow book” of Los, a Chapter, Hélène Cixous tells us. It came along after Los, but it was always there – hidden in her notebooks, in the Beethoven notebook, say, the one Jacques Derrida gave her. But when it tapped at the window, she ignored it until the day she had to let it in.
Muller: White Magic
In this brilliant new book Lothar Müller describes how paper made its way from China through the Arab world to Europe, where it permeated everyday life in a variety of formats from the thirteenth century onwards, and how the paper technology revolution of the nineteenth century paved the way for the creation of the modern daily press.
Ranciere: Figures of History
In this important new book the leading philosopher Jacques Rancičre continues his reflections on the representative power of works of art. How does art render events that have spanned an era? What roles does it assign to those who enacted them or those who were the victims of such events?
Scannell: Television and the meaning of live
This book is about the question of existence, the meaning of 'life', an enquiry into the contemporary human situation as disclosed by television. Passionate and sweeping in scale, this new book on the existential role of television from a leading media scholar is a major contribution to our understanding of the media today.
Inglis: Richard Hoggart
This is the first biography of Richard Hoggart, the best-known, and certainly the most affectionately acknowledged, British intellectual of the past sixty years. Fred Inglis ties together in a single narrative both life and work to tell the gripping tale of a figure of great significance to anyone who cherishes the stuff of culture.
An exciting series of short, cutting-edge books exploring key aspects of Chinese society. Titles with particular relevance to cultural studies include:
This series aims to make a wide range of theory relevant and accessible for students of media and communication studies. Each volume draws on a rich body of literature and will consider instances in which theorists have directly discussed media and communication.
New technologies are fundamentally altering the ways in which we communicate. This series from Polity aims to provide a set of books that make available for a broad readership cutting edge research and thinking on digital media and their social contexts. Taken as a whole, the series will examine questions about the impact of network technology and digital media on society in all its facets, including economics, culture and politics.
A major series of innovative and lively short introductions to the main areas of the social sciences and humanities. For information on individual volumes please go to the series webpage: www.polity.co.uk/shortintroductions.
New and published titles of particular interest to cultural studies students and lecturers are listed below. Please check other subject pages for further titles in this series.
Key Concepts is a series of concise and accessible textbooks exploring core concepts in the social sciences. The books focus on concepts that are central to each discipline and have a high degree of complexity surrounding them. For more information on individual titles please see the series webpage: www.polity.co.uk/keyconcepts