Week 6: Active Participation For this final week.

Week 6: Active Participation

For this final week, you consider your individual role in the creation and consumption of popular culture. This week’s resources include an essay on George Lucas, his background, and the creation of a single scene in Revenge of the Sith, a movie in the Star Wars series. There is also a story about the opening of a tourist attraction titled The World of Coca-Cola, and a TED Talk featuring a personal story of what it is like to be the subject of popular culture.

These three resources help you place the personal in a global context and address questions such as whether society is responsible for shaping popular culture, or the distributors of modern popular culture are shaping society. Lastly, you consider how you can effect social change through interactions with popular culture creation, consumption, and critical analysis.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze personal relationship with popular culture
  • Reflect on the effect of studying modern popular culture on personal beliefs and values

Photo Credit: [gobyg]/[Digital Vision Vectors]/Getty Images

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Friedman, T. (1992). The world of The World of Coca Cola. Communication Research, 19(5), October 1992, 642–662.
This story from leading economist Thomas Friedman, describes his visit to the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. He examines the subtle ways that the Coca-Cola corporation positions their product as both local and international, while at the same time emphasizing the message that their trademarked product belongs to the public.

The World of The World of Coca Cola by Friedman, T., in Communication Research, Vol. 19/Issue 5. Copyright 1992 by Sage Publications, Inc. – Journals. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc. – Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Paglia, C. (2012). George Lucas’s force. In Glittering images: A journey through art from Egypt to Star Wars (pp. 181–190). London: Vintage. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Why-George-Lucas-Is-the/134942
Camille Paglia is a cultural and social critic. In this excerpt from her book Glittering Images, Paglia discusses the role of art in society. She asserts that George Lucas is one of the greatest artists of today. The reading discusses how Lucas’s storytelling gave rise to technological developments that extended far beyond the limits of movie making and ultimately were adopted by other industries. Using a specific scene from Revenge of the Sith, Paglia analyzes the use of color, music, technology, and storytelling and classifies the scene as great art.

The following websites may be helpful throughout this course by demonstrating ways of analyzing pop culture texts as artifacts.

Cultural Politics. (n.d.). Popular culture. Retrieved from http://culturalpolitics.net/popular_culture

Pop Matters. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.popmatters.com

USC Annenberg. (2014). Media, diversity, & social change initiative. Retrieved from http://annenberg.usc.edu/pages/DrStacyLSmithMDSCI#previousresearch

Required Media

TED2015. (2015, March 20). Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/monica_lewinsky_the_price_of_shame
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 13 minutes.
In this video, Philippe talks about the universality and importance of pop culture to society.

Discussion: Popular Culture, Individuality, and Global Reach

The United States often has been labeled a cultural imperialist* power because of the successful export of culture that is popular within the United States. American movies, television, and music can be seen and heard in most urban areas around the globe. Cultural imperialism sometimes is perceived as a form of bullying. Some countries, such as France, actively resist the prevalence of American culture and even enact laws and policies to protect native culture.

Large-scale distribution and consumption of culture raises the question of what role individuals play in supporting global distribution of popular culture. Is the shared experience more valuable than diversity of expression? Can a single person change popular culture? How does an individual protect his or her own values in a pop culture world?

This week, you consider your individual role in creating and consuming popular culture.

By Day 3

Post a 250-word response in which you address the following:

  • Describe a time when you were surprised by something that was considered popular but that was new to you. Analyze whether or not you consider yourself to be an active participant in popular culture. Explain your analysis.
  • If you could create a popular culture artifact and provide universal access to it, describe what message you might embed in this artifact or whether you would avoid any specific message. Explain your response.

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources.

By Day 5

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings that contain a perspective different from yours.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of your colleagues’ comments.

*Cultural imperialism is a term describing the imposition of one nation’s culture on another, usually less powerful, region or country. It is derived from the idea of political imperialism where a powerful nation controls a less powerful—economically or technologically—region.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 6 Discussion

Assignment: Reflection

To prepare:

  • Reflect on your Assignments from this course that culminated in your Final Project due in Week 5.
  • Consider the Instructor feedback you received on Assignments throughout this course.
  • Reflect on the Discussions you have had with your colleagues.
  • Reflect on the Learning Resources you have used throughout this course.

By Day 7

Submit a 500-word reflection paper in which you:

  • explore the ways in which you consume, react to, and engage with popular culture.
  • reflect on how studying popular culture has changed or reinforced your beliefs and values and whether or not your choices about popular culture will change.
  • discuss the extent to which your consumption of and attitude about popular culture may or may not change.
  • analyze how you might affect social change through popular culture creation, consumption, and critical analysis.

Support your assertions by making at least two references to the Learning Resources, using proper APA format.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK6Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Reflection Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 6 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK6Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Reflection Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:
Submit your Week 6 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Assignment:
Week 6 Assignment

Week in Review

In the final week you analyzed your personal relationship with popular culture and reflected on the effect of studying modern popular culture on personal beliefs and values.

Congratulations! After you have finished all of the assignments for this week, you have completed the course. Please submit your Course Evaluation by Day 7.

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