Unit 2 assessment – theories of popular culture

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Instructions

Analyze: Theories of Popular Culture

Evaluation Title: Theories of Popular Culture

For this assignment, you will provide a detailed discussion of a theory of pop culture and provide a critical discussion of this theory. The purpose of this assignment is to help you hone your critical thinking skills. You will provide exposition and criticism of a theory of pop culture. You may choose either Mass Cultural Theory or Critical Theory.

Your essay should include some discussion of the following questions:

1. What or who determines popular culture? Where does popular culture come from? Does it emerge from the people themselves as an autonomous expression of their interests and modes of experience, or is it imposed from above by those in positions of power as a type of social control?

2. Describe how commercialization and industrialization influence popular culture. Does reducing culture to commodity mean that the criteria of profitability and marketability take precedence over quality, artistry, integrity, and intellectual challenge? Or does it result in a universal market where what is popular actually corresponds to what people want and think is valuable? Do marketability and profitability actually produce quality art or does it only benefit business interests?

3. Is popular culture used to control and indoctrinate the people? Is it used to get people to accept and adhere to ideas and values which will ensure the continued dominance of a particular elite and allow them to exercise power over them? Or is popular culture about rebellion and opposition to the prevailing social order? Is a pop culture a spontaneous genuine burst of creativity or is it just a means through which a dominant group exercises control of society?

4. After you provide an accurate account of one of these theories of pop culture, you should then review the strengths and weaknesses of the theory. Can you identify some objections to the theory? You can research objections, but you need to consult reputable sources.

Specifications: 

Submit a 1000-1200 word essay addressing the questions above. 

In your essay:

  • Be sure to structure your essay with an introduction paragraph that includes a thesis statement, well-organized supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion that reiterates the main points of your argument. 
  • Your argument should be supported by reputable research cited in APA format both in the body of the paper and in your references section.

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