Historical Context

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Last week you completed a worksheet to start planning your Final Project. You also chose the social issue you will explore. This week, you select at least two popular culture artifacts and research how their messages have changed over time. These will be the specific illustrative examples you use to discuss how your artifact is conveyed.

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Examples of artifacts:

  • Film
  • Episodic moving image (TV shows—may be broadcast or streamed)
  • Music
  • Music videos
  • Fashion
  • Advertising
  • Animation (general animation/cartoons such as Disney or Warner Brothers, or genre-specific animation such as Japanese anime)
  • Food
  • Printed material (books, magazines, manga, comic books, or graphic novels)

You may include the popular culture artifact you used in last week’s discussion. You may also use any of the items posted in Doc Sharing, or you may find new ones. No matter which artifacts you choose, make sure you have full access to them so you can study them over time. For example, if you select a movie, make sure you can watch and rewatch it.

To prepare, research the history of your popular culture artifact over time. This time period should be at least 50 years but may be longer. Consider the following:

  • How has the audience changed over time in relation to your popular culture artifact categories?
  • How have the popular culture artifact categories either reflected or opposed the audience change?
  • If the audience has changed over time with regard to one of the popular culture artifact categories, describe the new audience.

Submit a 500-word paper that addresses these questions for your popular culture artifact. Include at least two references to academically relevant sources. You may use the ones provided in the Learning Resources or research your own.


Required Readings

Menand, L. (2015, January 5). Pulp’s big moment: How Emily Brontë met Mickey Spillane. The New Yorker, 90(42), 62–69.
Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases.
This article discusses how literature classics were repackaged to appeal to a broader audience primarily through the use of cover art and cheap production costs.

Snider, M. (2014, March 13). Streaming makes rock royalty now: Grammy winner Lorde first made a big splash via digital streaming. USA Today.
Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases.
This article details how Lorde found an international audience despite being a virtual unknown outside of New Zealand.

Tschorn, A. (2014, May 27). ‘Normcore’ becomes fashionable, yet unclear. The Journal – Gazette.
Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases.
Normcore is a reaction to fashion trends. Advocates dress in ‘nothing special.’ It is a conflation of the terms normal and hardcore. In the process of reacting to fashion trends, ‘normcore’ has become a trend itself.

Watson, M. (2011, April 27). How can the Mona Lisa compete with a copy made from toast? New Statesman, 140(5050), 97.
Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases.
The author offers humorous opinions on art and culture. He cites an exhibition of Egyptian antiquities he attended in Melbourne, Australia, as an example of a phenomenon in which viewers find many of the world’s most spectacular works of art less impressive than they otherwise might thanks to the prevalence of reproductions in popular culture.

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

TEDYouth 2011. (2011, February 27). Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_allocca_why_videos_go_viral
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 7 minutes.
This talk by Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager, identifies how and when videos “go viral”—that is, become ragingly popular.

Please provide detailed information with clear thorough understanding.


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