The Contemporary Reader

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-01-01
  • Publisher: Longman
  • View Upgraded Edition
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $68.60


A best-selling popular culture reader, The Contemporary Reader offers more than 70 readings taken from today's headlines to inspire the reader to write on topics that really matter to them.& *Viewpoints offer multiple sides to an issue *Reading the Blog *Culture Shock visuals *Useful writing and discussion strategies & & High interest popular culture reader inspires writing on topics of interest.& Popular US culture.&& General Interest.

Table of Contents

Rhetorical Contents xix
Preface xxv
Introduction: How to Read and Write Critically 1(42)
What Is Critical Thinking?
Why Read Critically?
How to Read Critically
Sample Essay for Analysis
"Now, Cut That Out!"
John Leo
Keep a Journal on What You Read
Annotate What You Read
Outline What You Read
Summarize What You Read
Question What You Read
Analyze What You Read
What Is Critical Writing?
Developing Ideas
Narrowing the Topic
Identifying Your Audience
Developing a Thesis
Understanding Your Paper's Objective
Selecting Sources for Your Paper
Documenting Sources
Organizing Your Paper
Drafting Your Essay
Writing Your Introduction
Developing Paragraphs and Making Transitions
Concluding Well
Editing and Revising
Using Active Voice
Grammar and Punctuation
Proofreading Effectively
Approaching Visuals Critically
Images and Advertising
Altoids Ad
Deciphering Editorial Cartoons
Cloning Cartoon
1 Fashion and Flesh: The Images We Project 43(44)
Never Too Buff
John Cloud
"New studies reveal that something awful has happened to American men over the past few decades. They have become obsessed with their bodies."
What I Think About the Fashion World
Liz Jones
"We decided to publish two covers for the same edition [of Marie Claire]-one featuring Sophie Dahl, a size 12; the other, Pamela Anderson, a minute size 6-and we asked readers to chose . . . You would think that we had declared war.
I'm So Fat (NEDA advertisement)
Weighing In
Sandra Hurtes
"After watching the Academy Awards I decided to go off my diet. Looking at actresses who earn enough money to feed entire nations, yet appear emaciated and in desperate need of a good meal, sent me charging to the fridge."
My Hips, My Caderas
Alisa Valdes
"In Spanish, the word for hips is caderas-a broad term used to denote every-thing a real woman carries from her waist to her thighs, and the bigger, the better. In English, hips are something women try to be rid of."
Cythia Audet
"The mark on my face made me who I am."
The Skinny on Small
Diane Sepanski
"By the tender age of thirteen, I was already hoofing high heels. I already knew I was short. And I knew I didn't like it."
The Bald Individualist
Ptolemy Tompkins
"As a teenager, I shaved my head to find myself. But with nose rings and tattoos routine, what's left for today's teenagers?"
The Ugly Truth About Beauty
Dave Barry
"Most men think of themselves as average looking. Being average does not bother them; average is fine for men. Women do not think of themselves this way. No matter how attractive a woman may appear to others, when she looks in the mirror she thinks: `woof."'
A Man's Guide to Slimming Couture
Scott McKeen
"Trick No. 2B: If a double-breasted jacket is too long, it will visually shorten your legs, and you'll be a fat troll in a blazer. Ask your wife or girl-friend: `Do I look fat in this?"'
Why Do We Get to Laugh at Fat Guys?
Catherine Lawson
"The first time I read Scott McKeen's article on tricks to hide a pot belly, I laughed all the way through it. Then it hit me. Would I be laughing if these were fashion tips for women?"
The Beauty of Symmetry
Elizabeth Snead
We have all heard the expression "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But experts believe beauty could be in the symmetry of the beheld.
2 Advertising: Wanting It, Selling It 87(72)
Targeting a New World
Joseph Turow
With budgets that add up to hundreds of billions of dollars, the advertising industry exceeds the church and the school in the ability to promote images about our place in society-where we belong, why, and how we should act.
Advertising and the Invention of Postmodernity
Ken Sanes
"Commercials that convey a sense of life as celebration, full of enraptured people who can't help but sing out because they love their Skittles or who emerge from swimming pools, all luminescent, with magnificent hair and wonderful lives, surrounded by bright colors, upbeat music and dancing friends, in which everything is in motion convey a sense of what life can be if we buy the product."
