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  • Date :
  • 12/22/2004

Good Taste: How What You Choose Defines Who You Are

Peter Trifonas

Effie Balemenos

What do professional wrestling; Pot Noodle and Feng Shui have in common? Well, not much – but they all appear in this book.

Critic and cultural philosopher Peter Trifonas and art historian Effie Balomenos explore the curious concept of good – and bad – taste. At once an absurd and yet entirely everyday concept, taste defines us. Our choices, from the most personal (our friends or lovers) to the most general (our politics), are all partly dependent on it.

But where does taste come from? Is there a true standard of taste? Are we slaves to the cruel whims of fashion? Who’s in control?

Good Taste is an enthralling exploration of the cultural history of an idea. In this enticing book – divided into chapters exploring cultural artefacts of absolutely all kinds – Trifonas and Balomenos warn: you are what you choose!

Highlights include: TV chefs · Ozzy Osbourne and Reality TV · The 70s fashion conspiracy · Disney · Madonna · Lamborghini · The history of cleavage · High heels · Elvis · Body piercing · Hip-hop · Oprah Winfrey · Ageing rock bands · Turn-ups · Harry Potter · Fake tans and much, much more...

Peter Trifonas is a cultural critic and philosopher, based at OISE University in Toronto, Canada. His previous books for Icon includeUmberto Eco and Football.

Introducing Sociology - new look!Richard OsbourneBorin Van Loon

What is sociology? Simply, it is the study of how society functions, or in some cases, does not function. Various competing schools of sociology have attempted to fit observations of social phenomena into different conceptual systems.

Introducing Sociology traces the origins of these systems from Enlightenment thought and the pioneering work of Auguste Comte to subsequent developments in Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. The rapid expansion of sociology in 20th-century America and Britain, the post-World War II dominance of Talcott Parsons, the Chicago School and the rise of Structuralism are brilliantly outlined in a clear, graphic form. The book also examines the array of concepts and methods of research that have been applied to the study of society by the key analysts.

This book is essential reading for students of the subject and for anyone interested in understanding the functioning of society.

Foucault and Queer TheoryTamsin Spargo


Michel Foucault is the most gossiped-about celebrity of modern French theory. The homophobic insult "queer" is now proudly reclaimed by some who once called themselves lesbian or gay. What is the connection between the two? This is a postmodern encounter between Foucault's theories of sexuality, power and discourse and the current key exponents of queer thinking who have adopted, revised and criticised Foucault. Our understanding of gender, identity, sexuality and cultural politics will be radically altered in this meeting of transgressive figures.

Foucault and Queer Theory excels as a brief introduction to Foucault's compelling ideas and the development of queer culture with its own outspoken views on heteronormativity, sado-masochism, performativity, transgender, the end of gender, liberation-versus-difference, late capitalism and the impact of AIDS on theories and practices.

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