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Cultural Theory: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key Guides) Paperback – October 13, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0415399395 ISBN-10: 0415399394 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Key Guides
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (October 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415399394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415399395
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,355,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cvairag VINE VOICE on April 14, 2009
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2010
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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