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Vulture Culture

The Politics and Pedagogy of Daytime Television Talk Shows


Christine Quail, Kathalene Razzano and Loubna H. Skalli

Vulture Culture presents a new and complex way of thinking about daytime television talk shows. Vulture culture is the process by which the media scavenge the personal narratives and popular discourses that make up everyday knowledge and commonsense and (re-)present them back to us as spectacle, entertainment, and information. This book explores these nuances through a probing analysis of the vast landscape of daytime television talk shows and their relation to important political, social, and economic problems. Using an approach that takes into account the multiple perspectives of political economy, cultural studies, and cultural pedagogy, Vulture Culture provides an in-depth and well-rounded examination of this mainstay of television and media culture.

«‘Vulture Culture’ takes students of media and education on a critical journey into the heart of daytime television, insightfully revealing the culture making power of the talk show genre. In doing so, ‘Vulture Culture’ takes seriously the staying power of daytime talk shows as significant sites where the day to day work takes place of reproducing, repairing, and refreshing dominant world views of gender, class and race through the spectacle of personal tragedy, celebrity and conflict. At the same time ‘Vulture Culture’ makes the short list of books that examine the politics of popular culture from the intersecting vantage points of economics and textual analysis. Quail, Razzano and Skalli make good on their promise to use daytime television talk shows as a take-off point for developing a deeper understanding of popular media culture which «seduces and betrays us at the same time». They also make a major contribution to media studies, cultural studies, gender studies and critical pedagogy by criss-crossing these fields to weave an analysis that reveals important common ground. This book should make its way into classrooms and libraries as an illustration of innovative popular culture analysis and as a significant reference point for understanding the cultural work of contemporary talk shows.» (Carl Bybee, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Oregon)