Lunchbox Hegemony
Dan Cook
"The sound you hear is thousands of hours of market research, immense coordination of people, ideas and resources, and decades of social and economic change all rolled into a single, 'Mommy, pleeease!"'
A Brand by Any Other Name
Douglas Rushkoff
"I was in one of those sports 'superstores' the other day, hoping to find a pair of trainers for myself. As I faced the giant wall of shoes, I noticed a young boy standing next to me, maybe 13 years old, in even greater awe of the towering selection of footwear. His jaw was dropped and his eyes were glazed over-a psycho-physical response to the overwhelming sensory data in a self-contained consumer environment."
Trademarks and Brand Logos
A Portfolio of Advertisements
Hitachi BP
M&Ms Absolute Honda
Parkinson's Disease
Ad Council
A (Mild) Defense of Luxury
James Twitchell
"Forget happiness; if decreasing pain and discomfort is a goal, consumption of the 'finer things' has indeed done what governments, churches, schools, and even laws have promised. Far more than these other systems, betterment through consumption has delivered the goods."
With These Words, I Can Sell You Anything
William Lutz
"Advertisers use weasel words to appear to be making a claim for a product when in fact they are making no claim at all."
The Language of Advertising
Charles A. O'Neill
"The language of advertising is ... a language of finely engineered, ruthlessly purposeful messages."
On Sale at Old Navy: Cool Clothes for Identical Zombies
Damien Cave
Are state-of-the-art chain stores like Pottery Barn and Ikea crushing our individuality?
3 Television: For Better or for Worse 159(50)
Can TV Improve Us?
Jane Rosenzweig
If television contributes to poor behavior, might it also be a vehicle for encouraging good behavior?
The Man Who Counts the Killings
Scott Stossel
"By the reckoning of the Cultural Indicators project, the average American child will have witnessed more than 8,000 murders and 100,000 violent acts on television by the time he or she leaves elementary school."
TV's War of Words
Deborah Tannen
"Scream TV reduces all discussions to oversimplified arguments between two opposing sides. Subtlety and debate are scorned, because the goal isn't to under-stand an issue, but to win."
The National Television Violence Survey
The Great TV Debate
Jason Kelly
"It's worth confessing here that I like TV, and maybe slightly more than the aver-age bear. And so, actually, I feel slightly ashamed at my own viewing habits...why not include my son in my neuroses?"
Window on Reality: American Idol and the Search for Identity
Elaine Showalter
"In its shape and timing, American Idol has provided a fascinating snapshot of American youth culture in the 21st century. Appealing simultaneously to Marines, Mormons, gays, blacks, and Latinos, and to every region of the country, American Idol has a legitimate claim to its label of reality TV."
TV News: All the World in Pictures
Neil Postman and Steve Powers
"The fact that television news is principally made up of moving pictures prevents it from offering lengthy, coherent explanations of events."
AAP Discourages Television for Very Young Children
American Academy of Pediatrics
The AAP advises against television for young children.
TV Can Be a Good Parent
Ariel Gore
The American Academy of Pediatrics says television watching is harmful to babies and toddlers. This mama says, "I don't think so."
RESEARCH ISSUE Television and African Americans
Kate Tuttle
A timeline of the evolution of television programs with African American actors.
4 The Family in Flux: Love and Marriage 209(58)
Family: Idea, Institution, and Controversy
Betty G. Farrell
Fundamental changes in the expectations, meanings, and practices defining American family life have characterized much of the twentieth century. Consequently, concern about the family has moved to the center of the political arena.
The New Nostalgia
Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers
"We are already raising a generation of children in two-earner families; if we re-ally want them to be stressed, let's tell them that what we are doing is all wrong, that what we should be doing was what their grandparents did in the 1950's ...."
Are the Conservatives Right?
Alex Kotlowitz
"For decades, liberals have run away from the issue of marriage and single parenthood, afraid of stigmatizing unwed mothers and their children. Now some are wondering whether the conservative marriage movement is on to something."
Nostalgia as Ideology
Stephanie Coontz
"There is no way to re-establish marriage as the main site of child rearing, dependent care, income pooling, or interpersonal commitments in the modern world. Any movement that sets this as a goal misunderstands how irreversibly family life and marriage have changed."
