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Eighties People

New Lives in the American Imagination

Authors: Ferguson, Kevin L.

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  • ISBN 978-1-137-58434-2
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Hardcover $119.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-58638-4
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About this book

Through an examination of 1980s America cultural texts and media, Kevin L. Ferguson examines how new types of individuals were created in order to manage otherwise hidden cultural anxieties during the American 1980s. Exploring a variety of strategies for fashioning self-knowledge in the decade, this book illuminates the hidden lives of surrogate mothers, crack babies, persons with AIDS, yuppies, and brat packers. These seemingly simple stereotypes in fact concealed deeper cultural changes in issues relating to race, class, and gender. Through a range of texts, Eighties People shows how the commonplace reading of the 1980s as a superficial period of little importance disguises the decade's real imperative: a struggle for self-definition outside of the limited set of options given by postmodern theorizing.

About the authors

Kevin L. Ferguson is Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, the City University of New York, USA. His work has been published in such journals as Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies and the Journal of Medical Humanities. He earned his PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA, where his dissertation received the Lloyd Davis Memorial Prize for Distinguished Work in Cultural Studies.

Reviews

"Kevin Ferguson's Eighties People brings into new focus a decade whose complex cultural history we are only just beginning to fully recognize. With its previously unheard stories and unconsidered characters, this lively and engaging book offers a fresh intervention in the periodization of the 1980s and on the controversies that shaped 1980s American culture. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America's recent cultural past." - Graham Thompson, University of Nottingham, UK
 
"In lucid prose, and with a deft, diagnostic touch, Kevin L. Ferguson decodes stock figures of the 1980s, while giving us an inspiring model of how to be a skilled demystifier. In the spirit of Foucault, but with more wit and tragicomedy, he cleans the camera-lens and helps us see what history's myth-cluttered mise-en-scène really looks like." — Wayne Koestenbaum, author of My 1980s & Other Essays
"Kevin Ferguson's Eighties People brings into new focus a decade whose complex cultural history we are only just beginning to fully recognize. With its previously unheard stories and unconsidered characters, this lively and engaging book offers a fresh intervention in the periodization of the 1980s and on the controversies that shaped 1980s American culture. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America's recent cultural past." - Graham Thompson, University of Nottingham, UK

 

"In lucid prose, and with a deft, diagnostic touch, Kevin L. Ferguson decodes stock figures of the 1980s, while giving us an inspiring model of how to be a skilled demystifier. In the spirit of Foucault, but with more wit and tragicomedy, he cleans the camera-lens and helps us see what history's myth-cluttered mise-en-scène really looks like." — Wayne Koestenbaum, author of My 1980s & Other Essays

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Love Affair with Labels: New Subjects in the Eighties

    Ferguson, Kevin L.

    Pages 1-12

  • The Surrogate Mother: Sed mater certissima?

    Ferguson, Kevin L.

    Pages 13-35

  • The Crack Baby: Children Fight the War on Drugs

    Ferguson, Kevin L.

    Pages 37-56

  • The Person with AIDS: Graphic Humor and Graphic Illness

    Ferguson, Kevin L.

    Pages 57-78

  • The Yuppies and the Yuckies: Anxieties of Affluence

    Ferguson, Kevin L.

    Pages 79-108

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58434-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58638-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Eighties People
Book Subtitle
New Lives in the American Imagination
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-58434-2
DOI
10.1057/9781137584342
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-58638-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 193
Topics