Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ruling Passions

Essays on Just About Everything
Nick Perry - With a foreword by Ian Wedde.
Otago University Press -  RRP $45.00

Kicking off the essays collected together in Nick Perry’s new
book, Ruling Passions: essays on just about everything, is one
devoted to rugby and the media, with the title ‘Sport: Media
5, Rugby 1’. Perry is a professor in Film, Television and Media
Studies at Auckland University and one of Australasia’s leading
media and social science intellectuals. Rugby is just one of the
things he is interested in and writes about.
Often ‘culture’ is seen as somehow elevated above daily life,
in a rarefied realm, or set apart from our modern concerns,
as in anthropology. But for people such as Nick Perry, a media
sociologist, culture is the matter-of-fact practice and taken-forgranted
nature of everyday life. It is inherent in how knowledge
is produced, how society functions, and how we create meaning
about what is going on. The titles of his previous books indicate
the breadth of his work: Controlling Interests: Business, The State
and Society (1992), The Dominion of Signs: Television, Advertising and Other New Zealand Fictions (1994), Hyperreality and Global Culture (1998) and Television in New Zealand (2004).
In Ruling Passions, Perry interrogates the stuff of daily life in lucid, enjoyable and probing essays. Shopping (‘Six retailers in Search of a Consumer’), the Montana World of Wearable Art, the ever-shifting cultural meanings of the telephone, globalisation (‘Is the Global Village a Company Town?’), watching TV, playing sport, gambling and travel are all discussed. He shows us how we can ‘read’ our own environments and, in so doing, better interpret the world around us and our place within it.

About the author:
Nick Perry is Professor in Film, Television and Media Studies at The University of Auckland. A former President of the Sociological Association of Australia and New Zealand, he has published extensively, including contributing to and being advisory editor for the media section of the eleven-volume 3.5 million-word Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology (2007). He is the author or co-editor of five books.

1 comment:

Fifi Colston said...

And that's my wearable Art piece The Birth of Velvet on the cover :) Fifi