Higher Education

Text Messaging: Reading and Writing About Popular Culture, 1st Edition

  • John Alberti Northern Kentucky University
  • ISBN-10: 0618722238  |  ISBN-13: 9780618722235
  • 576 Pages
  • © 2009 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $108.00



This new text examines how students are communicating and creating culture through blogs, MySpace pages, texting, and other high-tech means of expression. Alberti engages student interest and provides tools for students to more effectively analyze texts of all sorts. Intriguing writing projects improve text communication, writing, and presentation skills. Unlike other pop culture readers that focus exclusively on U.S. culture, Text Messaging recognizes that these forms of pop culture are global in scope, so individuals can and do interact with diverse cultures from around the world.

Features and Benefits

  • New! CL WriteSPACE encompasses the interactive online products and services integrated with Houghton Mifflin writing textbook programs. Students and instructors can access CL WriteSPACE content through text-specific Student and Instructor Websites and via Eduspace, Houghton Mifflin's online Course Management System, and additional course management systems including Blackboard/WebCT.
  • The first two chapters focus on reading and evaluating texts in all media--including online and graphic "texts"--and how students begin to evaluate and create strong messages.
  • Each subsequent chapter focuses on a different cultural form, such as film, television, and advertising.
  • Pedagogical features include Reading Culture sections that present a variety of texts on a particular subject; Seeing Culture features with visual images for analysis; and Creating Culture projects that require students to write text, generate web pages, or create podcasts.
  • The text features an extensive array of familiar illustrations including current and classic movie posters, web screens, ads, and animated television characters.

