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Summary: This new popular culture reader encourages students to consider alternative and complex perspectives on the contemporary issues and concerns that affect them daily and to make critical connections between cultural events and contexts they might previously have considered unlinked. Edition/Copyright: 03
Organized around intriguing pairings of topics--fashion and spirituality, learning and lifestyles--that are central to contemporary culture, this provocative reader engages stude ...show morents because it focuses on the issues that most interest and trouble them. Pedagogical apparatus explores the interrelationships between related readings, and writing assignments investigate of the contexts of popular culture via printed texts and the World Wide Web. This critical, but engaging reader invites students to explore how we manufacture personal and group identities and conceptual categories and helps them recognize the part they play in the dynamic dialogue between the way culture frames our explanations about it--and the way our explanations produce the culture.
- Unique pairings of cultural studies topics facilitate surprising comparisons and contrasts between the themes in the pair--heroes/outsiders, fashion/spirituality, and healing/dying. Multiple positions are presented to encourage students to consider various perspectives and the contexts that surround the issues.
- Diverse readings representing a variety of genres include engaging, but meaningful pieces like, Barbara Ehrenreich, "Are Families Dangerous?," Nancy Mairs, "On Being a Cripple," Mimi Nguyen, "My Mulan: Pop Culture Saved My Life," Laurie Anderson, "Dazed and Bemused," and Malcolm Gladwell, "Listening to Khakis."
- Perspectives on race, class, gender, and sexuality permeate the readings in each section to explore the social construction of these basic elements of identity.
- Inclusion of literary texts and visual images from a variety of contemporary venues--ads, comics, zines, cartoons--add another dimension to the discussion and diversify the writing assignments.
- Outstanding pedagogical apparatus focuses on critical reading and writing strategies, including summarizing themes; contextualizing historical, social, and cultural contexts; establishing rhetorical strategies; evaluating logic and judging credibility; and identifying bias in the writer's intent and reader's reaction.
- Thorough coverage of active reading and writing in the first four chapters leads students through a process of asking and answering questions about the information they encounter in their everyday lives to arrive at a deeper understanding of cultural concepts and contexts.
- Introductions to each topic present the issues surrounding it, introduce the selections, and frame some general points for analysis, comparison, and contrast.
Publisher: Longman, Inc.