Rene Magritte, This is Not a Pipe
Use this page to find web sources and books on the critical theories and frameworks (with a focus on Cultural Theory) used in analyzing pop culture. Also listed on the attached subpage are issues that often arise in the critical study of pop culture (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc). The books listed provide more comprehensive lists of theories, analysis techniques, and movements.
Includes semiotics, rhetorical analysis, ideological analysis, and psychoanalytic approaches. These types of analysis seek to get beneath the surface (denotative) meanings and examine more implicit (connotative) social meanings. These textual analysis approaches often view culture as a narrative or story-telling process in which particular "texts" or “cultural artifacts” (i.e., a pop song or a TV program) consciously or unconsciously link themselves to larger stories at play in the society.
Antonio Gramsci's theory of "hegemony" refers to the way that dominant groups in society develop a "intellectual and moral leadership" that allows them to win the consent of subordinant groups. Hegemony sees popular culture as a site of ideological struggle between dominant and subordinate classes and cultures.