Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania. Edited by Jeremy A. Murray and Kathleen M. Nadeau. Entertainment and Society Around the World. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2016. 444 pages. Acid free $97 (ISBN 978-1-4408-3990-0). E-book available (978-1-4408-3991-7), call for pricing.

Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania provides readers with a broad but surprisingly detailed overview of popular culture in Asia (excluding the Middle East), Australia, and New Zealand. Though the geographic focus of coverage may be somewhat narrow, the forms of pop culture covered in the single volume are quite varied and reveal a rich cultural tapestry that may be unfamiliar to many Western readers. Pop culture is of course intended for mass consumption, and the mediums and entertainments covered in Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania reflect that intent. They include: popular music, books and contemporary literature, film, television, radio, Internet and social media, sports, video games, fashion, and couture. Within each of these fields, readers will find in-depth articles on a wide range of specific art forms and genres. For instance, the literature chapter offers entries ranging from the esoteric Dalit literature of India to the more familiar Japanese manga (comics). Each chapter opens with a broad introduction that provides an overview of the particular art form or pastime.

Although the volume is quite broad in scope and the entries often brief, the authors manage to provide surprisingly thorough discussions about their topics, covering notable individual artists and personalities as well as the broader societal impact pop culture has made in specific regions. This reviewer found no comparable reference works to Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania. While there are many resources that provide more in-depth coverage of specific pop culture mediums such as manga, television, and cinema, this title will serve as a useful starting point for researchers. Readers seeking additional sources of information will be well served by the further-reading recommendations that conclude each entry. Libraries that purchase Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania may also want to consult the further-reading sections for additional resources that would strengthen collections in the pop culture field.

This title is recommended for public, K–12, and academic libraries with the condition that libraries supporting more advanced research should consider purchasing additional titles from the further-reading sections.—Edward Whatley, Instruction and Research Services Librarian, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, Georgia


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