CULTURE: An Owner's Manual

CULTURE: An Owner's Manual

CULTURE: An Owner's Manual is a newsletter covering pop culture and its hidden mechanics from W. David Marx — author of Status and Culture: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change and Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style.

Latest

Jan
31

Links on Culture - January 2023

Floppy Birkins, luxury in Korea, literal corporate rock and fashion, and waiting for the post-internet culture to drop Each month
4 min read
Jan
24

Is Cultural Change a Darwinian Process? No.

There is no need to shoehorn the complex process of cultural change into pre-existing biological theories, especially as Darwinism doesn't
5 min read
Jan
17

Why do we provide status to others?

We are logical to seek status to improve our lives. But our reason for granting higher status to others requires
3 min read
Dec
14

Rap Capital: Trap as 21st Century Culture

Joe Coscarelli's new book is essential reading on Atlanta's emergence as a major force in contemporary cultural production. But if
6 min read
Nov
22

Links on Culture - November 2022

Drake's daft Daft Punk, Moneyball culture, Third Eye Blind as cool, the other Gallagher brothers, and natural wine decline Once
6 min read
Oct
18

Links on Culture - October 2022

Restaurant reservations, preteen painters, cultural appropriation, and the end of the internet Once a month I analyze the latest culture-related
6 min read
Oct
05

The X of Generation X

Douglas Coupland's book Generation X ended up giving his demographic cohort a permanent name, but we shouldn't overlook the deeper
4 min read
Sep
27

Aesthetics are Everywhere... and They're Social Constructs

Virginia Postrel’s excellent The Substance of Style charts how aesthetics took over consumer society — but aesthetic conventions themselves always
4 min read
Sep
20

Links on Culture for September

Beer cooler status symbols, wet putty cars, and how #oldmoney isn't very Old Money The last few months have seen
4 min read
Sep
02

21st Century Culture: Boring or Static? (Or both?)

Whether the 21st century ecosystem of pop culture is suffering from stasis is a separate question from whether its output
5 min read