This three-volume collection of original essays examines cult pop culture, the often-seedy underbelly of American popular culture.
Michael Jackson has enjoyed an enthusiastic fan base since his success as part of The Jackson 5, but it was not until the odder aspects of his personality were exposed that he was transformed into one of the most well-known cult figures of the 20th century. What turns someone or something into a subject of such passionate fascination—and what do our obsessive pop cults say about us as a nation?
Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream is the first collection dedicated to the quirky, offbeat aspects of American popular culture that people have loved, enjoyed, (and in some cases) worshiped over the last 50 years. By examining the people and subjects we hold most dear, this three-volume set offers deep insights into what Americans think, feel, and cherish.
Organized by subject, the collection enables readers to focus on a given topic or compare different subjects across cult phenomenon. Volume One of the set covers film and television topics, Volume Two examines music and literature, and Volume Three explores sports, clubs, and the cult industry. Through this investigation of sublime, transcendent, and idiosyncratic trends, readers will learn more about iconic individuals, topics, and subjects that form the vast underbelly of American culture. By revealing how tightly interwoven cult topics are with the public's broader notion of popular culture, the collection underscores the blurry line between normal and abnormal, grandiose and degradation.
• 60 essays examine cult topics based on linked subject matter
• Organization by subject enables readers to quickly find what interests them most
• A "Further Reading" section, including websites, films, and multimedia sources, helps readers to delve into cult pop culture topics in greater depth
• Investigates what it means to be involved in a cult phenomenon, why people do it, and how cult phenomena affect the general culture in which we live
• Provides the first collection to examine cult pop culture across multiple subjects, through contributions from distinguished scholars from all over the world
• Reveals the influence and breadth of cult topics across American popular culture, particularly as the Internet enables people to connect with subjects and with other fans on a broader level