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Exploring various forms of contemporary mass art and culture, from rock-'n'-roll music to slasher films, from women's romances to retro fashion style, these innovative and politically engaged essays reflect the paradox inherent in taking a critical approach to mass culture. They draw on a variety of theories, including feminist theory, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, linguistic theory, and psychonalysis, to reveal the very complicated workings of popular texts, to make explicit the text's ideological effects on consumers, and to challenge the outmoded (and, as two contributors argue, misogynist) dichotomy between high art and mass culture. It offers a provactive array of essays explaining important facets of contemporary culture.