May 6, 2008
Transformations: Identity Construction in Contemporary Culture

The final C3-related publication I want to highlight this afternoon is the recent release of Grant McCracken's latest book, Transformations: Identity Construction in Contemporary Culture. The book, from Indiana University Press, has a May 2008 release date and is already available through Amazon.

According to the official description:

Self reinvention has become a preoccupation of contemporary culture. In the last decade, Hollywood made a 500-million-dollar bet on this idea with movies such as Multiplicity, Fight Club, eXistenZ, and Catch Me If You Can. Self reinvention marks the careers of Madonna, Ani DiFranco, Martha Stewart, and Robin Williams. The Nike ads of LeBron James, the experiments of New Age spirituality, the mores of contemporary teen culture, and the obsession with "extreme makeovers" are all examples of our culture's fixation with change. In a time marked by plenitude, transformation is one of the few things these parties have in common.
Although transformation is widely acknowledged as a defining characteristic of our culture, we have almost no studies on what it is or how it works. Transformations offers the first comprehensive and systematic view. It is an ethnography of the contemporary world.

C3 Principal Investigator Henry Jenkins even has a quote provided from the publisher for Grant's latest book: "A provocative, original, and thoughtful writer, someone who addresses topics that are central to our culture from a fresh vantage point, and someone who is willing to challenge orthodoxies--right, left, and center--which prevent theorists of other stripes from seeing what's in front of their eyes."

See the official site for the page at Indiana University Press here.

Also, see Grant's blog, where he wrote regularly about related topics while in the process of researching and writing his book.