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Pop Culture Analysis Presentations: Home

For AIM US History, taught by Ms. Scharf.

Task Definition

This project fives you the opportunity to learn about pop culture in two ways. Working in your textbook teams, you will present an analysis of a contemporary pop culture artifact to the class, and then you will explore the pop cultural expression of an American myth. You will present your analyses to the class on Wednesday, February 11.

Categories of Pop Culture

Music TV Sports Rituals
Art (visual) Film Games Food
Literature Social Media Leisure Time/Recreation Celebrities
    Fashion  

 

Sample Bedrock Beliefs/Myths

  1. The US is a nation with a special destiny and mission (excepetionalism). We are an example to the world.
  2. The truly intelligent person translates ideaas into practical solutions, lives "off" ideas instead of "for" them and recognizes that human identity is found in the heart, not mind.
  3. America is a land of bountiful resources. Those resources are for us to use and enjoy and to achieve a hight standard of living.
  4. Liberty and personal freedom are at the heart of what it means to be American. We have the right to choose our own destinies, pursue our dreams & act any way we see fit short of harming others or interfering with others' freedom.
  5. In America hard work leads to good fortune which in turn resultsin money, fame or power for the virtuous person.
  6. The nuclear family is the basic and most desirable American family unity.
  7. For each individual there is a perfect partner who makes life complete and permanent happiness possible.
  8. True American virtue and happiness are found in small towns in the "heartland" of America.
  9. Technology is progress and is good because it makes other myths possible.
  10. The law is made by powerful figures who, at their best, create laws to foster the common good but at their worst create a legal web which protects the status quo, punishes the innocent, adn fosters a bureaucracy which loses justice in the details of the law.

Analyses

Your group will do two pop culture analyses: you will show the significance of a pop culture artifact, and you will trace an American "myth" through pop culture. The details of your presentation are below:

  • 10-15 minutes using slides
  • Analyze a pop cultural artifact by showing how it is like a funhouse mirror, both reflecting the zeitgeist (transitory & concrete) and shaping it. Include a sample of the artifact (video/music clip, image of artifact, etc.)
  • Trace an American myth through pop culture. Use the "house" model (see below).

Sample "House" of an American Myth

Myth: The US is a nation with a special destiny and mission. We are the world's leader and protector of democracy and human rights.

Beliefs and Values: America is a "city on a hill." American democracy is the only valid social/governmental structure. We must make the world safe for democracy.

Icons: G.I. Joe, the American Eagle

Heroes: Joe Luis (beat Nazi Max Schmeling for heavyweight figher of the world), Louis Zamperini

Celebrities: Olympic medalists, "American Snyper" Chris Kyle

Negative Stereotypes: Muslims, Foreigners
Positive Stereotypes: Peace Corps volunteers

Rituals: pledge of allegiance, "God Bless America" during 7th inning stretch, "Star Spangled Banner" before sporting events.

Arts: Rocky IV (knocks out a communist), Neil Diamond's "America"