Higher Education

The Pop Culture Zone: Writing Critically about Popular Culture, 2nd Edition

  • Allison D. Smith Middle Tennessee State University
  • Trixie G. Smith Michigan State University
  • ISBN-10: 0840028431  |  ISBN-13: 9780840028433
  • 512 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009
  • © 2015 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $96.75
  • Newer Edition Available
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About

Overview

Why bring pop culture into the composition classroom? It's something students know and can get passionate about, and it also functions as a bridge to academic culture and concerns. THE POP CULTURE ZONE: WRITING CRITICALLY ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE, 2nd Edition, focuses on students' relationship with pop culture - such as film, television, social networks, and advertisements - and how this relationship can help them become better critical thinkers, readers, and writers. Students learn to listen to viewpoints that differ from their own, summarize their views effectively, compare and contrast, and present their ideas in a way that creates a continuing conversation of ideas.

Features and Benefits

  • Meeting Students Where They Are: THE POP CULTURE ZONE, 2nd Edition, meets students where they are and then asks them to do what they already do when they choose to watch a particular television show or choose Facebook over MySpace - critique, review, and then present supporting evidence.
  • Pedagogy: Students are invited to see how much they know about upcoming topics with the Engaging with Topics questions. Before readings essays, they can share ideas in the Considering Ideas questions, which are provided to get students thinking about the topics and sharing pre-reading ideas about the specific essay topics as they journal or blog or have conversations with classmates. After reading, students are asked to analyze the essays in Decoding the Text questions and to analyze and share reactions to essays in the Connecting to Your Culture questions.
  • Writing Apparatus: This edition includes writing apparatus in Chapter 2, “Writing in the Pop Culture Zone”, and at the beginning of each content chapter. This writing assistance is often missing from pop culture readers.
  • Test Your Pop Culture IQ: At the beginning of each chapter, there is a short pop culture quiz that students and teachers can take to see how much they do (or don't) know about the content area. The quizzes provide a fun and engaging way to jump-start critical thinking, help make connections to pop culture, and create the cognitive dissonance that leads to active engagement and learning.
  • The Reading Zone: The Reading Zone in each chapter is a place, or contact zone, where students meet new ideas through the readings and the reactions these readings generate in themselves and classmates. The reading selections in The Reading Zone provide topics for students to investigate, discuss, or argue with. These selections also provide models for writing review, reflection or response, analysis, and synthesis essays - the types of essays that are later asked for in the writing assignment sections of the chapters.
  • Decades and Disciplines: Each chapter's readings are organized by decades (the 1970s-1980s, the 1990s-2000s , and the '10s) and include examples from a variety of disciplines, such as English, theatre, sociology, geography, political science, communications, and music.
  • The Content Zone: In Chapters 6-10, students are encouraged to make choices, disagree with readings, and discuss with their peers and others about interpretations and the importance of pop culture.
  • Visuals: Because pop culture often includes visual material rather than written text, 90 photos and visuals are used throughout the text. In addition, the reading selections contain samples of visual essays, and visual essays are offered as alternative assignments. In the new reading chapter, strategies for visual analysis are included.
  • Four-color Advertising Insert: In Chapter 6, Writing about Advertisements, the case study is a set of 10 related images that examine Coca-Cola, both the company and the product and their roles in popular culture. This special section also includes Decoding the Text and Connecting to Your Culture questions designed to help students analyze and their share reactions to images.
  • Case Studies: Each chapter includes a case study that allows students to grapple with multiple viewpoints on one topic.
  • Multiple Viewpoints: The readings were selected to encompass multiple viewpoints and perspectives - liberal and conservative, biased and unbiased, pro and con.
  • Professional and Student Writers: Each chapter includes student and professional writers as well as examples of review, reflection/response, analysis, and synthesis essays.
  • Annotated Sample Essays: Included is a unique sample essay for each content area that has been annotated to help students see what makes for good organization or good detail when pop culture is the subject. Many of these samples are written by students who use their personal interest in pop culture to help them create essays that fit into the chapter topic.
  • Grappling with Ideas Boxes: Throughout the book, Grappling with Ideas boxes ask students to think more deeply about chapter content. These questions can be used by students as a way to reflect on their own thoughts and opinions before encountering the thoughts and opinions of classmates, the instructor, or the essay authors in this book.
  • Key Tips Boxes: Key Tips boxes are provided throughout the text to summarize key points helpful in reading and writing about popular culture.
  • MLA and APA: Chapter 5, “Researching in the Pop Culture Zone”, contains guidelines for connecting research around specific pop culture media and themes - another feature unique to this market - as well as MLA and APA guidelines for documentation.

