Cultural studies began as a radical political project, establishing the cultural centrality of everyday life and popular culture. In a postmodern world where old uncertainties are undermined and identities fragmented, the way forward for those working with popular culture has become less clear. In contrast to more pessimistic readings of the possibilities of postmodernity, Postmodernism and Popular Culture engages with postmodernity as a space for social change and political transformation.
Ranging widely over cultural theory and popular culture, Angela McRobbie looks at everyday life as an eclectic and invigorating arena for the interplay of different cultures and identities. McRobbie assesses the contribution of key figures in cultural and postcolonial theory--Susan Sontag, Walter Benjamin and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak--and surveys the landscape of today's youth and popular culture, from salvation army fashion to the rave scene, from moral panic to teen magazines.
Throughout, Angela McRobbie argues for a commitment to cultural studies as an "undisciplined discipline," reforming and re-inventing itself as circumstances demand, for the importance of ethnography and empirical work, dealing with living voices and spoken language, and for the necessity for feminists to continually ask questions about the meaning of a feminist theory in a postmodern world.