Sociological Perspectives on Popular Culture

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1. How does functionalism explain our obsession with professional and collegiate athletics, celebrity magazines and other forms of entertainment? What are some of the “rituals” of solidarity and social cohesion? Do you participate in any of these forms of entertainment and what are your reasons for doing so? Post one item of relevant supplemental material to illustrate this approach.

2. What are some of the main claims of critical theorists about popular culture and the media? Provide examples. Do you find critical theory’s analysis convincing and why/ why not?

3. How do symbolic interactionists explain our taste and preferences when it comes to popular culture? How are you a product of your environment (the social groups you belong to) when it comes to the way you consume popular culture? What are your personal preferences (the kinds of music and movies you prefer, for example) and what are some of the influences that impacted these preferences?

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