Social Problems and Popular Culture

Social Problems and Popular Culture


Week One Discussion (Read Chapter 1 from website


Answer two of the following questions. <em “=””>(each one is 150 words) (Total 300 words)

1. According to Sternheimer, what is the larger issue behind focusing on or blaming media for various social problems? What does the author believe are the more important underlying issues? Why might politicians, the public, and the media itself be reluctant to discuss these issues, in your opinion?

2. Why does Sternheimer believe that social context is so important in understanding fears about media and popular culture? What are “moral panics,” and what examples of moral panics does she provide in 20th century music? Do you see examples of similar, current moral panics in American culture?


3. What is “agenda-setting theory,” and how does the media itself ironically stoke public fears about media influence on children? How might a constructionist approach to social problems provide us with a more nuanced understanding of the supposed “harm” of popular culture?

Discussion board responses will be graded according to the following criteria:

1.Content and Development (Total points: 30) a. Post addresses the issue(s) raised: 10 Points b. Post length is substantive: 10 Points (Well-formed, thoughtful, and detailed responses/commentaries to discussion questions and classmate postings. Minimum total of 300 words written per week.) c. Post references assigned material: 10 Points

2. Mechanics (Total points: 20) a. Rules of spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed: 20 Points

3. Readability and Style (Total points: 10) a.Sentences are complete, clear, and concise, and the tone is appropriate to the content and assignment: 10 Points