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Cultural Theory: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key Guides) Paperback – 25 Apr 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 4 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2nd edition (25 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415284260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415284264
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,448,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
In semiotics, a term is absent from a meaningful sequence of signs if it could potentially occupy a position in the sequence, and if its exclusion affects the meaning of the signs which are present. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ferret on 8 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I had to write a 2500 words essay including semiotics, postmodernism, popular culture etc. This book was great for taking small quotes and is more or less a student dictionary on cultural theory, you just turn to the buzzword you need to explore and there will be 4 or 5 pages of information to absorb. I Had half my essay done in a morning, would recommend for 1st/2nd year students as a starting point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Idea Whose Time Has Come 14 April 2009
By cvairag - Published on
Format: Paperback
The most comprehensive, thorough, insightful, quick reference to Cultural (as distinguished from and including what used to be known as Critical) Theory that I've come across. Well-sized, it's ready-to-hand, organized dictionary style under the topics of Cultural Theory which range across all disciplines, made here easily accessible to the reader in a tightly knit format. The book has an extensive bibliography and index. A must for every scholar's personal library (even those expert in the field will find it useful as a teaching tool - great for handouts), and a go-to-first guide for anyone who needs to understand the often complex, elusive, gnomic terminology of the post-modern intellectual environment. The explanations are concise, yet not thin. The book as a whole exhibits a fine sense or proportion and judgement.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A unique and useful intellectual resource 20 Jun. 2010
By Irfan A. Alvi - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As best I can tell, cultural theory aims to understand culture (or cultures) in an interdisciplinary way, drawing mainly on philosophy and the human sciences (especially sociology and anthropology), with perhaps a few ideas of its own thrown in to produce a fairly eclectic mix.

This book surveys cultural theory by describing more than 350 key concepts from the field, with the length of each entry typically being intermediate to a dictionary and encyclopedia. Examples of the concepts are absence, authority, civic humanism, counterculture, dramaturgical model, feudalism, ideological state apparatus, libertarianism, myth, philosophy of language, propoganda, ritual, sociobiology, syntagm, and youth culture.

As you can see, the concepts range from the familiar to the highly esoteric. Since the book has two editors and thirteen contributors, the quality of the entries likewise varies somewhat, and you will occasionally encounter some which are too unclear, although most are quite good and some are outstanding.

I read this book from cover to cover, and the net effect for me was that it was enlightening, often to the extent of being a page turner, which is saying a lot for a book organized alphabetically. The book would, of course, also be useful to look up concepts on an as-needed basis, as well as for randomly dipping into.

Highly recommended to people with an interest in relatively highbrow intellectual sort of stuff.
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