Notes on Hype

Devon Powers


This article provides a series of notes that define, describe, and theorize the concept of hype as a pertinent one for the field of media and communication studies. I argue that hype helps to explain a common and powerful dynamic of cultural circulation that is, increasingly, a feature of our contemporary, digitized, promotional culture. Hype also well expresses the cynicism and backlash that are indigenous to this communication environment, and its consideration is a necessary step toward explaining and contending with this environment. I draw examples of hype primarily from the world of entertainment and popular culture, with specific attention to popular music.

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