Ruling Passions

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These essays are by one of Australasia's leading media and social science intellectuals. "Culture" is often seen as somehow elevated above daily life (set in a rarefied realm) or set apart from it (e.g. the anthropological study of cultures other than our own). But for contemporary sociologists and media theorists, culture is better seen as the matter-of-fact practice and taken-for-granted nature of everyday life. Culture is inherent to how the world is made to mean something, how knowledge is produced and how society functions. As a result, we need to interrogate what we take as "given." Nick Perry is well placed to interrogate the stuff of daily life. In Ruling Passions, his lucid, enjoyable and probing essays on shopping, telephoning, watching TV, playing sport, gambling and travel show us how we can "read" our own environments and, in so doing, interpret the world around us and our place within it.


Nick Perry is Associate Professor in the Film, TV and Media Studies at The University of Auckland. A former President of the Sociological Association of Australia and New Zealand, he has published extensively here and abroad, including contributing to and being advisory editor for the media section of the eleven-volume 3.5 million-word Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. His books are Controlling Interests: Business, The State and Society in New Zealand (co-edited with John Deeks), The Dominion of Signs: Television, Advertising and Other New Zealand Fictions, Hyperreality and Global Culture and Television in New Zealand (co-edited with Roger Horrocks).