American Taboo: The Forbidden Words, Unspoken Rules, and Secret Morality of Popular Culture

November 1, 2020
American Taboo: The Forbidden Words, Unspoken Rules, and Secret Morality of Popular Culture

America's often-unspoken morality codes make many topics tabooin "the land of the free." This book analyzes hundreds of popularculture examples to expose how the media both avoids and alludes tohow we derive pleasure from our bodies.Flatulence ... male nudity ... abortion ... masturbation: theseare just a few of the taboo topics in the United States. What doculturally enforced silences about certain subjects say about oursociety—and our latent fears? This work provides a broad yetdetailed overview of popular culture's most avoided topics toexplain why they remain off-limits and examines how they arepresented in contemporary media—or, in many cases, delicatelyexplored using euphemism and innuendo. The author offersfascinating, in-depth analysis of the meaning behind theseportrayals of a variety of both mundane and provocative taboos, andidentifies how new television programs, films, and advertisingcampaigns intentionally violate longstanding cultural taboos togain an edge in the marketplace.Analyzes an enormous range of popular culture examples in alively and highly readable writing styleIdentifies and examines 12 separate taboos of the mediaProvides interdisciplinary coverage that intersects with a widevariety of subject areas, including cultural studies, philosophy,feminism, and queer cultureOffers not only in-depth descriptions of cultural taboos butalso clear explanations of why they existSupplies fascinating and useful information for generalaudiences as well as students and scholars of popular culture,political science, sexuality and gender studies, and sociology