Table of Contents

Part I: INTRODUCTION TO WRITING ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE.
1. The Pop Culture Zone.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Education and Pop Culture. Why Write About Pop Culture? What is the Pop Culture Zone? What are Some of the Book''s Special Features? Test Your Pop Culture IQ. Grappling With Ideas. Annotated Sample Essays. The Reading Zone. Writing and Research Advice. Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays. The Writing and Research Process. Companion Website. Finding Ideas for Your Essays. The Reading Zone. Ernest Morrell Links Literacy to Pop Culture, Art Peterson.
2. Defining Popular Culture.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: What is Pop Culture? Trends and History. Convention + Intention = Popular Culture. What/Who Defines American Popular Culture? What/Who Defines American Popular Culture Studies? The Popular Culture Divide. Popular Culture is Academic. Popular Culture in Academics. Your Place in Popular Culture/Popular Culture''s Place in You. Critical Reading and Viewing of Popular Culture. Reseeing Popular Culture. Areas of Study from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. The Reading Zone. Reading Selection: Defining Popular Culture. The Oprah Effect: Her Endorsement Goldmine, Popeater.
3. Writing in the Pop Culture Zone.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Writing. What is Writing? Shaping a Written Performance. What is Brainstorming? Freewriting. Looping. Journaling. Example - Writing Case Study, Draft 1. Clustering or Mapping. Cubing. Listing. Interviewing and Discussing. Questioning. Outlining. What Is Drafting? Example - Writing Case Study, Draft 2. What is Revising? Why Revise? Revising at the Essay Level. Revising at the Paragraph Level. Revising at the Sentence Level. Revising at the Word Level. Revision Helpers. When to Stop Revising. Revising in a Timed Writing Situation. Example - Writing Case Study, Draft 3. What is Editing? When to Edit. Different Levels of Editing. Paragraph-Level Editing. Sentence-Level Editing. Word-Level Editing. Proofreading: Punctuation. Proofreading: Spelling. Proofreading: Capitalization and Italics. Proofreading: Formatting. Example - Writing Case Study, Draft 4, Crossing Ethical Lines, Erin Halcott.
4. Reading in the Pop Culture Zone.
How to Read Effectively. How to Think Critically About Reading Selections. Questions to Help Understand the Purpose of an Assigned Reading. Questions to Help Understand How Much Time to Devote to an Assigned Reading. How to be an Active Reader. Pre-Reading and Previewing. Checklist for Previewing a Reading Selection. Reading (For Content). Strategies to Read Critically. Annotating Reading Selections. Strategies to Annotate Effectively. Example of Annotated Reading Selection. Taking Notes on Important Information. Strategies to Take Notes Effectively. Example of Notes Taken on a Reading Selection. Note-Taking Software Available. Post-Reading. Summarizing Important Information. Strategies to Summarize Effectively. Example of a Summary Outline. Critically Analyzing Reading Selections. Personal Response vs. Critical Response to Reading Selections. Analyzing Form. Analyzing Content. Analyzing Visuals. Questions About Design. Questions About the Creator/Author. Questions About Content. Questions About Context. Questions About Audience. Questions About Purpose. Questions About Overall Impression. Sample Rhetorical Analysis Assignment. Sample Rhetorical Analysis Essay With Annotations. Writing About What You Have Read. The Reading Zone [Reading TK].
5. Researching and Documenting in the Pop Culture Zone.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Researching and Documenting. You and the Research Process. Knowing Your Resources on Campus. Researching a Topic. The Reference Section. Internet Sources. Quick Search Example. Analyzing and Using Research Materials. Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism. Documentation. MLA Guidelines. Citing Sources in Your Text. Parenthetical Citations. Long or Block Quotations. Citing Online Sources. Adding or Omitting Words in Quotations. Preparing Your Works Cited. Basic Guidelines For Works Cited. Basic Guidelines for Citations. Basic MLA Forms for All Media. Sample Works Cited. APA Guidelines. Citing Sources in Your Text. Parenthetical Citations. Long or Block Quotations. Citing Online Sources. Adding or Omitting Words in Quotations. Preparing Your References List. Basic Guidelines for a References List. Basic Guidelines for Citations. Basic APA Forms for All Media. Sample References List.
