Below are a number of articles, readings, and projects that we’ll be discussing as we explore what contemporary American culture looks like. Introduction
- Excerpt from “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” by Horace Miner (PDF)
- Assignment: Fast Food Restaurant Analysis (Google Doc)
- Marketplace.org: The Supermarket Solution
- Chicago Tribune: Supermarket Science
- Assignment: Grocery Store Project (Google Doc)
- Newsweek: Culture of Corpulence
- NBC News: Cheap Food Blamed for Obesity Crisis
- Time Magazine: Supersized Boston Ambulance Makes Room For Obese Passengers
- The Pornification of a Generation (Google Doc) [log-in to Gmail, then click this link]
- The Rise of Raunch: What’s a Christian woman to do in today’s hypersexed culture?
Discussion Groups (POD) Assignment (Google Doc) Social Media
- CNN: 10 fascinating Facebook facts — and what they say about us
- New York Times: If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online
- Newsweek: Is the Web Driving Us Mad?
- US News and World Report: selfies: what parents and teens should know
- Christianity Today: Ice buckets, selfies, and how a culture of narcissism harms us
- Selfies Anonymous
- Reuters: Demand for plastic surgery increases in selfie era
- People: Heidi Montag Obsessed with Being “Perfect”
- USA Today: Cosmetic surgeries: What children will do to look ‘normal’
- Christianity Today: Sports Fanatics
- EMU: Examining our sports-obsessed culture
- HP: Has our sports culture gone overboard?
- U.S. Religious Landscape Survey
- The Weekly Standard: Hormonographics: Red states, blue states, and sex before marriage (Google Doc) [log-in to Gmail, then click this link]
- CNN: Are there dangers in being ‘spiritual but not religious’?
Lying and Cheating
- Newsweek: The Truth About Lying
- New York Times: Stuyvesant Students Describe the How and the Why of Cheating
- New York Times: Cheating Scandal Dulls Pride in Athletics at Harvard
- New York Times: A Move to Curb Digitally Altered Photos in Ads
- The Wall Street Journal: Body Image Is More Than Skin Deep
- CNN: Seventeen magazine vows not to alter images
- New York Times: Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill
- CNN: Study: 22 million Americans use illegal drugs
- Sports Illustrated: Steroids in America: The Real Dope
- WSJ: How the NFL Reflects American Culture
- Fox: Why the Super Bowl is a Uniquely American Event
- What This Year’s Super Bowl Ads Say About Our Culture – and Why It Matters
- The Billboard Hot 100
- Highest Grossing Movies of 2012
- TV.com: Most Popular TV Shows
- Washington Post: TV’s most watched shows of the 2011-2012 season
- Time Magazine: The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials of 2012
- Top Google searches of 2011
- NationMaster U.S statistics
- Time Magazine: The 2012 TIME 100 (Most Influential People)
- CVG: Best-selling Video Games of 2011
Other readings and links:
- Yahoo Movies: What ‘The Avengers’ Tells Us About American Masculinity
- Air1 Radio: Katniss and Her Friends
- PRI: What Starbucks says about America
- Marie Claire: Meet Generation Z
- Los Angeles Times: Teen ‘haulers’ become a fashion force
- Time Magazine: Adios, Juan and Juanita: Latin Names Trend Down
- New York Times: Study Reveals Changes Among Second-Generation Hispanics
- Time Magazine: Sex on TV Increases Teen Pregnancy, Says Report
- CNN: How to brand a disease — and sell a cure
- Newsweek: The Power of iPod
- CNN.com: Does life online give you ‘popcorn brain’?
- USA Today: Electronic glow affecting Americans’ sleep
- CNN.com: Extreme TV pushes the limits
- CNN.com: Apple triggers ‘religious’ reaction in fans’ brains, report says
- CNN.com: 40% of U.S. food wasted, report says
- THR: Beware the Dangers of Film’s Dark Side
- New York Times: A Studio With Violence in Its Bones
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWKXit_3rpQ
Does Culture Change?
Has our culture changed over time? If so, how did it change? Will our culture change in the future? If so, how? Characteristics of Generations (Google Doc) Grandparent Interview Assignment (Google Doc) The Greatest Generation, The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generations X, Y, & Z http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Zby_7ncK8 Culture and the Individual Assignment (Google Doc) Frontline: The Merchants of Cool Did You Know? “We are living in exponential times” (2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUMf7FWGdCw Did You Know 2010 Social Media Revolution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4gt62uAasE Past, Present, Future: How Does Culture Change? (Google Doc)
Does Culture Affect You?
Now that we’ve discussed culture’s influence, think about some of these questions?
- To what extent do I make my own decisions?
- To what extent are decisions made for me by others?
- To what extent am I a product of the culture around me?