The last decade of the millennium was, in many ways, the most diverse and fascinating in the history of American culture. Alternative subcultures gained unprecedented exposure, manifest in such phenomena as grunge music, "gansta" rap, hip-hop fashion, raves, extreme sports, and the art of Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and The Phantom Menace brought science fiction to the mainstream. Bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam spread the Seattle rock scene across America. And even coffeehouse culture went mainstream with the proliferation of the Starbucks chain. Ethnic minorities, youth culture, and homosexual society all achieved larger roles in shaping the American identity. Meanwhile, corporate America pressed onward in its never-ending search for high ratings, giant profits, and more "bang for its buck." The twelve narrative chapters in this book depict the United States as brought to you by Generation X--a culture busting out in new and unforeseen ways. The volume also includes chapter bibliographies, a timeline, cost comparisons, and lists of suggested further reading.
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Page 127 - Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music — combined.
Page xiii - We have said already that it is far more than entertainment and leisure time activities. It is the bone and flesh of a society from which the spirit emanates and soars — or falls. Popular culture is the way of life in which and by which most people in any society live. In a democracy like the United States, it is the voice of the people — their practices, likes, and dislikes — the lifeblood of their daily existence, a way of life. The popular culture is the voice of democracy, speaking and...
Page 111 - If it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear...
Page 248 - Vicki Goldberg and Robert Silberman, American Photography: A Century of Images. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1999, p. 35. 15 [Gilbert H. Grosvenor], "Our Immigration during 1904," National Geographic Magazine 16 (1905), no.l, p.
Page 34 - Today's teenagers see their future work lives as filled with promise and uncertainty. They believe in the value of technology, in the importance of being flexible, and in the need for specialisation; they also believe that they will change jobs frequently and change careers occasionally. Teenagers accept the volatility of the labor market and believe that the way to create a personal safety net is to obtain additional education.
Page 129 - These changes have made meatpacking — once a highly skilled, highly paid occupation — into the most dangerous job in the United States, performed by armies of poor, transient immigrants whose injuries often go unrecorded and uncompensated.
Page 27 - Popular media images often portray adolescents as “slackers,” drug users, and perpetrators of violent crimes. The overwhelming majority of teenagers, however, graduate from high school, do not use hard drugs, are not criminals, and do not father or have babies while still in their teens. Many of them are willing to work hard to get good grades and assume this will make them eligible for scholarships at the college they plan to attend.