For this paper, I want you to interrogate American culture through examining the American media. There are many ways in which you can accomplish this. You may choose to read local newspapers, you may decide to watch popular television shows, talk shows, or commercials, or, you may wish to read a popular magazine such as “Discover Magazine,” “People Magazine,” “Sports Illustrated,” “Cosmopolitan, etc.” (These are simply suggestions; you should choose publications or TV shows you like or take some other, similar, approach).
What I would like you to do is to pretend that you are an anthropologist, who is an outsider, studying the culture to which the television shows or magazines, etc. are addressed. In order to get full credit for this assignment, you should:
1) Describe the media you are using in this assignment. What is the type of media? Describe it.
2) What cultural group(s) is/are being targeted by that media?
3) Is the same cultural group(s) responsible for creating that media? Why do you think so?
4) What do you notice about the culture in question that seems odd to you? (Remember you are supposed to be an outsider.)
5) What is important to the culture in question that would be important to ANY cultural group? (That is: are there universal themes in the media you examined that all cultural groups care about?)
As an example of what I am looking for, you may read “Glamour Magazine” and conclude that the cultural group being targeted is American. But, take it a step further – American women?, Ages?, Middle class?, College educated?, Religious affiliations? Furthermore, what is it that surprises you, as an outsider, by experiencing this culture through the media? Does “Glamour” talk more about sex or make-up than it does sports and world news? What does this mean about the audience for which it is intended?
In each paper, you will be paraphrasing or directly quoting from various sources; therefore, you will need to use APA-formatting with in-text citations and full references in order to give your sources proper credit, otherwise it is plagiarism Additionally, you must submit your each of your papers to www.turnitin.com and provide me with a report for each paper.
Your papers should be typed, double-spaced, with 1″ margins in Arial or Times New Roman 11 pt font, and saved as .doc.
Social scientists, including anthropologists, often debate whether the media reflects a society or culture or whether a society or culture reflects the media. Regardless of the position you take in this debate, it is a fact that a cultural anthropologist can learn a tremendous amount of information about a cultural group by examining the various media produced by and for that culture.
Be sure to use your textbook, lecture notes, and at least two outside sources (one needs to be a scholarly, peer-reviewed source such as a journal article) in order to frame your responses to the above questions.