Folklore & Folklife
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Center for Folklore and Ethnography
Graduate Program
Undergraduate Minor
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FOLK 137 401 Sociology of Media and Popular Culture

David Grazian
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday 1:00-2:00

Cross-listed with SOCIO 137

This course relies on a variety of sociological perspectives to examine the role of popular culture in contemporary life, with a particular emphasis on the inner workings of the American mass media industry and its power and influence both here and abroad, the relationship between cultural consumption and social identity, and the ritualistic qualities of everyday leisure activities, from game playing to music listening and fine dining. Specific course topics will include the rise of TV talk shows and reality-based programming; McDonald's and the global popularity of fast food; the marketing of Coca-Cola, Nike and Starbucks; the culture of designer drug use in the American rave scene; emergent issues concerning authenticity in hip-hop music; the role of women independent rock; the cultural reception of Hollywood westerns and harlequin romance novels; and the Disneyfication of the American city.

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