American Popular Culture

The purpose of this assignment is to critically watch and review a movie with popular culture themes/symbols in terms of the

sociological perspective and cultural theories.

Many say art imitates life, and we see a reflection of our society and its values in art and entertainment. Others say life imitates

are many of our behaviors and values are modeled after what we see in art and entertainment. Either way, you will find examples of

popular culture in the movies.

See attached document for a detailed assignment description.

Assignment 1 meets the following course objectives:

Compare and contrast culture, popular, high culture, elite culture, mass culture, low culture, subculture and counterculture.
Describe examples of the different types of norms operative in popular culture, and how these are related to the process of social

control.
Apply key cultural theories and analytical dimensions for examining popular culture.
Explain how various elements of popular culture inform or reflect our attitudes, behavior, and society and why the popular culture

becomes popular.
Illustrate diversity in popular culture and concepts of multiculturalism, ethnocentrism, and cultural relativism with reference to

key stratifying factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, region and sexuality.
Analyze culture within individual, social, historical, political, economic, and global contexts.
Describe the cultural and social significance of popular culture in shaping the larger contemporary American society.
Examine the roles of print media, art, music, radio, television, motion picture, the Internet, sports, fashion, and technology in

the development of American popular culture.

https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/attachment/312464/Assignments/0636c5ae-af0a-4fd6-a910-326b0d84abaf/SOCI220%20Assignment

%201%20Movie%20and%20Rubric.doc
American Public University System
Assignment 1: Movie Review
Submit the assignment under Assignments.

The purpose of this assignment is to critically watch and review a movie with popular culture themes/symbols in terms of the

sociological perspective and cultural theories.

Many say art imitates life, and we see a reflection of our society and its values in art and entertainment. Others say life imitates

are many of our behaviors and values are modeled after what we see in art and entertainment. Either way, you will find examples of

popular culture in the movies.

1) Select a movie: For this assignment, you will need to select one movie. Even if it is a movie you have seen before, you need to

re-watch the movie with a critical eye towards the social construction of reality and illustrations of other sociological/cultural

concepts.

Suggested Movie Options:
Hotel Rwanda Brazil Million Dollar Baby
Office Space Gandhi Boys Don’t Cry
The Village Cape Fear (deNiro version) Mystic River
Last Samurai Mothman Prophecies Traffic
The Wall Glory Stepford Wives
Pretty in Pink Hoop Dreams The Terminal
The Breakfast Club It’s a Wonderful Life Bowling for Columbine
Grapes of Wrath Pretty Woman The Hours
To Kill a Mockingbird Citizen Kane Cabin Fever
Clockwork Orange Fight Club Radio
Crash Nosferatu Titanic
The Gods Must be Crazy Taxi Driver Coming to America
American History X Roger & Me Fight Club
Inherit the Wind Dead Poet’s Society Mona Lisa’s Smile
Bullworth Life is Beautiful American Beauty
Lord of the Flies The Truman Show The Matrix
With Honors Affluenza Erin Brokovich
Working Girl Risky Business Baby Boom
Rain Man Philadelphia Dogma
Chocolat Parenthood Shawshank Redemption
Last Castle Witness Meet Joe Black

2) Analyze the movie: After watching the movie, you will write a 3-5 page review, consisting of:
a) intro paragraph noting the relevance of the movie to the course
b) one page description/summary of the contents of the film
-How was the story presented?
——-i.e. flashbacks, sequential, from a particular character’s point of view, etc.
-What was the intention of the film and/or filmmaker?
——-Was this intention fulfilled or met?
-Did the way the movie was produced and presented affect the content?
-Were there specific scenes or occurrences, which stood out as being essential to the development of the story and/or to your

understanding of it?
-Major substantive points of the movie?
-Any secondary points made?
-Any ‘unintentional’ results of the movie?
c) 0.5-1 page in which you discuss how popular culture themes were constructed in the movie use at least 3 examples
d) 1-2 pages in which you use at least 4 sociological/pop cultural concepts covered in this course to analyze the movie (cite class

materials as you do so)
e) Analyze which issues emerged as the strongest…as the weakest?
f) Briefly compare the popular culture themes in the movie you watched for this assignment to another movie you have previously seen

that had similar themes.
The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins. Remember to include a citation for the movie, in proper APA

format, and make sure your name is on your paper.
SOCI 220 – American Popular Culture
American Public University System
Movie Review Grading Rubric (max. 100 pts)

Excellent Good Average Below Average Failing
Introduction 10 9 8 7 0-5
Summary 20 18 16 14 0-10
Pop culture themes 20 18 16 14 0-10
Soc. concepts/ analysis 20 18 16 14 0-10
Comparison to another movie 10 9 8 7 0-5
Style, grammar, and spelling 10 9 8 7 0-5
APA/Citations 10 9 8 7 0-5
Total: 100
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