The cultural politics of contemporary Hollywood film

Power, culture, and society

By Chris Beasley and Heather Brook

The cultural politics of contemporary Hollywood film


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8298-6
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2019
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Sex, sexuality, relationships & society: general, Films, cinema, PHILOSOPHY / Political, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Humanities / Social & political philosophy, The arts / Film theory & criticism


Adopting and developing a 'cultural politics' approach, this comprehensive study explores how Hollywood movies generate and reflect political myths about social and personal life that profoundly influence how we understand power relations. Instead of looking at genre, it employs three broad categories of film. 'Security' films present ideas concerning public order and disorder, citizen-state relations and the politics of fear. 'Relationalities' films highlight personal and intimate politics, bringing norms about identities, gender and sexuality into focus. In 'socially critical' films, particular issues and ideas are endowed with more overtly political significance. The book considers these categories as global political technologies implicated in hegemonic and 'soft power' relations whose reach is both deep and broad.


'This is an important book which helps us better understand a key political and cultural phenomena - Hollywood films. The book is engaging, packed with insights, and helps us understand film as 'political objects'. The authors remind us that we have to critically think about films as diverse as Avatar, Mama Mia! and Bride Wars, and see them not just as cultural artefacts; but as a wider part of reinforcing and sustaining wider power relations. This is a book that finely judges the balance between levity and gravity - it's a book with a serious project at this core, but never loses sight of the passion and excitement of cinema-going.'
Rob Manwaring, Flinders University


Foreword by Douglas Kellner
1 Introduction: the cultural politics of popular film
2 Frames
Part I: Security
3 Security: order and disorder
4 War and order
5 Disorder and fear
6 Fearsome monsters
Part II: Relationalities
7 Gender and intimate relationships
8 Romance
9 Bromance
Part III: Social critique
10 Against the grain? Socially critical movies
11 Questioning the critical
Part IV: Global agendas
12 The big picture: the 'metropole' and peripheral 'others'
13 Responses from 'the margins'


Chris Beasley is Professor of Politics at the University of Adelaide
Heather Brook is Senior Lecturer in Women's Studies at Flinders University

The cultural politics of contemporary Hollywood film

By Chris Beasley, Heather Brook

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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