Laada M. Bilaniuk
Analysis of the forces that shape popular culture. Examination of the local meanings of global trends in music, clothing, and leisure activities through case studies around the world. Students learn ethnographic methods and conduct an original research project. Prerequisite: one 200-level ANTH course.
What does it mean for something to be cool, hip, or popular? Who, or what, controls what becomes popular? Why does it matter? In this course we will investigate these questions by examining the concept of popular culture. What is it? When did it emerge, and how does it relate to concepts such as folk culture, mass culture, and high culture? This course is meant to lead you to think critically about the forces that shape your everyday practices and tastes (especially in clothing, music, and leisure activities) and to become more aware of the global and local socioeconomic forces that shape these practices and tastes. Readings will include theory and case studies from around the world. Students will complete a research project on a relevant topic of their choosing.
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