Description : From the far left to the far right, on talk radio and the op-ed page, more and more Americans believe that the social fabric is unraveling. Celebrity worship and media frenzy, suicidal cultists and heavily armed secessionists: modern life seems to have become a "pyrotechnic insanitarium," Mark Dery says, borrowing a turn-of-the-century name for Coney Island. Dery elucidates the meaning to our madness, deconstructing American culture from mainstream forces like Disney and Nike to fringe phenomena like the Unabomber and alien invaders. Our millennial angst, he argues, is a product of a pervasive cultural anxiety-a combination of the social and economic upheaval wrought by global capitalism and the paranoia fanned by media sensationalism. The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium is a theme-park ride through the extremes of American culture of which The Atlantic Monthly has written, "Mark Dery confirms once again what writers and thinkers as disparate as Nathanael West, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Sigmund Freud, and Oliver Sacks have already shown us: the best place to explore the human condition is at its outer margins, its pathological extremes."
Description : The World in Brooklyn: Gentrification, Immigration, and Ethnic Politics in a Global City, is a collection of scholarly papers which analyze demographic, social, political, and economic trends that are occurring in Brooklyn. Brooklyn, as the context, reflects global forces while also contributing to them. The idea for this volume developed as the editors discovered a group of scholars from different disciplines and various universities studying Brooklyn. Brooklyn has always been legendary and has more recently regained its stature as a much sought after place to live, work and have fun. Popular folklore has it that most U.S. residents trace their family origins to Brooklyn. It is presently referred to as one of the hippest places in New York. Thus, this book is a collection of demographic, ethnographic, and comparative studies which focus on urban dynamics in Brooklyn. The chapters investigate issues of social class, urban development, immigration, race, ethnicity and politics within the context of Brooklyn. As a whole, this book considers both theoretical and practical urban issues. In most cases the scholarly perspective is on everyday life. With this in mind there are also social justice concerns. Issues of social segregation and attendant homogenization are brought to light. Moreover, social class and race advantages or disadvantages, as part of urban processes, are underscored through critiques of local policy decisions throughout the chapters. A common thread is the assertion by contributors that planning the future of Brooklyn needs to include multi-ethnic, racial, and economic groups, those very residents who make-up Brooklyn."
Description : With a Foreword by Dr. Fishwick's student--Tom Wolfe. This book redefines popular culture in the light of the revolutionary changes brought about by the information revolution and the digital divide. It explores the phenomenal growth and extension of popular culture in the last decade and ties in the vast changes brought about by technology and the Internet. In an era when American television and the Internet reach virtually every corner of the globe, Popular Culture in a New Age shows how the poorly understood and often underestimated area known as popular culture affects all of our lives. Beginning with an evaluation of the millennium celebrations and the enormous error of Y2K madness, Popular Culture in a New Age then moves on to the “New Gold Rush” brought about by technology and takes a hard look at its risks. The book examines a wide variety of pop culture phenomena such as carnivals, celebrities, and the road from nineteenth century humbuggery (P. T. Barnum's term) to today's hype. In Popular Culture in a New Age you'll learn about: the three faces of popular culture: folk, fake, and pop--how they relate and how they differ today's popular icons the empire of Disney World Marshall McLuhan, our era's most profound and shocking electronic thinker African-American popular culture and style Popular Culture in a New Age gives characterization to the postmodern world in a chapter on “postmodern pop,” followed by the shift from civil religion to civil disobedience and the “myth of success.” This insightful book will help you understand the way we eat, think, vote, and respond to our fast-changing world in the era of hype, spin doctors, chat rooms, and jargon.
Description : These are exciting times for business marketing professionals, yet the challenges imposed by ongoing social and technological developments are daunting. This book calls on marketers to make a choice: embrace the ongoing changes as opportunities for reshaping relationships with consumers, or cling to the past at the risk of becoming irrelevant.
Description : Techno-heaven or techno-hell? If you believe many scientists working in the emerging fields of twenty-first-century technology, the future is blissfully bright. Initially, human bodies will be perfected through genetic manipulation and the fusion of human and machine; later, human beings will completely shed the shackles of pain, disease, and even death, as human minds are downloaded into death-free robots whereby they can live forever in a heavenly "posthuman" existence. In this techno-utopian future, humanity will be saved by the godlike power of technology. If you believe the authors of science fiction, however, posthuman evolution marks the beginning of the end of human freedom, values, and identity. Our dark future will be dominated by mad scientists, rampaging robots, killer clones, and uncontrollable viruses. In this timely new book, Daniel Dinello examines "the dramatic conflict between the techno-utopia promised by real-world scientists and the techno-dystopia predicted by science fiction." Organized into chapters devoted to robotics, bionics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and other significant scientific advancements, this book summarizes the current state of each technology, while presenting corresponding reactions in science fiction. Dinello draws on a rich range of material, including films, television, books, and computer games, and argues that science fiction functions as a valuable corrective to technological domination, countering techno-hype and reflecting the "weaponized, religiously rationalized, profit-fueled" motives of such science. By imaging a disastrous future of posthuman techno-totalitarianism, science fiction encourages us to construct ways to contain new technology, and asks its audience perhaps the most important question of the twenty-first century: is technology out of control?