following prompt: please use sources which Iam able to look for the information used on the essay. no books. because the professor looks through the cited page. it’s a cultural analysis essay. i wanted to do super bowl.
Choose one specific object or artifact from your culture (see list below for ideas) to analyze closely in light of its ideological and cultural underpinnings. If you have an idea that doesn’t fall into one of these categories, send me an email to run it by me, and we can discuss the idea. These categories are meant to jumpstart your thinking about some aspect of culture you can analyze.
As modeled in the lectures in this unit and in our readings, your goal is to analyze the complexity of your object, and what it tells us about the mainstream, cultural ideologies, biases, preferences, and values encoded into that object. The goal here is to take critical look at your own culture and through one of its material objects, resisting the temptation to explain the world away as “it’s just the way it is.” The goal of your analysis should be to uncover the hidden ideals, ideologies, reductive essentializations, biases, and values that influence and instruct us through material culture. See below for more details.
Give your topic enough thought that you choose something you’re interested in. Don’t just try to choose the ‘easiest’ topic; that’s counterproductive.
Categories for Cultural Analysis:
Mythical Persons, Creatures, and Characters: a superhero, zombies, vampires, a TV character, or a celebrity.
A Film, TV Show, or Video Game: The Big Lebowski, The Matrix, Inception, Avatar, The Cars that Ate Paris, Dead Man, Hiroshima mon Amour, South Park, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, or some other film or TV show. If choosing a TV show, it’s best to focus in on a specific episode or character. Video games such as Candy Crush, World of Warcraft, SimCity, and Call of Duty could be analyzed from a cultural perspective (which is actually a growing area of academic research–game studies).
Cultural Objects: Pokémon, MTG, iPhone, a toy, television, mirrors, production homes, a video game, or a novel.
Cultural Services: Facebook, strip club, dry cleaning, fast food restaurant, or a daycare.
Industries and Events: a sport, fashion industry, a holiday, Wal-Mart, Super Bowl, or factory farm.
Cultural Analysis Strategies
Every good interpretive analysis contains the following:
A specific introduction that gives background on the objects being analyzed and the overall cultural interpretation of that object (i.e. your thesis, specific and arguable)
Describe and analyze the precise features and details of your particular object of analysis. Don’t just talk about the object—analyze its details, features, movements, and so on.
Interprets not only what was intended by the object (its use, its purpose), but goes beyond that to show how it demonstrates unintentional features: the ideologies, prejudices, cultural values, assumptions, etc. that get encoded into that object, either in the object itself or in how audiences/consumers use or interact with it.
Don’t just summarize (though a little summary at the beginning may be needed)—analyze.
KEY POINT: Be sure you’re doing the work of cultural analysis, meaning not a pro-con argument, but the work of cultural analysis as modeled in the readings and lectures in the course and described above. As an example of the difference:
As an example (and don’t use this topic): if you were doing a cultural analysis of the death penalty, you would not be making an argument for or against it for this particular essay. Instead, you might argue that “The phenomenon of the death penalty demonstrates American cultural obsession with retribution, the violence of which poses problems to the ‘justice’ we often talk about.” The goal would be to learn more about what the death penalty tells us about how we value and think about violence, justice, retribution, and so on. It would not be making an argument for or against the death pena
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