Popular Culture and Functionalism/Gender and Sexuality

1. How does functionalism explain our obsession with professional and collegiate athletics, celebrity magazines and other forms of entertainment? What are some of the “rituals” of solidarity and social cohesion? Post one item of relevant supplemental material to illustrate this approach.

2. What are some of the stereotypical popular culture representations of men and women/ sexuality? What are some of the ways in which stereotyping gender (whether men or women) is harmful? Post one item of relevant supplemental material.

The Week 2 Forum meets the following course objectives:

· Describe examples of the different types of norms operative in popular culture, and how these are related to the process of social control.

· Identify the research methods used to create knowledge about popular culture.

· 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.

· Describe the cultural and social significance of popular culture in shaping the larger contemporary American society.

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NOTE: The general instructions below are posted under each Forum for your reference. There is a lot to read the first time but they never change, except Week 1 posts all being due on Sunday (no earlier initial post deadline that week). After reading them thoroughly before beginning your first discussion board assignment it doesn’t hurt to revisit them periodically to make sure you are on target and avoiding point loss. Most points are lost due to not following all the instructions. They are detailed in each forum weekly for ease of reference without having to click in and out of the discussion forum area.

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Forum General Instructions

Sociology lives when we engage it – we read about it, we discuss it, we debate it, we frame our research questions with it, we put it to the test of empiricism, and every once in a while we build it ourselves. Therefore, the success of this course depends on all of us thoroughly engaging it. One of the most important parts of the course will be the discussions and debates we participate in, in our Forum. These discussions need to be informed by thorough reading of the assigned texts.

Each week, learners will post one initial post per week. This post must demonstrate comprehension of the course materials, the ability to apply that knowledge in the real world, active presence. Learners will engage with the instructor and peers through rich responses to their posts. To motivate engaged discussion, posts are expected to be on time with regular interaction throughout the week. All posts should demonstrate college level writing skills. To promote vibrant discussion as we would in a face to face classroom, formatted citations and references are not required. Quotes should not be used at all, or used sparingly. If you quote a source quotation marks should be used and an APA formatted citation and reference provided.

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