By Dominic Strinati, Stephen Wagg

This creation to renowned media tradition in Britain discusses the ways that pop culture could be studied, understood and liked, and covers its key analytical concerns and a few of its most crucial procedures.

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Extra info for Come on down?: popular media culture in post-war Britain

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If it is the case, as Alan Sinfield argues, that fiction offers ‘constructions of conceivable lives…interpretations and evaluations of perceived possibilities in the real world…. And these constructions are not just responses, they are interventions: their publication feeds back possible images of the self’ (Sinfield 1983:5), then the constructions offered to women by the contemporary Mills & Boon romance are severely limited. Nevertheless, the writers of popular romances during the war years and in the immediate post-war period did offer new forms of ‘images of the self, and new ‘perceived possibilities’ for women.

The key to achieving all this was marketing via television placement of a ‘strong programmed package’ in a good slot. This would then generate interest and adequate exposure, at which point, as Connelly asserted to the Sports Council’s National Recreation Management Conference, ‘you can then go in and develop the resulting licensing businesses’ (Maguire 1990:225). They were developed so successfully in the UK that in the five years from 1982 to 1987 patterns of NFL overseas business were changed dramatically: Canada and Mexico had provided 60 per cent of NFL overseas business in 1982; the same year saw the first Channel 4/Cheerleader broadcast of the sport; by 1987 80 per cent came from Europe, where the UK was by far the biggest market.

Homeward bound 17 What it means is that at most active social levels people are increasingly living as private small-family units, or, disrupting even that, as private and deliberately self-enclosed individuals, while at the same time there is a quite unprecedented mobility of such restricted privacies. (Williams 1983:188) It is in the light of such a central theme that all talk of leisure participation rates must be understood. There are continuities in people’s leisure—to dance, to walk, to watch television, to swim, to go on holiday—but there are also shifts in the ways in which these experiences are constructed and consumed.

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