Immigration and American Popular Culture An Introduction (Hardcover)
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|View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.Rachel Rubin and Jeff Melnick show us the skinny on pop's melting pot. The cauldron does not burn off immigrant character, creating American sameness, but intensifies its many tastes. Ladle after ladle of ethnic infusions go into the pot--Scarface to Gypsy Punks, pachuco zoot suiters to Ravi Shankar, Jimmy Cliff to West Side Story. They compound the terms of race and place until they reform the mainstream. And, suddenly, that old wasp canon has become just another ethnic style. --W. T. Lhamon, Jr., author, most recently, of Jump Jim Crow: Lost Plays, Lyrics, and Street Prose of the First Atlantic Popular CultureA sprawling and uniquely synthetic account of the role immigrants have played as performers, entrepreneurs, and as the subjects of the mass culture industry. Brings a stunning, transnational array of immigrant cultural forms, immigration policies, and cohorts together in new and important ways. --Rachel Ida Buff, University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeHow does a 'national' popular culture form and grow over time in a nation comprised of immigrants? How have immigrants used popular culture in America, and how has it used them?Immigration and American Popular Culture looks at the relationship between American immigrants and the popular culture industry in the twentieth century. Through a series of case studies, Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick uncover how specific trends in popular culture--such as portrayals of European immigrants as gangsters in 1930s cinema, the zoot suits of the 1940s, the influence of Jamaican Americans on rap in the 1970s, and cyberpunk and Asian American zines in the1990s--have their roots in the complexsocio-political nature of immigration in America.Supplemented by a timeline of key events and extensive suggestions for further reading, Immigration and American Popular Culture offers at once a unique history of twentieth century U.S. immigration and an essential introduction to the major approaches to the study of popular culture. Melnick and Rubin go further to demonstrate how completely and complexly the processes of immigration and cultural production have been intertwined, and how we cannot understand one without the other.|