Reading Culture

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-11-01
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Acclaimed for its compelling readings and provocative images, Reading Cultureprovides outstanding instruction on how to read and write critically about the culture that surrounds us.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1:  From Page to Screen: Are New Media Rewiring Us?

Gunther Kress, from “Literacy in the New Media Age

Exploratory Writing

Visual Essay: Word, Image, and the Design of the Page

Case Study: Are New Media Rewiring Us?

    Andrew Lam, “I Tweet, Therefore I Am’

Working with Texts: Using Lam’s Words

    N. Katherine Hayles, “Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes”

Underline/Highlight, Annotate, Summarize

Working with Texts: Framing the Issue

Making Connections: What Has Changed?

    Sherry Turkle, “Always On”

    Allison Gropnik, “Diagnosing the Digital Revolution: Why It’s So Hard to Tell Whether It’s Really Changing Us”

Looking Ahead

    Sample Student Paper

     Adam Horowitz, “TBD”


Chapter 2:  Generations

Arlie Russell Hochschild, “Gen (Fill in the Blank): Coming of Age, Seeking an Identity”

The Pew Research Center Project on Social and Demographic Trends, “Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change”

David Sedaris, “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities”

Nick Hornby, “Patti Smith: Pissing in a River”

Making Connections: Games People Play

    Ethan Gilsdorf, “How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Changed My Life”

    Mary Elizabeth Williams, “’Dead Space 2: Your Mom Doesn’t Want You To Play This Video Game”

Visual Essay: Hollywood Icons: Brando, Monroe, and Dean

Judith Ortiz Cofer, “Casa”

Margaret Mead, “We Are All Third Generation”

Researching Generations

    Fieldwork. Making Sense of My Music: Ethnographic Interviews - Susan D. Craft, Daniel Cavicchi, and Charles Keil, “My Music”

    Looking Through Time: Designing a Print Photo Essay or Digital Video Essay on Life Magazine


Chapter 3:  Schooling

Theodore R. Sizer, “What High School Is”

Diane Ravitch, “The Myth of Charter Schools”

Making Connections: The Value of a Higher Education

    Rebekah Nathan, “Lessons from My Year as a Freshman”

    Stanley Fish, “The Value of Higher Education Made Literal”

Visual Essay: Analyzing College Viewbooks

Min-Zhan Lu, “From Silence to Words: Writing as Struggle”

June Jordan, “Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan”

Researching Schooling

    Fieldwork. Investigating Classroom Life: Participant Observation - Worth Anderson, Cynthia Best, Alycia Black, John Hurst, Brandt Miller, and Susan Miller, “Observations and Conclusions from ‘Cross-Curricular Underlife: A Collaborative Report on Ways with Academic Words’”

    Student Activism in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s: Combining Word and Image in an Illustrated Essay


Chapter 4:   Images

Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen, “In the Shadow of the Image”

Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, “When You Meet Estella Smart, You Been Met!”

Khaled Mattawa, “History of My Face”

Making Connections: Images of Gender

    John Berger, “Ways of Seeing”

    Richard Leppert, “The Female Nude: Surfaces of Desire”

Visual Essay: Reading the Gaze: Gender Roles in Advertising

Visual Essay: Turning the Tables: Women in the Ring

Delilah Montoya, “Women Boxers: The New Warriors”

Visual Essay: Rewriting the Image

Researching Images

    Public Health Messages: Creating a Public Service Announcement - Visual Essay: Posters from the Past and Present

    Advertising through the Ages: Preparing a Digital Visual Presentation


Chapter 5:  Style

Dick Hebdige, “Style in Revolt: Revolting Style”

Douglas Haddow, “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization”

Bakari Kitwana, “Rap and the Cotton Club”

Visual Essay: Hip-Hop Styles

Ariel Levy, “Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture”

Visual Essay: Reading Labels, Selling Water

Mark Greif, “Against Exercise”

Visual Essay: Timeline on Fitness from Jack LaLanne to Michelle Obama

Making Connections: Geek Culture

    David Brooks, “The Alpha Geeks”

    Benjamin Nugent, “Who’s a Nerd, Anyway”

    Adam Rogers, “Geek Love”

Researching Style

    Race and Branding: Writing a Wikipedia Entry

    Music Anthologies: Making a Mix and Writing Liner Notes


Chapter 6:  Public Space

Tina McElroy Ansa, “The Center of the Universe”

Barry Lopez, “Caring for the Woods”

John Fiske, “Shopping for Pleasure: Malls, Power, and Resistance”

Mike Davis, “Fortress Los Angeles: The Militarization of Public Space”

Jay Walljasper, “From Middle East to Madison, Justice Depends on Public Spaces: What happens when people have no place to gather as citizens?”

