CMN 505 (01) - Analysis of Popular Culture

Analysis of Popular Culture

Online Course Delivery Method: Online (no campus visits), EUNH
Credits: 4.0
Term: Summer 2023 - Summer Session IV (06/26/2023 - 07/28/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   30  
CRN: 70739
Locates the development of popular cultural artifacts and practices within the 20th-century social history of the U.S. Examines the political-economic forces that underpinned the commercialization of art, leisure, sports, and other elements of culture in industrial and postindustrial America. Prereq: CMN 456 with C or better, or by permission.
Attributes: Inquiry (Discovery)
Instructors: Michelle Michaud

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
6/26/2023 7/28/2023 Hours Arranged ONLINE
Additional Course Details: 

CMN 505 broadens the scope of rhetoric in the public sphere established in CMN 456.  Students come in knowing how to ID rhetorical elements in traditional oratory, but here they start to analyze its use and value in everyday communication—how meaning is produced and consumed, as well as how it impacts how we see and act in the world. 

Analysis of Popular Culture will introduce a set of basic questions and theories we can use to approach popular culture, how it is produced, and how we consume it – all with an eye toward understanding how popular culture meanings are created and placing ourselves within them. The course will begin by considering the historical evolution of theorizing about popular culture, as well as the roles of producers and consumers. We then will consider popular culture as part of the larger matrix of U.S. consumer culture in order to understand how marketing and branding campaigns work to construct our lifestyles, our identities, and our world. More specifically, we will work together to:

  1. Figure out the meanings of “popular,” “culture,” and “rhetoric”
  2. Examine the relationship between producers and consumers and their agency/power
  3. Explore the role of capitalism and consumerism in the production of culture
  4. Consider the evolution of marketing, advertising, and branding, as well as the implications of “cool,” individuality, rebellion, and resistance
  5. Investigate the intersections of pop culture, consumer activism, and digital culture
  6. Consider how consumer culture offers rhetorical constructions of race, gender, class, sexuality, and age, and examine various struggles over meaning-making