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Common Culture, 7th Edition

By Michael F. Petracca, Madeleine Sorapure

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 22, 2011


This popular culture reader helps students develop critical and analytical skills and write clear prose while immersing themselves in subjects they find interesting: advertising, television, popular music, technology, sports, and movies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Reading and Writing About American Popular Culture

    What Is Popular Culture?

    Why Study Popular Culture?

    Active Reading

        “Barbie’s Shoes,” Hilary Tham

        “Seen Through Rose-Tinted Glasses”: The Barbie Doll in American Society, Marilyn Ferris Motz   

    Reading Images

    The Writing Process

    Sample Student Essay

        “Role-Model Barbie: Now and Forever,” Carolyn Muhlstein


Chapter 2: Advertising

    Approaches to Advertising

        “The Cult You’re In,” Kalle Lasn 

        “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals,” Jib Fowles

         “How Advertising Informs to Our Benefit,” John E. Calfee

        *“Jesus is a brand of jeans,” Jean Kilbourne

    *The Future of Advertising

        *“Interview with Mark Crispin Miller”

        *“The Post Advertising Age,” Bob Garfield

        *“The Brain: Marketing To Your Mind,” Alice Park


Chapter 3: Television

    The Culture Influences of Television

        *“Society's Storyteller: How TV Creates the Myths by which we Live,” George Gerbner

         “Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor,” Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

         “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” Steven Johnson

         “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus,” Clay Shirkey


        “Losing Our Religion,” Russell Peterson

         “Amusing Ourselves to Death with Television News: Jon Stewart, Neil Postman, and the Huxleyan Warning,” Gerald J. Erion

         “’Fake’ News versus ‘Real’ News as Sources of Political Information: The Daily Show and Postmodern Political Reality,” Jeffrey P. Jones


Chapter 4: Music 

        “Is Hip-Hop Dead? 5 Things That Killed Hip-Hop, ”J-Zone

        *“Word: Jay-Z's Decoded and the language of hip-hop,” Kelefa Sanneh

        *”The Year Hip-Hop Invented Sex,” Megan Carpentier

         “The Miseducation of Hip-Hop,” Evelyn Jamilah

    Music and Contemporary Culture

         "The Money Note: Can the Record Business Be Saved?" John Seabrook

         *“How to Save the Music Business,” Paul McGuiness

         "Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll: Urban Legends and Popular Music, Ian Inglis


 Chapter 5: Technology

        *“Engine of Liberation,” John Steele Gordon

         “The Judgment of Thamus,” Neil Postman

    *Our Computers, Ourselves 

        “Beyond Borders,” Robert Samuels

         *“The Data-Driven Life,” Gary Wolf

         *“Is Google Making Us Stupid,” Nicholas Carr

         *“Meet your iBrain,” Gary Small & Gigi Vorgan


 Chapter 6: Sports

    Sport and Society

         *”The Roar of the Crowd,” David P. Barash

         “Life on the Edge,” William Dowell and the Editors of Time Magazine.

         “Fixing Kids’ Sports,” Peter Cary, Randy Dotinga, and Avery Comarow.

         *“Confessions of an Agent,” Josh Luchs, Josh, George Dohrmann, and David Epstein

         “Champion of the World,” Maya Angelou

    *Football: a gridiron case study

         *“The Boy Who Died of Football,” Thomas Lake

         *“Does Football Have a Future?” Ben McGrath

         "The Unbeautiful Game," Adam Gopnik


Chapter 7: Movies 

    Film and American Culture

         “The Way We Are,” Sydney Pollack

         “Fight Club: A Ritual Cure for the Spiritual Ailment of American Masculinity,” Jethro Rothe-Kushel

         *“From Chick Flicks to Millennial Blockbusters: Spinning Female-Driven Narratives into Franchises,” Ashley Elaine York

         “Raising the Dead,” Kyle Bishop

    Two Contemporary Filmmakers

         “A Fine Romance,” David Denby   

         “Freaks, Geeks, and Mensches,” Alex Wainer

         *“Mama’s Gun,” Hilton Als

         *“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Madea?” Benjamin: Svetkey, Margeaux Watson, and Alynda Wheat




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