Part II. THE CONTENT ZONE.
6. Writing About Advertisements.
Test Your Popular Culture IQ: Advertisements. You and Advertisements. Why Write About Advertisements? Preparing to Write About Advertisements. Examining Advertisements. Appealing to Consumers. Subvertising. Researching and Documenting Advertisements. Writing About Advertisements. Advertisement Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays. Sample Annotated Essay. “Gender Stereotypes in Advertising”, Ted Sherman. The Reading Zone. 1970-1980s. “The Marlboro Man: The Perfect Campaign”, James B. Twitchell. “Marketing In Color: New Niches Flow Into the Mainstream”, Leon Wynter. “Paid Advertisements in Books Will Undermine our Freest Vehicle of Expression”, Murray L. Bob. “1990-2000s. Profitability, Diversity, and Disability Images in Advertising in the United States and Great Britain”, Beth Haller and Sue Ralph. “Defining Trade Characters and Their Role In American Popular Culture”, Barbara J. Phillips. “Corporate Advertising in American Schools”, Amy Aidman. “2010s. Mad Men, Mad Women”, Joy Parks. “I''m With The B®And”, Steve Marsh. “Amazon Selling Kindle With Ads For $114”, Wilson Rothman. Visual Case Study: Coca-Cola. Contemplations in The Pop Culture Zone. Collaborations in The Pop Culture Zone. Start Writing Essays About Advertisements. Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays.
7. Writing About Film.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Film. You and Film. Why Write About Film? Preparing to Write About Film. Watching and Thinking. Watching, Analyzing, and Understanding. Watching, Researching, and Documenting. Writing About Film. Film Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays. Sample Annotated Essay. “1968 Resonates In 2004: 2001: A Space Odyssey And The Devolution Of The Science Fiction Film”, Chris Driver. The Reading Zone. 1970-1980s. “The Season Of The Blockbuster: Homicidal Shark Pioneers Blockbuster Films”, Chuthan Ponnapalam. “Two Audiences, Two Spirits: Differences Between The Two ''Star Wars'' Trilogies”, David Brennan. “John Hughes Goes Deep: The Unexpected Heaviosity Of ''Ferris Bueller''s Day Off''“, Steve Almond. 1990-2000s. “''Myth'' And The Making of ''Malcolm X''“, Gerald Horne. Excerpt From Cinderella Ate My Daughter: “Girl Power, No, Really,” Peggy Orenstein. “Excerpt From the Achilles Effect: What Pop Culture is Teaching Young Boys About Masculinity”, Crystal Smith. 2010s. Case Study: Movie Reviews. Night of the Killer Lamp in Inventory, Writers of The AV Club. Is Marvel Killing the Comic Book Genre? “Final ''Harry Potter'' Film Wraps Up Series With Elegant, Epic Battle To The Death”, Drew Mcweeny. “''The Cove'' Was Covert, Dangerous Filmmaking”, Rachel Abramowitz. Contemplations in the Pop Culture Zone. Collaborations in the Pop Culture Zone. Start Writing Essays About Film. Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays.
Chapter 8. Writing About Social Networks.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Social Networks. You and Social Networking. Why Write About Social Networks? Preparing to Write About Social Networks. Terms to Know. Researching and Documenting. Writing About Social Networks. Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays. Sample Annotated Essay. “Ladies of The White Gloves: Riding With Pride”, Dianna Baldwin. The Reading Zone. 1970-1980s. Earth Day: History of a Movement. “Mallingering”, William Severini Kowinski. 1990-2000s. “Pledged: The Secret Life Of Sororities”, Alexandra Robbins. “Nascar Racing Fans: Cranking Up An Empirical Approach”, M. Graham Spann. Case Study: Hobby Groups As Social Networks. “Fabric of Their Lives”, Amei Wallach. “A Cruise for Glue and Scissors”, Felicia Paik. “Hitler Did Fine, But I Can Do Better From Who Are You People? A Personal Journey Into The Heart of Fanatical Passion In America”, Shari Caudron. “Homecooked Competition Serves The Ultimate Friendship: Ultimate Frisbee Teaches Blair Students Unconventional And Important Lessons”, Eliza Wapner. 2010s. “Stronger Social Connectivity”, Jane McGonigal. “Our Lady of Persistent Liminality: Virtual Church Cyberspace and Second Life”, Rachel Wagner. “Social Networking And Class Warfare”, Steven Levy. Contemplations in the Pop Culture Zone. Collaborations in the Pop Culture Zone. Start Writing Essays About Social Networking. Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays.
