Now, more than 20 years since its initial release, John Fiske's classic text Power Plays Power Works remains both timely and insightful as a theoretically driven examination of the terrain where the politics of culture and the culture of politics collide.
Drawing on a diverse set of cultural sites - from alternative talk radio forums, museums, celebrity fandom, to social problems such as homelessness - Fiske traverses the topography of the American cultural landscape to highlight the ways that ordinary people creatively construct their social identities and relationships through the use of the resources available to them, while constrained by social conditions not of their own choosing. This important analysis provides a set of critical methodological and analytical tools to grapple with the complexities and struggles of contemporary social life.
A new introductory essay by former Fiske student Black Hawk Hancock entitled `Learning How to Fiske: Theorizing Power, Knowledge, and Bodies in the 21st Century' elucidates Fiske's methods for today's students, providing them with the ultimate guide to thinking and analyzing like John Fiske; the art of `Learning How to Fiske'.
John Fiske is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Black Hawk Hancock is an Associate Professor of Sociology at DePaul University, USA.
Learning How to Fiske: Theorizing Power, Knowledge, and Bodies in the 21st Century Black Hawk Hancock Part One: Power and Cultural Theory 1. Power Plays 2. U.S. Cultures, European Theories Part Two: Controlling Bodies 3. Bodies of Knowledge 4. Sporting Spectacles: The Body Visible 5. Elvis: A Body of Controversy 6. The Body of Violence Part Three: Representing and Knowing 7. Act Globally, Think Locally 8. Gunfight at the P.C. Corral 9. Local Knowledge 10. Things and Practices Part Four: White Power, Black Power 11. Blackened White 12. Power Works 13. Counter Power Works Coda: The Slave Ship Appendix: The John Fiske Reading List