Routledge – 2002 – 208 pages
During the mid-1990s, the O.J. Simpson murder trial dominated the media in the United States and were circulated throughout the world via global communications networks. The case became a spectacle of race, gender, class and violence, bringing in elements of domestic melodrama, crime drama and legal drama. According to this fascinating new book, the Simpson case was just one example of what the author calls 'media spectacle' - a form of media culture that puts contemporary dreams, nightmares, fantasies and values on display. Through the analysis of several such media spectacles - including Elvis, The X Files, Michael Jordan, and the Bill Clinton sex scandals - Doug Kellner draws out important insights into media, journalism, the public sphere and politics in an era of new technologies.
In this excellent follow up to his best selling Media Culture, Kellner's fascinating new volume delivers an informative read for students of sociology, culture and media.
Preface and Acknowledgements. 1. Media Culture and the Triumph of the Spectacle 2. Commodity Spectacle: McDonald's as global culture 3. The Sports Spectacle, Michael Jordan, and Nike 4. Megaspectacle: The O.J. Simpson murder trial 5. TV Spectacle: Aliens, conspiracy and biotechnology in The X-Files 6. Spectacle Politics: Presidential narratives from JFK to Bush II Conclusion: Democratic Politics and Spectacle Culture in the New Millennium