The State of Our Unions (graphs)
The National Marriage Project
Did I Miss Something?
Lowell Putnam
"Growing up in a 'broken home,' I am always shocked to be treated as a victim of some social disease. The divorce of my parents has either saturated every last pore of my developmental epidermis to a point where I cannot sense it or has not affected me at all."
Unmarried Bliss
Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot
Living happily ever after doesn't necessarily require a marriage license.
What's Love Got to Do with It?
Anjula Razdan
Are arranged marriages healthier than romantic attraction?
Andrew Sullivan
"Within gay subculture, marriage would not be taken for granted. Far from weakening heterosexual marriage, gay marriage would, I bet, help strengthen it, as the culture of marriage finally embraces all citizens."
The Danger in Same-Sex Marriage
Jeff Jacoby
"For all the assaults marriage has taken, its fundamental purpose endures: to uphold and encourage the union of a man and a woman. . . . If marriage stops meaning even that, it will stop meaning anything at all."
Assault on Family Values (cartoon)
Dan Wasserman
Cohabiting Is Not the Same as Commitment
Karen S. Peterson
"Women living unmarried with guys and expecting a lasting, committed marriage down the line had better review their options." Some experts say men who cohabit with women are less bound to marry.
5 Humans Inc.: Cloning and Our Genetic Future 267(52)
Baby, It's You and You and You
Nancy Gibbs
"Our fierce national debate over issues like abortion and euthanasia will seem tame and transparent compared with the questions that human cloning raises."
Designer Babies
Sharon Begley
"Genetic engineers are preparing to cross what has long been an ethical Rubicon .. . permanently altering the human genetic blueprint."
Future Scientific Convention (cartoon)
Michael Ramirez
The Last Human
Gregory Stock
"At first glance, the very notion that we might become more than human seems preposterous. But never before have we had the power to manipulate human genetics to alter our biology in meaningful, predictable ways."
Bill McKibben
"Once you accept the idea that our bodies are essentially plastic, and that it's okay to manipulate that plastic, then, in the words of Lee Silver, 'there's nothing beyond tinkering'."
Yuppie Eugenics
Ruth Hubbard and Stuart Newman
Are we creating a world with genetic haves and have-nots?
Should Human Cloning Be Permitted?
Patricia A. Baird, M.D.
"There is no compelling case to make people by asexual means; human re-productive cloning is without potential benefits to almost all citizens, and other options are available in most situations."
Yes, Human Cloning Should Be Permitted
Chris MacDonald, Ph.D.
"We should not let reproductive human cloning be abandoned as the moral sacrificial lab of the cloning debate."
The Genetic Bill of Rights
The Board of Directors of the Council for Responsible Genetics
"To protect our human rights and integrity and the biological integrity of the earth, we, therefore, propose this Genetic Bill of Rights..."
6 Making the Grade: Education Today 319(50)
Turning Schools into Profit Centers
Peter Sacks
"Under the corporate model of education, schools are businesses and kids are 'products,' test scores become the coin of the realm, and the 'market value' of individual schools themselves is simply indicated by those test scores, as any real estate agent will tell you."
Letter to a Washington State Test Scorer
Stephen Kramer
"Dear Washington State Science Test Scorer: There are stories behind the names on the text booklets I'm sending you-things I think you should know...."
Forget the Fads-The Old Way Works Best
Evan Keliher
"There has never been an innovation or reform that has helped children learn any better, faster, or easier than they did prior to the 20th century."
A Real Education
Christina Asquith
Despite recent revelations of the high numbers of likely student "casualties" to high stakes testing policies, many politicians have discovered that vows to bring about "world class standards" and to "end social promotion" play well on the evening news.
"L" Is for Lawsuit
Janelle Brown
"Welcome to high school in America. . . . Bad grades, discipline problems, shocking attendance records: Offenses that in the past warranted suspension, dismissal from school, or refusal to grant a diploma are easily blocked or reversed-as long as Dad's got a good lawyer."
Learning While Black
Jodie Morse
You've heard of racial profiling on the roads and in the skies. But are minority kids also being unfairly singled out for discipline in schools?
