SOC 308 • Culture and Society in the US
This course will explore the various ways in which meanings and values are socially embedded in the U.S. Though power dynamics become evident in materialist analyses of income inequality, education rates, etc., the belief systems that buttress these realities are often left under-examined. Ideologies of race, class, gender, and nationalism are not free floating; they are instead constitutive of a wide array of cultural representations. This class will examine cultural representations in the U.S. from whiteness in country music to norms of masculinity in the medicalization of Viagra to explore what culture is and why it matters.
Themes that will be examined include: cultural ideologies and media; ideologies and pop culture; the uses of culture in everyday life; and the cultural constructions and reproductions of race, class, gender and sexuality.
3 Exams 30% each
3 Reflections papers 2-3pp. 2% each
Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman, The Social Construction of Reality
Stuart Hall, Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, Eds. Morley and Chen
Juliet Schor, Born to Buy
Susan Bordo, Unbearable Weight
Meika Loe, The Rise of Viagra