Freak Show Legacies: How the Cute, Camp and Creepy Shaped Modern Popular Culture
ISBN: 1350145122
EAN13: 9781350145122
Language: English
Pages: 248
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback

Freak Show Legacies: How the Cute, Camp and Creepy Shaped Modern Popular Culture

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Book Overview
Society has long been fascinated with the freakish, shocking and strange. In this book Gary Cross shows how freakish elements have been embedded in modern popular culture over the course of the 20th century despite the evident disenchantment with this once widespread cultural outlet. Exploring how the spectacle of freakishness conflicted with genteel culture, he shows how the condemnation of the freak show by middle-class America led to a transformation and merging of genteel and freak culture through the cute, the camp and the creepy. Though the carnival and circus freak was marginalised by the 1960s and had largely disappeared by the 1980s, forms of freakish culture survived and today appear in reality TV, horror movies, dark comedies and the popularity of tattoos. Freak Show Legacies will focus less on the individual 'freak' as 'the other' in society, and more on the audience for the freakish and the transformation of wonder, sensibility and sensitivity that this phenomenon entailed. It will use the phenomenon of 'the freak' to understand the transformation of American popular culture across the 20th century, identify elements of 'the freak' in popular culture both past and present, and ask how it has prevailed despite its apparent unpopularity.

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