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SOC 340

Sociology of Popular Culture

This course examines what is commonly referred to as popular culture. Of course, popular culture can constitute any number of aspects including, art, soap operas, comic books, sports, music, the clothes we wear, movies we see, the media, and the foods we eat, among other things. We will begin the course defining and dissecting popular culture from a sociological perspective. We will explore whether popular culture is high brow or low brow and who has the power to classify it as such. Also, we will address whether popular culture is created by and for the people, or whether it is created by a dominant or elite group that imposes their will on the masses. Who are the producers and consumers of popular culture? Are they one in the same? Along the way we will examine how various disciplines or groups such as Cultural Studies or the Production of Cultural Studies view and explain popular culture. Finally, no sociology course is complete without exploring how various theorists and theories, such as Marxism, Feminism, or Gramsci's idea of hegemony illuminate our understanding of popular culture.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course