When Brevity Rules the Syllabus, 'Ulysses' Is Lost
James Shapiro
"Clearly, only the longer novels rare suffering] neglect, and suffering badly. If the statistics are representative, such books will remain untaught and sooner or later will disappear from the canon."
Bilingualism in America: English Should Be the Only Language
S.L Hayakawa
"Rather than insisting that it is the immigrant's duty to learn the language of this country, the government has acted instead as if it has a duty to accommodate an immigrant in his native language."
Let's Not Say Adios to Bilingual Education
Lourdes Rovira
"Bilingualism not only prepares students for today's increasingly global economy and promotes cognitive development and creative thinking, it also instills pride."
Interview with Linda Darling Hammond
".. to keep [good teachers] there we've got to really ensure that they get the respect that they deserve, the access to knowledge that they need to feel competent and successful in the job, and the supports within the schools to do high quality teaching well."
7 Gender Perceptions: Has Anything Changed? 369(38)
My Most Attractive Adversary
Madeleine Begun Kane
"Despite our progress in the battle against workplace discrimination, the fact of being a female is almost always an issue. It may not be blatant, but it usually lurks just below the surface. We are not lawyers, executives and managers. We are female lawyers, female executives and female managers."
Male Bashing on TV
Michael Abernethy
"It's been a hard day.... you have to pick up your son at daycare, make dinner, clean the kitchen, do a load of laundry, and get Junior to bed before you can settle down on the sofa with those reports you still need to go over. Perhaps a little comedy will make the work more bearable. Over the next two hours, you see four male lead characters who are nothing like you."
The Men We Carry in Our Minds
Scott Russell Sanders
"When the women I met at college thought about the joys and privileges of men, they did not carry in their minds the sort of men I had known in my childhood."
Girls, We Really Are our own Worst Enemies
Lyz Baranowski
". . our experiences and the everyday experiences of girls commenting and gossiping on everything from clothes to the amount of time a girl raises her hand in class, show that women are still losing. The problem is not others, the problem is us."
The New Sexual Stone Age
Andre Mayer
"Outmoded notions about the roles of men and women are relaxing; except, that is, in pop music, where quite the opposite is true. . . . We've returned to an age of rampant chauvinism, where men swagger about in a testosterone rage and women are reduced to sexual ornaments."
Three Cheers for Patriarchy!
Christine Rosen
Can patriarchy be as bad as some would have us believe?
Revisionist Feminism: A Dialogue
Susan Faludi and Karen Lehrman
"Dear Karen, I enter into this conversation with you about feminism with some misgivings. Not because I don't want to talk to you. It is just that I suspect it will be like a phone conversation where the connection's so bad neither party can hear the other through the static."
An Identity Reduced to a Burka
Semeen Issa and Laila Al-Marayati
"Like the differences in our clothing from one region to another, Muslim women are diverse. Stereotypical assumptions about Muslim women are as inaccurate as the assumption that all American women are personified by the bikini-clad cast of Baywatch."
8 Sports Culture: Not Just a Game 407(40)
Unpaid Professionals
Andrew Zimbalist
The stakes are high: the TV money pumping up college basketball just keeps getting bigger. But is it shortchanging the athletes?
A Whole New Ball Game?
Skip Rozin, with Susan Zegel
"A glorious autumn day. School colors flying. Bands blaring fight songs. Cheer-leaders in skimpy skirts kicking up their heels. Stands vibrating from the stomping feet of fans. Isn't this what college is all about? Er . . . not according to a killjoy named Gordon Gee."
Sports Centered
Jay Weiner
Our obsession has ruined the game. How can we save it?
Where Are the Heroes?
Ed Siegel
"Sport is one of the last places where those myths [of the hero] can be experienced."
Point/Counterpoint-Title IX: The Battle of the Sexes Continues
Mary Ann Cooper
"Since its passage, the prohibition against being 'excluded from participation' in 'any education program or activity' has opened the door to many educational opportunities for females, but an increase in sports programs for women has attracted the most controversy."
Just Say No to Random Drug Testing
David Rocah
"Random drug testing . . . [tells] students that we assume they are using drugs until they prove to the contrary with a urine sample."
Naive Court Did Not Go Far Enough with Drug Testing
Claude Lewis
"When it comes to drugs, we have reached a point where the only cure may be worse than the disease. We must take the strongest possible action to protect the young and the unsuspecting."
