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Signs of Life in the USA Readings on Pop Culture for Writers 10th

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-10-19
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Signs of Life in the USA helps you learn the practice of writing critically about pop culture--from tv and movies to music and social media--and have a bit of fun in the process. The authors provide both the framework and the language necessary to analyze our shared cultural experiences.

Table of Contents

[* Indicates material new to this edition]

Preface for Instructors

Popular Signs: Or, Everything You Always Knew about American Culture (but Nobody Asked)
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
From Folk to For-Profit
Pop Culture Goes to College
The Semiotic Method
Abduction and Overdetermination
Interpreting Popular Signs: The Revolution will be Reiterated
The Classroom Connection
Cultural Mythologies
Getting Started
Writing about Popular Culture
Using Active Reading Strategies
Prewriting Strategies
Developing Strong Arguments about Popular Culture
Conducting a Semiotic Analysis
Reading Visual Images Actively
Reading Essays about Popular Culture
AMY LIN: Barbie: Queen of Dolls and Consumerism [STUDENT ESSAY]
*IRINA BODEA: Banks: Progressive or Traditional [STUDENT ESSAY]
*JEREMY CREEK: The Anglerfish in the Machine: Horror and Re-enchantment in Stranger Things [STUDENT ESSAY]
Conducting Research and Citing Sources
SCOTT JASCHIK: A Stand against Wikipedia
PATTI S. CARAVELLO: Judging Quality on the Web
TRIP GABRIEL: For Students in Internet Age, No Shame in Copy and Paste


Chapter 1. American Paradox: Culture, Conflict, and Contradiction in the U.S.A.
GEORGE PACKER: Celebrating Inequality
*MARK MANSON: The Disease of More
*MARK MURPHY: The Uncivil War: How Cultural Sorting of America Divides Us
ALFRED LUBRANO: The Shock of Education: How College Corrupts
WADE GRAHAM: Are We Greening Our Cities, or Just Greenwashing Them?

Chapter 2. My Selfie, My Self: Identity and Ideology in the New Millennium
MICHAEL OMI: In Living Color: Race and American Culture
*ZAHIR JANMOHAMED: Your Cultural Attire
AARON DEVOR: Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes
DEBORAH BLUM: The Gender Blur: Where Does Biology End and Society Take Over?
MICHAEL HULSHOF-SCHMIDT: What’s in an Acronym? Parsing the LGBTQQIP2SAA Community
RACHEL LOWRY: Straddling Online and Offline Profiles, Millennials Search for Identity
*SOPHIE GILBERT: Millennial Burnout is Being Televised
*DAVE PATTERSON: Shame By a Thousand Looks
*KWAME ANTHONY APPIAH: What Does It Mean to Look Like Me


Chapter 3. Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption
MALCOLM GLADWELL: The Science of Shopping
*JORDYN HOLMAN: Millennials Tried to Kill the American Mall, But Gen Z Might Save It
MICHAEL POLLAN: Supermarket Pastoral
CHRIS ARNING, What Can Semiotics Contribute to Packaging Design?
TROY PATTERSON: The Politics of the Hoodie
THOMAS FRANK: Commodify Your Dissent
JAMES A. ROBERTS: The Treadmill of Consumption

Chapter 4. Brought to You B(u)y: The Signs of Advertising
JACK SOLOMON: Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising
JAMES B. TWITCHELL: What We Are to Advertisers
STEVE CRAIG: Men’s Men and Women’s Women
JIA TOLENTINO: How "Empowerment" Became Something for Women to Buy
*DEREK THOMPSON: The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything
JULIET B. SCHOR: Selling to Children: The Marketing of Cool
JULIA B. CORBETT: A Faint Green Sell: Advertising and the Natural World

Portfolio of Advertisements
Buffalo Exchange
California Walnuts
Shinola Detroit
The Shelter Pet Project
Society of Grownups

Chapter 5. The Cloud: Semiotics and the New Media
*JUDY ESTRIN: I Helped Create the Internet, and I’m Worried about What It’s Doing to Young People *ALICIA ELER: There’s a Lot More to a Selfie than Meets the Eye
*JUDITH SHULEVITZ: "Alexa, How Will You Change Us?"
*JESSE SELL: Gamer Identity
*DAVID COURTWRIGHT: How "Limbic Capitalism" Preys on Our Addicted Brains
NANCY JO SALES: From the Instamatic to Instagram: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers *JACOB SILVERMAN: "Pics or It Didn’t Happen"—The Mantra of the Instagram Era
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Influencing Machines: The Echo Chambers of the Internet
JOHN HERRMAN: Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine


Chapter 6. On the Air: Television and Cultural Forms
NEAL GABLER: The Social Networks
BRITTNEY LEVINE BECKMAN: Why We Binge-Watch Stuff We Hate
*SAMANTHA ALLEN:  How Euphoria and Model Hunter Schafer Created the Most Interesting Trans Character on TV
CLAIRE MIYE STANFORD: You’ve Got the Wrong Song: Nashville and Country Music Feminism
EMILY NUSSBAUM: The Aristocrats: The Graphic Arts of Game of Thrones
MASSIMO PIGLIUCCI, The One Paradigm to Rule Them All: Scientism and The Big Bang Theory *BRITTANY LEVINE BECKMAN, Why We Binge-Watch Stuff We Hate

Chapter 7. The Hollywood Sign: The Culture of American Film
ROBERT B. RAY: The Thematic Paradigm
CHRISTINE FOLCH: Why the West Loves Sci-Fi and Fantasy: A Cultural Explanation
LINDA SEGER: Creating the Myth
*MAYA PHILLIPS: The Narrative Experiment That Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe
ABRAHAM RIESMAN: What We Talk about When We Talk about Batman and Superman
MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: The Offensive Movie Cliché That Won’t Die
*MIKHAIL LYUBANSKY: The Racial Politics of Black Panther
JESSICA HAGEDORN: Asian Women in Film: No Joy, No Luck
MICHAEL PARENTI: Class and Virtue
DAVID DENBY: High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies
*WESLEY MORRIS: Rom-Coms Were Corny and Retrograde. Why Do I Miss Them so Much?

Chapter 8. Tangled Roots: The Cultural Politics of Popular Music
*NOLAN GLASER: Music Is Supposed to Unify Us. Is the Streaming Revolution Fragmenting Us Instead?
CLARA McNULTY-FINN: The Evolution of Rap
*NADRA NITTLE: Lil Nas X Isn’t an Anomaly
*JON MEACHAM and TIM MCGRAW: How Country Music Explains America’s Divided History
*CHRISTINA NEWLAND: A Cultural History of the Diva
*DJ LOUIE XIV: Has the Pop Star been Killed?
*DANIEL PERSON: When Did Pop Culture and Nature Part Ways?
*DANI DEAHL: Monsta X and Steve Aoki: How K-Pop Took Over YouTube


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

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The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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