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Signs of Life in the USA 6th (sixth) edition Text Only Paperback – January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's (2008)
  • ASIN: B004NMJ1HE
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Martha Rapp Sayles on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Socrates would be pleased with Signs of Life in the USA, as it questions the implications of the ideologies put forth by the hydra-headed media of the 21st century. Employing semiotic analysis by association and differentiation, the editors offer students an explicable means by which to begin critically examining the popular culture that comes at them from every conceivable direction.

As a professor of writing and popular culture, I have used various editions of Signs of Life over the last ten years with students ranging from timid freshmen to cocky upper-classmen. The reason? I can get them to open the book.

Students love popular culture. They also like to show their friends how much they know about popular culture. Thus, if they are going to be forced to read something, they will more readily read an article that can give them insights on television, movies, music, and video games that they can use immediately in conversation (texted or otherwise). Secondly, the editors approach the students as knowledgeable insiders, validating their experience while teaching them new ways to think about it. The excellent introductions (for the book as a whole and for each chapter) present scholarly, and often historical, approaches to the subject in very clear and accessible prose, yet do so with a tone of mutual curiosity; there is a playfulness that coaxes students out of passivity. One of the greatest challenges in the classroom - particularly in a writing course - is to get students interested. Signs of Life makes this easy.

A most appreciated attribute of the book for me is its great flexibility.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a person who could not give a damn about the United States, I was amazed and dis-satisfied at how much people were so vocal about such matters that I believe were to be trivial. It was obvious that I was so uninformed of the inter-workings of the United States and the media that results inside of it. I am glad my professor chose this book, for I have gain an insight into something I would not have found alone. I am sure that some young adults, like me, were overwhelmed by the content inside and highly discouraged. Just take a look at the table of contents and the amount of pages(on Product Details).

The table of content, by chapters are the following:
Introduction - Popular Signs: Or, Everything you Always Knew about American Culture (but Nobody Asked)
Chapter I - Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption
Chapter II - Brought to you B(u)y: The Signs of Advertising
Chapter III - Video Dreams: Television, Music, and Cultural Forms
Chapter IV - The Hollywood Sign: The Culture of American Film
Chapter V - You-Topian Dreams: MySpace, YourSpace, and the Semiotics of Web 2.0
Chapter VI - American Paradox: Culture and Contradiction in the U.S.A
Chapter VII - We've Come a Long Way, Maybe: Gender Codes in American Culture
Chapter VIII - Constructing Race: Readings in Multicultural Semiotics

An astonishing 752 pages and 8 chapters is no laughing matter, at least to those who are not well-acquainted with reading books, yet I found myself the ability to read most articles inside the book well enough to understand the key points as if I was reading one of my favorite novels. I believe this is a result of using articles on popular culture as basis for this book.
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i needed this for my class, i liked that it was just as it said, the right book for my class. i would reccomend this book to everyone interested for the class. It has some great stories!!
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By Lloyd on September 22, 2014
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Had to buy it for a class...Material seemed dated
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dyer on January 31, 2013
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Used this book often in my English class. It actually has some pretty good readings within if you care to read. Overall the buying and shipment part was great came earlier than expected which made me very happy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By woofwoof13 on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is very relevant to today's way of life. The texts are very interesting, and make us analyze the way we behave with technology and semiotics. I like that it talks about activities that everyone does today.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kamisha Henderson on February 9, 2013
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REQUIRED FOR SCHOOL CAME IN TIME AND IN GOOD SHAPE I WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANY ONE. GOOD LITTLE BOOK TO READ
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dorsey h garrett on December 6, 2012
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It came fast but I don't like the book itself if its needed for a class but it here pretty cheap
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