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Spectacular Nature: Corporate Culture and the Sea World Experience 0th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520209817
ISBN-10: 0520209818
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"In this imaginative and fascinating study of Sea World, Susan Davis powerfully combines the interpretation of metaphor and symbol with the analysis of more concrete evidence. Spectacular Nature constitutes a very significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between human beings and other animals in modern America."—Harriet Ritvo, author of The Animal Estate

"This beautifully subtle, nuanced analysis of one of the most ambiguous of American commercial institutions—the nature "theme park"—is a landmark of social criticism and a telling dissection of a central contradiction in a world dedicated to profit and also, supposedly, to public knowledge and compassion."—Stephen Jay Gould

From the Back Cover

"In this imaginative and fascinating study of Sea World, Susan Davis powerfully combines the interpretation of metaphor and symbol with the analysis of more concrete evidence. "Spectacular Nature constitutes a very significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between human beings and other animals in modern America."--Harriet Ritvo, author of "The Animal Estate

"This beautifully subtle, nuanced analysis of one of the most ambiguous of American commercial institutions--the nature "theme park"--is a landmark of social criticism and a telling dissection of a central contradiction in a world dedicated to profit and also, supposedly, to public knowledge and compassion."--Stephen Jay Gould

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 31, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520209818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520209817
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A devastating deconstruction of Sea World that gives jagged substance to the nagging feeling of dislocation and coercion that most of us feel when we are in a corporate theme park. Its also a handbook for rescuing environmentalism from greenwashers and the corporate media. Finally, its a sustained hymn of pure hatred and contempt, and everyone loves to read abuse. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Susan G. Davis's Spectacular Nature: Corporate Culture and the Sea World Experience examines Sea World from "economic, local historical, spatial, and experimental perspectives, as well as the point of view of its management and at least some of its customers. Her thesis encompasses the representation of nature and the environment by private corporations; Davis states that Sea World represents new private institutional uses for nature mainly as a product for mass consumption. Davis's primary objective is to discover a connection between public meanings, mass entertainment, and private enterprise as she tries to "understand the theme park form and its appeal to its customers, as well as critical questions about Sea World's cultural meanings and effects." Spectacular Nature makes one think more critically about their theme park experiences, specifically the place of the amusement park in society and American culture. It does this by proposing a question of intent: Is the theme park strictly here as a business enterprise with the purpose of making profit, or does it seek to be an environmental activist and educational philanthropist. Davis argues that Sea World is a combination of all three worlds; "it styles itself an urban public resource, a site of animal rehabilitation, marine conservation, research, and education." She argues that large corporations are responsible for shaping our culture by producing the locales of America's families. It is a bit disappointing when Davis reaffirms the fact that American culture is based on commercial centers funded by big corporations. One would think that there is more to our great hegemonic nation besides theme parks, movie theatres surrounded by an extremely commercial environment, shopping malls, and minors singing awful pop music.Read more ›
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By Rachel H. on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book to read the truth about SeaWorld and other marine parks. Gives lots of facts and insights into the world of a corporate marine park.
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Format: Paperback
What an education this book provides! Who knew how many ways there were to co-opt a society? I just thought the anthropomorphizing of animals at SeaWorld was offensive. And I wasn't particularly happy about the living beer-commercial aspect of it all either. But I had no idea of the historical and political context of all of this posturing. Alongside Cadillac Desert (Marc Reisner) you can get a very thorough understanding of this strange megalopolis of Southern California.
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