Table of Contents

1. Reading and Writing About Popular Culture
What Is Popular Culture?
How Do We Think About Culture?
How Do We "View" Culture? Understanding Visual Texts
Writing Concerns Are Also Visual
How Do We Write About Culture?
Drafting and Revising
Focusing Your Draft and Finding a Thesis
Proofreading and Editing
Using this Book: Reading, Viewing, and Responding to Culture
Reading Culture: Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century
Reading: Bill Ivey and Steven J. Tepper, "Cultural Renaissance or Cultural Divide?"
Viewing Culture: Movie Posters Then and Now
Visual Texts: Die Hard poster; Live Free or Die Hard poster
Visual Texts: The Poseidon Adventure poster; Poseidon poster
Visual Texts: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory poster; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory poster
Creating Culture: YouTube and Viral Videos
2. Who Owns What? Ideas and Authority in the Information Age
Who Owns Popular Culture?
The Digital Dilemma in Popular Culture: Who Owns an Idea?
Research and Argument in the Information Age
The Research Process
Reading Culture: Plagiarism in the Digital Age
Reading: Deborah R. Gerhardt, "The Rules of Attribution"
Creating Culture: Wikipedia and the Wiki Movement
Reading: Daniel H. Pink, "The Book Stops Here"
3. Pop Identity: You Are What You Write
Language, Identity, and Writing
Reading: Langston Hughes, "Theme for English B"
Reading Culture: Constructing Identity in a Digital Age
Reading: Irene Sage, "Leading a Double Life"
Reading: Steven Johnson, from Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today''s Pop Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
Reading: Sherry Turkle, from Glen to Glenda and Back Again
Reading: Danzy Senna, "The Mulatto Millennium: Waking Up in the Age of Racial Ambiguity"
Visual Text: Gene Luen Yang, from American Born Chinese
Peggy Orenstein, "What''s Wrong with Cinderella?"
Kathleen Sweeney, "Supernatural Girls"
Viewing Culture: Creating an Avatar
Creating Culture: Social Networking
Reading: Janet Kornblum, "Meet My 5,000 New Best Pals"
Reading: Alan Finder, "When a Risqué Online Persona Undermines a Chance for a Job"
4. Pop (Up) Advertising
The Universe of Advertising
Advertising and You
Interacting with Advertising
Reading Culture: The Evolution of Advertising
Reading: Bill Bryson, "The Hard Sell: Advertising in America"
Reading: Roy F. Fox, "Salespeak"
Reading: Douglas Rushkoff, "They Say"
Reading: Amy Henry, "How Buzz Marketing Works for Teens"
Reading: Kate Zernicke, "And Now a Word from Their Cool College Sponsor"
Viewing Culture: Fake Ads
Visual Text: Shards O'' Glass Freeze Pops
Creating Culture: Creating Your Own Advertising Parody
Reading: Adbusters, "Create Your Own Print Ad"
5. Pop Music: Revolutions You Can Dance To
DIY: Pop Music Goes Interactive
DIY in the Digital Age
Reading Culture: New Ways of Listening
Reading: Nick Hornby, from High Fidelity
Reading: Amy Voida, Rebecca E. Grinter, Nicolas Ducheneaut, W. Keith Edwards, and Mark W. Newman, "Listening In: Practices Surrounding iTunes Music Sharing"
Reading: Jeff Leeds, "The New Tastemakers"
Reading: Benny Evangelista, "You Are What''s on Your Playlist"
Reading: S. Craig Watkins, "Bigger Than Hip Hop"
Reading: Brooke Gladstone with Sergeant Neil Saunders, "Straight Outta Baghdad"
Reading: Tony Perry, "Rapping Straight Outta Iraq"
Viewing Culture: The iPod
Visual Texts: iPopMyPhoto.com; Forkscrew Graphics
Visual Text: The Cult of iPod book cover
Reading: Leander Kahney, "The Joy of iPod: iCandy for the Ears"
Creating Culture: Musical Mash-Ups
Reading: Roberta Cruger, "The Mash-Up Revolution"
6. Pop Goes the News: Whom Do You Trust?
News in the Digital Age
Getting the News: Whom Do You Trust?
Reading Culture: The News: Evolution or Revolution?
Reading: Merrill Brown, "Abandoning the News"
Reading: Geoffrey Baym, "The Daily Show: Discursive Integration and the Reinvention of Political Journalism"
Reading: Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis, "Introduction to Participatory Journalism"
Reading: Dan Burstein, "From Cave Painting to Wonkette: A Short History of Blogging"
Reading: W. Caleb McDaniel, "Blogging in the Early Republic"
Viewing Culture: The Ethics of Photojournalism
Visual Texts: Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
Visual Texts: Toppling Saddam Hussein''s Statue in Firdos Square
Visual Text: An Example of Digital Manipulation
Creating Culture: Iraqi War Blogs
Reading: Riverbend, from Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq
7. Video Pop: Television in the Digital Age
What Is TV in the Digital Age?
Television in the Interactive Age
Reading Culture: Fantasy and Reality on TV
Reading: James Poniewozik and Jeanne McDowell, "How Reality TV Fakes It"
Reading: Jordan Harvey, "The Amazing ''Race'': Discovering a True American"
Reading: Shinobu Price, "Cartoons from Another Planet: Japanese Animation as Cross-Cultural Communication"
Reading: Virginia Heffernan, "The Many Tribes of YouTube"
Viewing Culture: Primetime Animation
Visual Texts: The Faces of Primetime Animation
Visual Text: Scott McCloud, from Understanding Comics
Creating Culture: Do-It-Yourself TV
Reading: Richard Morgan, "A Can-Do Little Website, on the Hunt for Homegrown Stars"
8. From Bollywood to Hollywood: Movies at Home and Around the World
Movies from Past to Present
Movies Around the World
Interactive Movies
Reading Culture: Moving Beyond Stereotypes
Reading: Mark Olsen and John Horn, "Taking Stupid Seriously"
Reading: Joe Kelly and Stacy L. Smith, from G Movies Give Boys a D: Portraying Males as Dominant, Disconnected, and Dangerous
Reading: Michelle Goldberg, "Where Are All the Female Directors?"
Reading: The Editors of Cineaste, "Do We Really Need Movie Ratings?"
Reading: Meenakshi Shedde, "Bollywood Cinema: Making Elephants Fly"
Viewing Culture: Computer-Generated Imagery
Reading: MaryAnn Johanson, "300 Changes the CGI Game"
Creating Culture: Do-It-Yourself Movies
Reading: Jason Silverman, "Here''s the Price of Fame: $218.32"

What's New

  • Provocative topics include concepts of "ownership" of information in the digital age (file sharing versus file stealing), the controversy surrounding the creation and use of Wikipedia, the creation of "fake ads" on the Internet and elsewhere, and blogging in Iraq.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Web Passkey with eBook  (ISBN-10: 0547174306 | ISBN-13: 9780547174303)

List Price = $38.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $28.50

Online Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 0618722254 | ISBN-13: 9780618722259)

List Price = $.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $.00

Student Supplements

Web Passkey with eBook  (ISBN-10: 0547174306 | ISBN-13: 9780547174303)

List Price = $38.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $28.50

Meet the Author

Author Bio

John Alberti

John Alberti teaches at Northern Kentucky University and has a Ph.D. in American literature from UCLA. His main area of research is multicultural American literature and culture.