An inside look at cultural industries, featuring interviews with key players from such companies as Twentiety-Century Fox, National Public Radio, and Coca-Cola.
To what extent do moviemakers, television and radio producers, advertising executives, and marketers merely reflect trends, beliefs, and desires that already exist in our culture, and to what extent do they consciously shape our culture to their own ends? In-depth interviews with ten executives from the "culture industry" and five scholarly analyses examine that question, and address the issues of power and authority, meaning and identity, that arise when cultural producers define and react to audiences.
In their own words, leaders from companies like Twentieth-Century Fox, National Public Radio, and Warner Bros. Television describe their perception of the sometimes paradoxical relationship between culture and what influences it. For example, while the former president of Coca-Cola North America claims the company has never tried to create a trend, he notes that "we market in more countries than belong to the United Nations [a product that] has insinuated itself into the lives of the people to a point where it has become-you know, it's there." These reflections by key players provide an unprecedented view, as editor Richard Ohmann writes, "into the ways cultural producers imagine or know markets and how such knowledge figures in their decisions about what events, experiences, and products to make."
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Reviews / Endorsements
“Making and Selling Culture provides a rare and fascinating look at the connections between intellectuals who write about industrial culture and the people at corporations that make it. Both accessible and sophisticated, this collection shows how important it is for cultural theorists to look seriously at the kind of thinking that goes on in modern media institutions.”—Lynn Spigel, University of Southern California
RICHARD OHMANN is Professor of English at Wesleyan University and author of two Wesleyan books, English in America (1996) and The Politics of Letters (1987).