Manufacturing Desire: Media, Popular Culture, and Everyday Life

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The average person in America watches four hours of television per day and spends the equivalent of nine years of his or her life in front of the television set. If the attention most people devote to popular culture - listening to the news, watching soap operas, reading the comics-were added up, it would reveal that most people spend an enormous amount of time with popular culture which becomes in large measure, their culture. Manufacturing Desire is a study of how the mass media broadcast or spread various popular arts; further how the media and popular arts play a major role in shaping our everyday lives.The television shows we watch, the movies we see, the radio programs we listen to, and all the comic strips we read influence social behavior. They give us ideas about what is good and evil, about how to solve problems, and about how we should relate to others. If we understand this, says Berger, then the way we think about our media-influenced culture will be far different than if we see popular culture as mindless entertainment. Berger provides an analysis of the way popular culture and the mass media simultaneously reflect and affect various aspects of American culture and society. He examines commercials, television shows, comics, film, humor, and everyday life in terms of what beliefs and values are found in them, what attitudes toward ourselves, and our societies are contained in them, how they achieve their effects, and what they reflect about present-day American culture and society.This book is analysis of the impact mass media have across America, cross-culturally, and internationally. Manufacturing Desire will provide the general reader as well as specialists in communication and information, sociology, and psychology with a better understanding of the effects of mass media and popular culture on contemporary society.