Discuss whether has popular culture representations of gender and sexuality pushed the issue forward?
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Week 2: AudienceLast week you discussed a popular culture artifact and selected two artifacts for your Final Project in the Final Project Worksheet. This week you consider what it means for culture to be popular. How does popular culture become popular? How does it find its audience, or how does the audience find it? Does an audience change over time, or even disappear? If so, why?There are several popular culture artifacts that have been popular for a long time. For example, the Beatles’ music was incredibly popular when first released, but it also has stood the test of time, because many of their songs remain popular.Some popular culture artifacts fade in and out of popularity. Some examples might be flare leg jeans, trilby hats, or oversize glasses. Certain fashions become popular, then fade away and come back into fashion at a later date. Why is this? What does this say about society?This week you consider how popular culture finds an audience and whether an unexpected audience can turn an ordinary artifact into something popular.Learning ObjectivesStudents will:Analyze the relationship between popular culture and its audienceLearning ResourcesRequired ReadingsMenand, L. (2015, January 5). Pulp’s big moment: How Emily Brontë met Mickey Spillane. The New Yorker, 90(42), 62–69.This article discusses how literature classics were repackaged to appeal to a broader audience primarily through the use of cover art and cheap production costs.Snider, M. (2014, March 13). Streaming makes rock royalty now: Grammy winner Lorde first made a big splash via digital streaming. USA Today.This article details how Lorde found an international audience despite being a virtual unknown outside of New Zealand.Tschorn, A. (2014, May 27). ‘Normcore’ becomes fashionable, yet unclear. The Journal – Gazette.Normcore is a reaction to fashion trends. Advocates dress in ‘nothing special.’ It is a conflation of the terms normal and hardcore. In the process of reacting to fashion trends, ‘normcore’ has become a trend itself.Watson, M. (2011, April 27). How can the Mona Lisa compete with a copy made from toast? New Statesman, 140(5050), 97.The author offers humorous opinions on art and culture. He cites an exhibition of Egyptian antiquities he attended in Melbourne, Australia, as an example of a phenomenon in which viewers find many of the world’s most spectacular works of art less impressive than they otherwise might thanks to the prevalence of reproductions in popular culture.The following websites may be helpful throughout this course by demonstrating ways of analyzing pop culture texts as artifacts.Critical Media Project. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://criticalmediaproject.org/Pop Matters. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.popmatters.comUSC Annenberg. (2014). Media, diversity, & social change initiative. Retrieved from http://annenberg.usc.edu/pages/DrStacyLSmithMDSCI#previousresearchRequired MediaTEDYouth 2011. (2011, February 27). Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_allocca_why_videos_go_viralNote: The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.This talk by Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager, identifies how and when videos “go viral”—that is, become ragingly popular.Optional ResourcesRace/EthnicityAlridge, D. P. (2005). From civil rights to hip hop: toward a nexus of ideas. Journal of African American History, 90(3), 226–252.Baldwin, J. (1984). Stranger in the village. In Notes of a native son (pp. 159–175). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. (Original work published 1955)Frere-Jones, S. (2010). Blacklisted. New Yorker, 86(37). 136–137.Gotanda, N. (2009). Computer games, racial pleasure, and discursive racial spaces. Albany Law Review, 72(4), 929–937.Menéndez Alarcón, A. V. (2014). Latin American culture: A deconstruction of stereotypes. Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 3272–3296.Rubie-Davies, C. M., Liu, S., & Lee, K. (2013). Watching each other: Portrayals of gender and ethnicity in television advertisements. Journal of Social Psychology, 153(2), 175–195.Sexuality/GenderFrere-Jones, S. (2010). Blacklisted. New Yorker, 86(37), 136–137.Gn, J. (2011). Queer simulation: The practice, performance and pleasure of cosplay. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 25(4), 583–593.Jackson, S. (1991). The Lottery. In The Lottery and Other Stories. New York, NY: Farrar, 291–302.Ouellette, L. (1999). Inventing the Cosmo Girl: Class identity and girl-style American dreams. Media, Culture & Society, 21(3), 359–383.Ronson, M. [MarkRonsonVEVO]. (2014, November 19). Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbXqD0Rubie-Davies, C. M., Liu, S., & Lee, K. (2013). Watching each other: Portrayals of gender and ethnicity in television advertisements. Journal of Social Psychology, 153(2), 175–195.Siegel, L. (2013, December 7). America the vulgar. Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition, C1–C2.Social and Economic ClassAlexie, S. (2011). Superman and Me. In The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues Across the Disciplines (11th ed.). Ed. Gilbert H. Muller. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 580–583.Byrne, K. (2014). Adapting heritage: Class and conservatism in Downton Abbey. Rethinking History, 18(3), 311–327.Goddard, P. (2008, January 5). Arts study a culture shock: Forget class versus trash, the elite versus the masses [Blog post]. The Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/2008/01/05/arts_study_a_culture_shock.htmlHarrison, L. M. (2010). Factory music: How the industrial geography and working-class environment of post-war Birmingham fostered the birth of heavy metal. Journal of Social History, 44(1), 145–158.Menéndez Alarcón, A. V. (2014). Latin American culture: A deconstruction of stereotypes. Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 3272–3296.Ouellette, L. (1999). Inventing the Cosmo Girl: Class identity and girl-style American dreams. Media Culture & Society, 21(3), 359–383.ViolenceAmerican Academy of Pediatrics. (2009). Policy statement—Media violence. Pediatrics, 124(5). Retrieved from https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/124/5/1495.full.pdfCieply, M., & Barnes, B. (2014, July 27). ‘Rule followers’ flock to a convention where fake violence reigns. New York Times, 14–17.Jackson, S. (1991). The Lottery. In The Lottery and Other Stories. New York, NY: Farrar, 291–302.Maloney, D. (2014). The violence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is actually good for teens [Blog post]. Wired. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/11/mockingjay-violence-teensSchechter, H. (1996). A short, corrective history of violence in popular culture. New York Times Magazine, 145(50481), 32.Indecency/Free SpeechKreps, D. (2014, January 30). Nipple ripples: 10 years of fallout from Janet Jackson’s halftime show. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/nipple-ripples-10-years-of-fallout-from-janet-jacksons-halftime-show-20140130Petersen, J. (2007). Freedom of expression as liberal fantasy: The debate over The People vs. Larry Flynt. Media, Culture & Society, 29(3), 377–394Rich, F. (2005, March 13). The greatest dirty joke ever told. New York Times, 1–20.Siegel, L. (2013, December 7). America the vulgar. Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition, C1–C2.Totenberg, N. (2014, December 1). Is a threat posted on Facebook really a threat? NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2014/12/01/ 366534452/is-a-threat-posted-on-facebook-really-a-threatDiscussion: Audience: Affects and EffectsDoes popular culture change how society views an idea? Or does popular culture reinforce dominant ideas, thereby slowing the pace of change?This week’s Discussion is broken into various threads, each of which focuses on a specific social issue. Your main post should be in the thread that corresponds to the artifact you have chosen for your Final Project. This will allow you to get a good start on your research. However, feel free to respond to classmates in any thread that interests you. Reading about how others approach their selected issues can inspire new ways to think about your own.To prepare, read through this week’s Learning Resources.Discussion Prompts for Each Thread:Gender/SexualityPopular culture has played a significant role in how gender and sexuality have been viewed over time. The term gender refers to masculine and feminine and includes transgender issues. The termsexuality refers to relations between people, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.One significant popular culture sexuality moment occurred when the title character on the TV showEllen, Ellen Morgan, played by Ellen DeGeneres, came out in a 1997 broadcast as gay. She became the first openly lesbian actress playing an openly lesbian character. Several other TV shows today include openly homosexual characters.Consider how audiences over time have received TV representations of gender and sexuality. Have popular culture representations of gender and sexuality pushed the issue forward? Or have they reinforced dominant ideas of what is “normal” and thereby slowed down society’s acceptance of a broader understanding of gender and sexuality?RacePopular culture has played a significant role in how race has been viewed over time. Different races and ethnicities have frequently been portrayed as stereotypes.Popular culture can have a profound effect on how an audience views racial issues. For example, The Cosby Show, which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992, was the first time that a successful U.S. television show had portrayed an African-American family as upper middle class.One of the show’s premises was that it did not deal primarily with race issues. Although themes such as the Civil Rights Movement and African-American art and music were present, it was the representation of an African-American family as professionals with the same family issues as white American families that shifted perceptions of race. What about Latin Americans and South Americans? What about Romani, sometimes referred to as “travelers” or “traveling communities”?Have popular culture representations of race and ethnicity pushed the issue of equality forward? Or have they reinforced stereotypical ideas of race, thereby slowing down society’s acceptance of a broader understanding of racial and ethnic equality?ClassPopular culture has had a significant influence on how social and economic class have been viewed over time. Some consider the United States to be a classless society. After all, the U.S. does not have an obvious aristocracy.Several myths exist about social and economic class, including the American Dream: the idea that anyone can get rich, or be famous, through hard work alone. A well-known rags-to-riches tale is the Cinderella story, in which a wealthy romantic partner rescues the main character and lifts her from a hard life into a higher social and economic class. Most cultures around the world have a version of this tale.Consider how audiences have received such representations of social and economic class. Have popular culture representations of social and economic wealth slowed down society’s engagement with economic and social issues? Does the perpetuation of the myth that anyone can succeed through hard work prevent society from addressing issues of poverty?Violence/Indecency/Free SpeechPopular culture frequently has been accused of being too explicit, showing too much violence, pushing the boundaries of acceptable language, and displaying excessive nudity. A watershed moment in American television history is the infamous half-time performance at the Super Bowl in 2004 in which Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were performing. During the performance, a brief wardrobe malfunction occurred when Timberlake accidentally moved the fabric covering Jackson’s breast. While Jackson’s nipple was not exposed, most viewers believed it had been. This led to a crackdown by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the governmental body in charge of indecency on the public airwaves. The incident has been described as both an important moment for maintaining decency on the airwaves and so trivial as not to deserve comment.Consider how audiences have perceived indecent or violent behavior within popular culture. Have popular culture representations of violence or indecency pushed boundaries? Or have they reinforced societal ideas of what is appropriate?