This is a book about popular culture and the role it plays in people's lives and in American society. The first section of the book, on theoretical concerns, deals with the meanings of the terms ""popular"" and ""culture,"" with how cultures vary, and with the impact popular culture has on our personalities. It discusses a number of ways of analyzing popular culture texts and then considers the relationship between popular culture and political cultures and other social groups. The second section of the book contains analyses of topics such as the Superbowl, the sitcom Frasier, Bloopers, and everyday rites and rituals. The title of the book comes from a chapter which offers an extended ethnography the author made of two advertising agencies - one in London in 1973 and one in San Francisco 25 years later. The book also contains a discussion of the author's travalls in writing his dissertation on the comic strip Li'l Abner and concludes with some thoughts about surviving Survivor and other popular culture crazes.
PART I: THEORETICAL CONCERNS. How Did You Become Yourself? The Impact of Popular Culture on Personality. The Power of Groups. PART II: APPLICATIONS. Speculations on a Spectacle: The Super Bowl. Frasier. A 20th Century Fool. Bloopers: What They Are and What They Mean. Decoding Everyday Life. The Agent in the Agency. Writing my Dissertation on Li'l Abner. Conclusions: Survivors of Survivor and Other Pop Culture Crazes. References. Suggested Readings. Index.