CES 286 Popular Culture • 5 Cr.

Class title change starting Summer 2019

Popular Culture, Identity and Social Change • 5 Cr.


Analyzes various forms of contemporary popular culture and its expression in mass media. Specific topics may include western and romance novels, consumerism, advertising, gender images, folklore, film, and music. Previously AMST 286.

Description starting Summer 2019

Critically analyze popular culture that surrounds us every day and learn about the racialized, classed, and gendered messages we consume. Examine how popular culture reinforces and challenges race, class and gender norms and what pop culture representations say about the lived realities of marginalized groups. Specific topics may include social media, blogs, reality television, consumerism, advertising and images, current social issues, film, and music.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how popular culture reflects, reinforces, and/or disrupts social norms 
  • Critically analyze how race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability function in popular culture and the impact that these messages have on individual and group experiences 
  • Critically "read" popular culture artifacts and events and investigate pop culture consumption, production, and resistance 
  • Reflect on how one consumes and resists popular culture in one's own life