Signs of Life in the USA : Readings on Popular Culture for Writers

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-12-10
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Unlike other popular culture readers,Signs of Lifepresumes that this topic merits rigorous analysis and so provides a conceptual framework for understanding it: semiotics, a field of critical theory developed specifically for the interpretation of culture and its signs. The selections inSigns of Lifeare arranged in provocative chapters (on such themes as gender codes, television and music, film, and advertising) that tap into students' own experiences with and interest in popular culture.The uniquely qualified editorial team of a prominent semiotician and an experienced writing instructor have prepared extensive apparatus to prompt the rigorous analysis that helps students become better thinkers and writers. In this exciting edition,Signs of Lifeexamines fresh topics with an emphasis on the emerging phenomenon of Web 2.0. Maasik and Solomon continue to stay on the leading edge of popular culture, examining the hottest trends that capture students' attention.

Author Biography

Sonia Maasik is a lecturer in the UCLA Writing Programs, where she has taught writing from developmental to advanced levels.

Jack Solomon is professor of English at California State University, Northridge, and teaches literature and critical theory. He is often interviewed by the California media for analysis of current events and trends.

The two together also have published California Dreams and Realities: Readings for Critical Thinkers and Writers, Third Edition (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005).

Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors
Introduction: Popular Signs: Or Everything You've Always Known About American Culture (But Nobody Asked)
Portfolio: Images from the History of Popular Culture
Writing About Popular Culture
A Stand Against Wikipedia
Judging Quality on the InternetCiting Sources
Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption
The More FactorPaired Readings
Understanding Shopping
The Science of Shopping
The Signs of Shopping
Credit Card Barbie [photograph]
What's in a Package
The Semiotics of Home Decor
Pottermania: the Marketing Behind the Magic
Frumpy or Chic? Tweed or Kente? Sometimes the Clothes Make the
"'Careful, You May Run Out of Planet'": SUVs and the Exploitation of the American Myth
Revolution Is U. S.
Commodify Your Dissent
Brought to You B(u)y
The Signs of Advertising
The Parable of the Democracy of Goods
When You Come Home [advertisement]
Paired Readings: Creating Consumers
What We Are to Advertisers
If You Have a "Buy Button" in Your Brain, What Pushes It?
Men’s Men and Women’s Women
Dove's "Real Beauty" Backlash
Metrosexuals Come Out
Kid Kustomers
Sex, Lies, and Advertising
Portfolio of Advertisements
Jeep Compass
American Egg Board
Phoenix Wealth Management
Honda Pilot
Video Dreams: Television, Music and Culture
Voting Democracy off the Island: Reality TV and the Republican Ethos"You’re Fired" [photograph]
A Moral Never-Never Land: Identifying with
tPaired Readings: Animating Attitude
The Simpsons, Hyper-Irony, and the Meaning of Life
South Parkand the Open Society
Fox News Attempts to Get Funny
Signs of Intelligent Life on TVAndre Mayer
The New Sexual Stone Age"Marissa Connolly
Homosexuality on Television
The Heterosexualization ofWill and Grace
Dead? 'Hip-hop culture has been murdered'
The Hollywood Sign
The Signs of American Film
Paired Readings: Inventing Heroes
The Thematic Paradigm
Superhero Worship
Creating the Myth
Trailer Rhetoric
So You Wanna Be a Gangsta?
Asian Women in Film: No Joy, No Luck
High-School Confidential: Notes On Teen Movies
Movie Fantasy vs. Classroom Reality
Class and Virtue
Forrest Gump: A Subversive Movie
The Postmorbid Condition
Reservoir Dogs[movie poster]
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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