Archive for April 2008

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[ecrea] New Book: Smart Living

Thu Apr 10 06:09:33 GMT 2008

>Please find details below of a new book that may be of interest to the list:
>Smart Living: Lifestyle Media and Popular Expertise
>by Tania Lewis
>Published by Peter Lang (New York)
>What do the Fab Five from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the Supernanny and
>celebrity chef Jamie Oliver all have in common? Lifestyle gurus are
>increasingly intruding on everyday life, directing ordinary people to see
>themselves as projects that can be made over through embracing an ethos of
>relentless self-improvement. Smart Living argues that they represent a new
>form of popular expertise sweeping the world. Written in a lively and
>accessible manner, the book examines this cult of expertise across a range
>of media and cultural sites and offers the reader a range of critical tools
>for understanding the recent emergence of this popular international
>phenomenon. Smart Living is a must-read for anyone interested in the
>relationship between popular media culture and contemporary social life.
>Lifestyle formats work within the familiar, contrastive dynamics of modern
>popular culture. Enhanced 'personal development' and the chance to get
>closer to happiness go along with the further reach of commerce into who we
>are and what we do. Tania Lewis offers a thoughtful exploration of origins,
>communicative forms and impact, setting this within a broader appraisal of
>the future of public identity. (Professor John Corner, School of Politics
>and Communication Studies, University of Liverpool)
>Smart Living explores the increasing prevalence of lifestyle expertise in
>the mass media and in the process tells us something important about the
>forms of selfhood we have and aspire to today. Tania Lewis's lucid readings
>of the popular genres of advice on the management of the self offer serious
>insights both into the media and into the social underpinnings of malleable
>selfhood. Smart Living is an exemplary analysis of a shift in some of the
>fundamental categories of social life. (Professor John Frow, School of
>Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne)
>Table of contents
>Introducing the lifestyle expert: Zen and the art of spot removal
>1  From manners to makeovers: A history of modern lifestyle advice
>2  Eating expertise: From nutritionists to TV chefs
>3  He needs to face his fears with these five queers!: Queer Eye for the
>Straight Guy, makeover TV, and the lifestyle expert
>4  Honey Were Killing the Kids: Producing lifestyle TV in Australia
>5  DIY lifestyles? Health, lifestyle media, and the reflexive consumer
>6  Lifestyle Inc.: Celebrity, branding, and ordinary expertise
>ISBN-10: 0820486779  ISBN-13: 978-0820486772  pp.169
>Dr Tania Lewis
>La Trobe University
>(t.lewis /at/

Nico Carpentier (Phd)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University of Brussels
Centre for Studies on Media and Culture (CeMeSO)
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
T: ++ 32 (0)2-629.18.56
F: ++ 32 (0)2-629.36.84
Office: 5B.401a
Katholieke Universiteit Brussel - Catholic University of Brussels
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Sponsored links ;)
Understanding Alternative Media
by Olga Bailey, Bart Cammaerts, Nico Carpentier
(December 2007)
Participation and Media Production. Critical Reflections on Content Creation.
Edited by Nico Carpentier and Benjamin De Cleen
(January 2008)

European Communication Research and Education Association
ECREA's Second European Communication Conference
Barcelona, 25-28 November 2008
E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

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