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Reading Culture: Contexts for Critical Reading and Writing, 7th Edition

By Diana George, John Trimbur

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jun 12, 2009


Acclaimed for its compelling readings and provocative images, Reading Culture provides outstanding instruction on how to read and write critically about the culture that surrounds us.

Table of Contents

(* indicates readings and visuals that are new to this edition)



Visual Resources

Alternate Contents



Chapter 1:  Analyzing Literacy Events

What Is Literacy?

     *Sylvia Scribner.  “Literacy in Three Metaphors.”

     Literacy Campaign Posters

Page to Screen:  Print Culture and Digital Media

     *Gunther Kress. from Literacy in the New Media Age.

     Words, Images, and the Design of the Page

     *“Chaos in the Crescent City.”

Literacy Narratives

     *Eudora Welty.  from One Writer’s Beginnings.

     *Malcolm X.  from Autobiography of Malcolm X.

     Conor Boyland.  “Confessions of an Instant Messenger.”

Analyzing Literacy Events

     *Shirley Brice Heath.  “Talk is the thing.”

     *Margaret J. Finders.  “Note-Passing: Struggles for Status.”

The Assignment:  Writing an Analysis of a Literacy Event

Sample Student Papers

     *Russell Kim.  “Petitioning the Powers.”

     *Valery Sheridan. “’Please, order whatever you want.  I insist’: Ordering Meals at the Burning Spear Country Club as a Literacy Event.”


Chapter 2:  Generations

Arlie Russell Hochschild, “Gen (Fill in the Blank): Coming of Age and Seeking an Identity”

Thomas Hine, “Goths in Tomorrowland”

*Pew Research Report, “A Portrait of ‘Generation Next’: How Young People View their Lives, Future, and Politics”

*Wyatt Mason, “My Satirical Self”

Making Connections:  Where Generations Meet

    *E.B. White, “Once More to the Lake”

    Gloria Naylor, “Kiswana Brown”

*Courtney E. Martin, “The Problem with Youth Activism”

Margaret Mead, “We Are All Third Generation”

VISUAL CULTURE–Representations of Youth Culture in Movies

    James Gilbert, “Juvenile Delinquency Films”

FILM CLIP–Hollywood Stars: Brando, Dean, and Monroe

FIELDWORK–Ethnographic Interviews

    Susan D. Craft, Daniel Cavicchi, and Charles Keil, “My Music”



Chapter 3:  Schooling

Theodore Sizer.  “What High School Is.”

*Jean Anyon.  “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.”

*Visual Essay:  Analyzing College Viewbooks.

Making Connections:  Memories of Home and School.

     *Richard Rodriguez.  “The Achievement of Desire.”

     Min-Zhan Lu.  “From Silence to Words: Writing as Struggle.”

*Jane Jacobs.  “Credentialing vs. Educating.”

June Jordan.  “Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan.”

Visual Culture: Picturing Schooldays.

Film Clip:  Reading and Writing about Film:  Reviews, Histories, Criticism.

Fieldwork:  Classroom Observations

      “Cross-Curricular Underlife”

Mining the Archive:  Textbooks from the Past


Chapter 4:   Images

Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen, “In the Shadow of the Image”

Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, “When You Meet Estella Smart, You Been Met!”

Suggestions for Reading Advertising


    *John Berger, “Ways of Seeing”

    *Richard Leppert, “The Female Nude: Surfaces of Desire”

Visual Essay: Reading the Gaze: Gender Roles in Advertising *(new visuals)

Visual Essay: Public Health Messages

*Suggestions for Creating Print Ads from Adbusters  

*Philip Gefter, “Icons: Fact, Fiction, or Metaphor?”

Visual Essay: Rewriting the Image

*Film Clip: Camera Work: Optical Point-of-View

    Camera Work and Editing: Some Useful Terms

Fieldwork: Taking Inventory

Mining the Archive: Advertising Through the Ages


Chapter 5:  Style

Dick Hebdige.  “Style in Revolt: Revolting Style.”

Visual Essay: Graphic Design in Rock Culture

*Ariel Levy.  “Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.”

Making Connections:  Theme Parties

    Mark Lawson.  “The Very Nasty Party.”

     Shana Pearlman.  “Mistaken Identity: The Peril of Theme Parties.”

*Visual Essay: Street Fashion(Lolo Veleko)

*Making Connections: Geek Culture

    *David Brooks.  “The Alpha Geeks.”

    *Benjamin Nugent.  “Who’s a Nerd, Anyway?”

    *Adam Rogers.  “Geek Love.”

Rob Walker. “Aura.”

*Visual Essay:  Reading Labels, Selling Water.

Film Clip: Makeup and Costumes: Monsters and the Middle Ages.

Mining the Archive:  Race and Branding.


