“Bold on all fronts, Pop Culture Freaks is an unwincing examination of power in our mass media. Drawing on clear data, well-placed examples, and sophisticated theory, it offers a compelling critique, even for those inclined to draw less damning conclusions. Readers interested in an unapologetic review of the politics of identity in pop culture need look no further.” —LISA WADE, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE “A welcome relief! In one convenient text, this book clearly addresses the core issues I cover in my course. It integrates both classic and contemporary sociological theory throughout every chapter. The ‘methodology moment’ boxes in each chapter brilliantly show students how to carry out empirically-based research on various popular culture forms.” —RHONDA E. DUGAN, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, BAKERSFIELD “Provides voluminous examples from popular culture that will both spark student interests and enable them to contextualize course materials in their own lives. . . It will open up wonderful discussions in the classroom.” —LORNA LUEKER ZUKAS, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY Love it or hate it, popular culture permeates every aspect of contemporary society. In this accessibly written introduction to the sociology of popular culture, Dustin Kidd provides the tools to think critically about the cultural soup served daily by film, television, music, print media, and the Internet. Utilizing each chapter to present core topical and timely examples, Kidd highlights the tension between inclusion and individuality that lies beneath commercial culture and uses this tension as a point of entry to an otherwise expansive topic. He systematically considers several dimensions of identity—race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability—to provide a broad overview of the field that encompasses classical and contemporary theory, original data, topical and timely examples, and a strong pedagogical focus on methods. Pop Culture Freaks encourages students to develop further research questions and projects from the material. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are brought to bear in Kidd’s examination of the labor force for cultural production, the representations of identity in cultural objects, and the surprising differences in how various audiences consume and use mass culture in their everyday lives.