Lighten Up, Parents!
Michael L. Sachs
"Sports psychologists have long been concerned about what has been labeled 'Little League parent syndrome' (LLPS), named for those adults who get so wrapped up in their children's play that they yell and scream verbal abuse and, occasionally, get physically abusive. The question is what can be done about it?"
9 Stereotyping and Profiling: Looking Beyond Race 447(52)
The Nature of the Problem of Racial Profiling
Deborah Ramirez, Jack McDevitt, Amy Farrell
"The majority of police officers are hard-working public servants who perform a dangerous job with dedication and honor; however, the perception that some police officers are engaging in racial profiling has created resentment and distrust of the police, particularly in communities of color."
Racial Profiling Goes Beyond Black and White
Sasha Polakow-Suransky
When student Eric Hotchandani took a seat on a rush hour train, he discovered that racial profiling can come from unexpected sources.
Three Days in a New York City Jail
Byronn Bain
"After my third day in jail, accused of two misdemeanors and a felony I knew nothing about, I was finally found innocent, and allowed to go home. These events are not in themselves that extraordinary. This incident is striking because it was not the first time I was unjustly jailed."
Hailing While Black
Shelby Steele
Are we debating racism in America or merely defending our ideologies?
Are You a Terrorist, or Do You Play One on TV?
Laura Fokkena
Racial profiling and ethnic stereotyping are nothing new to Americans of Middle Eastern descent. Hollywood has long used images of bumbling, accented Arabs and Iranians as shorthand for "vile enemy."
You Can't Judge a Crook by His Color
Randall Kennedy
Racial profiling may be justified, but it is still wrong.
In Defense of Racial Profiling
John Derbyshire
"By far the largest number of Americans angry about racial profiling are law-abiding black people who feel . . . that they are the victims of a negative stereotype. They are. Unfortunately, a negative stereotype can be correct, and even useful.
Ragtime, My Time
Alton Fitzgerald White
[In the musical "Ragtime,"] "Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a victim of overt racism. His story is every black man's nightmare. . . . The fictional character I portrayed on Thursday night became a part of my reality on Friday afternoon. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for it."
10 The American Experience: One Nation, Many Faces 499(40)
The Return of the Melting Pot
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
"We used to say e pluribus unum. Now we glorify pluribus and belittle unum. The melting pot yields to the tower of Babel."
Forging a New Vision of America's Melting Pot
Gregory Rodriguez
"Rather than upholding the segregated notion of a country divided by mutually exclusive groups, Mexican-Americans might use their experience to imagine an America in which racial, ethnic and cultural groups collide to create new ways of being American."
A New Generation Is Leading the Way
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
"As a white woman who had grown up in white America, nothing quite prepared me for the reactions that I and my Japanese-American husband encountered when we began our multiracial family a decade ago."
People Like Us
David Brooks
"Maybe it's time to admit the obvious. We don't really care about diversity all that much in America, even though we talk about it a great deal. What I have seen all around the country is people making strenuous efforts to group themselves with people who are basically like themselves."
When Fair Is Foul
Suzanne Fields
"The fourth Thursday in November is our original multicultural holiday, commemorating the feast for Indians and colonists celebrating their first harvest together. It's a holiday that unites the spiritual with the material, faith and food, the sacred and the secular."
"Please Ask Me 'Who,' Not 'What' I Am"
Jordan Lite
"My ethnicity isn't obvious on first glance. But why should it matter to people I've just met?"
Ending Poem
Aurora Levins Morales
"I am what I am. A child of the Americas...."
How to Be a Patriot
Sam Smith
"Before September 11, patriotism wasn't doing all that well. Yet now, we speak of patriotism again. Why did so many need the Viagra of violence to demonstrate love for their land?"
What Is Patriotism?
Charley Reese
"What with all the flag-waving, pro-war and anti-war rallies, Memorial Day observances and so forth, it seems to be a good time to consider exactly what patriotism is and what it isn't. The best definition I've run across is 'love of the land and its people.-
How to Turn More Immigrants into Americans
Tamar Jacoby
"For many, it seems, becoming naturalized is like getting married when you've already been living together. The question is what the U.S. could or should be doing to encourage it?"
Credits 539(4)
Index of Authors and Titles 543

Rewards Program

Write a Review