Chapter 6:  Public Space

Tina McElroy Ansa, “The Center of the Universe”

*Barry Lopez, “Caring for the Woods”

John Fiske, “Shopping for Pleasure: Malls, Power, and Resistance”

*Mike Davis, “Fortress Los Angeles”

Eva Sperling Cockroft and Holly Barnet-Sánchez, “Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals”

*Visual Essay: Graffiti Politics–Claiming Interpretive Space

Banksy, “Wall and Piece”

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Public Roadsides, Private Grief

    L. Anne Newell, “Roadside Crosses: Centuries-Old Tradition Can Stir Controversy”

    Jeff Burlew, “Memorials Cause Controversy”

Visual Culture: The Troubled Landscape

Jason Berry and Richard Misrach, “Cancer Alley: The Poisoning of the American South”

Film Clip: Analyzing Set Design: Cities in Decay

Fieldwork: Observing the Uses of Public Space

Mining the Archive: Take a Walking Tour


Chapter 7:   Storytelling

Patricia Hampl, “Red Sky in the Morning”


    Jan Harold Brunvand, “’The Hook’ and Other Teenage Horrors”

    Patricia A. Turner, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine

*Henry Jenkins, “Why Heather Can Write”

*David Itzkoff, “The Shootout Over Hidden Meanings in Video Games”

Robert Warshow, The Gangster as Tragic Hero

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Film Reviews: The Case of Hancock

    *Manohla Dargis, “Able to Leap Tall Buildings, Even if Hungover”

    *David Denby, “Desperate Men”

Visual Culture: The Graphic Novel: Reader Participation

Marjane Satrapi, “The Veil”

Film Clip: The Art of Adaptation

Fieldwork: Writing a Questionnaire

Mining the Archive:  Comic Strips and Comic Books


Chapter 8:  Work

Sandra Cisneros, “The First Job”

Tillie Olson, “I Stand Here Ironing”

*Stacy Schiff, “Our Little Women Problem”

Martín Espada, “Alabanza”

*Visual Essay:  Working Class Heroes

    *Dulce Pinzón, “The Real Story of the Superheroes”

MAKING CONNECTIONS:  Offshoring the Great American Dream

    Thomas L. Friedman, “The Great Indian Dream”

    David Moberg, “High Tech Hi-Jack”

*Steven Greenhouse, “Worked and Overworked”

Visual Culture: Reading Documentary Photography

    Charles Bowden, “Camera of Dirt”

Film Clip: Film Documentary and the Role of the Narrator

Fieldwork: Restructuring the Network of a Workplace

    James P. Spradley and Brenda J. Mann, “The Cocktail Waitress”

Mining the Archive: Lewis Hine and the Social Uses of Photography


Chapter 9:  History

Mary Gordon.  “More Than Just a Shrine: Paying Homage to the Ghosts of Ellis Island.”

*Kristen Ann Hass.  “Making a Memory of War: Building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.”

Alan Trachtenberg.  “Reading American Photographs.”

*Visual Essay:  American Photographs.

Jane Tompkins.  “’Indians’:  Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History.”

Christopher Phillips.  “Necessary Fictions: Warren Neidach’s Early American Cover-Ups.”

Visual Essay:  Warren Neidach, Contra Curtis:  Early American Cover-Ups.

*Making Connections:  Two Speeches on Race and Racism in the United States.

     *Frederick Douglass.  “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

     *Barack Obama.  “A More Perfect Union.”

Visual Culture:  Representations of War.

     Marita Sturken.  “The Television Image: The Immediate and the Virtual.”

     Visual Essay:  The Iraq War and Occupation.”

Film Clips:  Film Genres:  The Western.

Fieldwork:  Oral History

     Studs Terkel.  “The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two.”

Mining the Archive:  Local Museum and Historical Societies.


Chapter 10:  Living in a Transnational World

Amitava Kumar.  Passport Photos.

Making Connections:  Colonized and Colonizer

Jamaica Kincaid.  “Columbus in Chains.”

*George Orwell.  “Shooting an Elephant.”

Gloria Anzaldua.  “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.”

*Mary Louise Pratt.  “Arts of the Contact Zone”

Photos: Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena, “Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West”

Samuel Fosso, “Le chef qui a vendu l’Afrique aux colons.”

Laura Auricchio.  “Works in Translation: Ghada Amer’s Hybrid Pleasures.”

*Inderpal Gerwal.  “Traveling Barbie.”

Visual Culture:  Transnational Solidarity.

Film Clips:  Bollywood.

Mining the Archive:  19th-Century Orientalism.




Additional Course Materials

Argument: A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-232358-1

$44.80 $42.56 | Add to Cart

Literacy Library Series: Academic Literacy, 2nd Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0-321-18319-4

$46.60 $44.27 | Add to Cart

Literature: A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader, 3rd Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-156579-1

$44.80 $42.56 | Add to Cart

Patterns: A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-225068-9

$44.80 $42.56 | Add to Cart


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