Making Connections: Free to All — Public Libraries and the Question of Access

    Marc Fisher, “D.C. Libraries: Homeless Shelters No More?”

    Kathryn Baer, “D.C. Public Library Moves to Restrict Access by Homeless People”

Eva Sperling Cockroft and Holly Barnet Sánchez, “Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals,”

Visual Essay: Banksy — “The Most Honest Artform Available”

Visual Essay: “Cancer Alley: The Poisoning of the American South,” Jason Berry, with photographs by Richard Misrach

Researching Public Space

    Fieldwork. Examining How People Use Public Space: Observation and Mapping

    Walking Tours: Making a Brochure and Audio Guide


Chapter 7:   Storytelling

Nikki Giovanni, “On the Edge of Comfort”

Michael Chabon, “Amateur Family”

Making Connections: Urban Legends

    Jan Harold Brunvand, “’The Hook’ and Other Teenage Horrors”

    Patricia A. Turner, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

Robert Warshow, “The Gangster as Tragic Hero”

Making Connections: Film Reviews — The Case of Social Network

    Roger Ebert, “The Social Network: Calls Him an Asshole, Makes Him a Billionaire”

    David Denby, “Influencing People”

Visual Essay: The Graphic Novel

Marjane Satrapi, “The Veil”

Researching Storytelling

    Fieldwork. Understanding Fandom and Fan Fiction: Semi-Structured Interviews and Audio Stories

    Searching for Other Heroes: Proposing a New Comic Book Character and Storyline - John Jennings and Damian Duffy, “Finding Other Heroes”


Chapter 8:  Work

Sandra Cisneros, “The First Job”

Tillie Olson, “I Stand Here Ironing”

Martín Espad,a “Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100”

Visual Essay: Working-Class Heroes

Dulce Pinzón, “The Real Story of Superheroes”

Bob Hicok, “Calling Him Back from Layoff”

Making Connections: Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector

    Paul Krugman, “Wisconsin Power Play”

    David Brooks, “Make Everybody Hurt”

Steven Greenhouse, “Worked and Overworked”

Researching Work

    Fieldwork. Reconstructing the Network of a Workplace

    James P. Spradley and Brenda J. Mann, “The Cocktail Waitress”

    Designing a Website: The Triangle Factory Fire


Chapter 9:  History

Mary Gordon, “More Than Just a Shrine: Paying Homage to the Ghosts of Ellis Island”

Visual Essay: Mary Gordon, “The History of Labor in the State of Maine”

Jane Tompkins “’Indians’: Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History”

Christopher Phillips, “Necessary Fiction: Warren Neidich’s Early American Cover-Ups”

Visual Essay: Warren Neidich, “Contra Curtis: Early American Cover-Ups”

Making Connections: Two Speeches on Racism in the United States

    Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

    Barack Obama, “A More Perfect Union”

Researching History

    Fieldwork. Writing History from Below: Oral History - Studs Turkel, “The Good War”

    Photographing American History: Designing a Museum Exhibit and Writing the Catalog - Alan Trachtenberg, “Reading American Photographs”, Visual Essay: American Photographs


Chapter 10:  Living in a Transnational World

Making Connections: Colonized and Colonizer

    Jamaica Kincaid, “Columbus in Chains”

    George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”

Jeff Chang, “News from Nowhere”

Visual Essay: M.I.A.’s Graphic Style

    Amitava Kumar, “Passport Photos”

    Kennedy Odede, “Slumdog Tourism”

Gloria Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”

Mary Louise Pratt, “Arts of the Contact Zone”

Visual Essay: Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Pena’s “Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West.” Samuel Fosso’s “Le chef qui a vendu l’Afrique aux colons.” Wang Quingson’s “Requesting Buddha Series No. 1.”

Researching Life in a Transnational World

    Banning Burqas and Headscarves in France: Planning a Roundtable Discussion

    Global Justice Movements: Designing Your Own Research Project


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