Popular Culture: Shaping How We Live

Course Code: CULT 228

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Frequently dismissed as fad or noise, popular culture is one of the most important socializing agents in our lives. This course will examine the media through which popular culture is transferred and created, the content of popular culture, the meanings of popular culture and the effect it has on the individual and society. Topics include the meaning of cultural texts such as movies, the meaning of the layout of a college campus, sameness and predictability in music and television, how online social networking and YouTube have transformed our lives, the liberating and oppressive possibilities of Girls Gone Wild and how ideas about race and gender are reproduced and maintained. In order to provide students with tools to be able to critically examine such familiar cultural artifacts, the ideas of several theorists, including Marx, Barthes, Zizkek, and others, will be examined and applied.