Chapter 9. Writing About Music.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Music. You and Music. Why Write About Music? Preparing To Write About Music. Listening, Watching, and Thinking. Listening, Watching, Analyzing, And Understanding. Listening, Watching, Researching, And Documenting. Writing About Music. Music Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays. Sample Annotated Essay. “On The Bus Mall: Homeless Youth Community Affected By Societal Issues”, Elizabeth Adams. The Reading Zone. 1970-1980s. “Rock Vs. Disco: Who Really Won The War?”, John Rockwell. “Music Video and the Spectator: Television, Ideology, and Dream”, Marsha Kinder. Building a Better Pig: A Historical Survey of the PMRC And Its Tactics, Maria Fontenot And Chad Harriss. 1990-2000s. “Visual Essay: Rap Of The Ages: Tracking The Highs And Lows Of Nearly 20 Years”, Havelock Nelson And Gerrie E. Summers. Joe Strummer, Theodore Matula. Case Study. “''Bitch'' And Lilith Fair: Resisting Anger, Celebrating Contradictions”, Kalene Westmoreland. “Stupid Girls”, Pink. 2010s. “The King Of Pop Leaves Behind A Legacy Of Music And Style That Changed The World Of Entertainment”, Todd Leopold. “The Power of ''Glee'': Singing Groups Gaining Popularity Thanks to Fox TV Show”, Alexandra Pecci. “Street Survival: Success Strategies for Country Music Venues”, Mark Crawford. Contemplations in The Pop Culture Zone. Collaborations in The Pop Culture Zone. Start Writing Essays About Music. Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays.
Chapter 10. Writing About Television.
Test Your Pop Culture IQ: Television. You and Television. Why Write About Television? Preparing To Write About Television. Watching and Thinking. Watching, Analyzing, and Understanding. Watching, Researching, And Documenting. Writing About Television. Television Reviews or Review Essays. Reflection or Response Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays. Sample Annotated Essay. Timing Is Everything: The Success Of “Dawson''s Creek” and the Failure Of “My So-Called Life”, Andrew Coomes. The Reading Zone. 1970-80s. The Black Scholar Forum: Symposium On Roots, Chuck Stone. The Black Scholar Forum: Symposium On Roots, Clyde Taylor. The Black Scholar Forum: Symposium On Roots, Robert Staples. The Black Scholar Forum: Symposium On Roots, Robert Chrisman. The Black Scholar Forum: Symposium on Roots, Chinweizu. Snl Musical Guests: Best “Saturday Night Live” Music Performance Videos, Michael D. Ayers. Death Warrant: Hollywood Pulls The Plug On VHS Releases, And It''s The End Of A Pop-Culture Era, James Hebert. 1990-2000s. Is The Black TV Series Dead?, Ariel Crocket. The Greater Reality of Minorities on TV, Greg Braxton. Cartoons (Seriously) Can Teach Us About Faith, Mark I. Pinsky. Case Study. Letter D Pulls Sponsorship From Sesame Street, The Onion. Sorry Situation, Mark Harris. Gay Teens on TV, Jennifer Armstong. 2010s. Dropping TV Service In Favor Of Watching Web Content Gains Popularity, Joanne Ostrow. Underneath Every Hoarder Is A Normal Person Waiting To Be Dug Out, Carina Chocano. Visual Essay: The Popular Feedback Remix: 50 States/50 TV series, Andrew Shears. Contemplations in the Pop Culture Zone. Collaborations in the Pop Culture Zone. Start Writing Essays About Television. Reviews or Review Essays. Response and Reflection Essays. Analysis Essays. Synthesis Essays.

What's New

  • 37 New Readings: In Chapter 8, Writing about Social Networks, students can compare Facebook and MySpace while examining the role of online games. The ever-popular “Glee” makes two appearances (in Chapter 9, Writing about Music, and Chapter 10, Writing about TV) as students consider its role in the popularity of school choirs as well as gay teens on TV. In Chapter 10, students can read about a range of programming, from “Hoarders”, to “Saturday Night Live”, to the popularity of black sitcoms in the '80s and '90s. New reviews include Michael Jackson (Chapter 9), venues for up-and-coming country artists (Chapter 9), and Amazon sales strategies for Kindles (Chapter 6, Writing about Advertisements). Other new readings include “Stupid Girls” by Pink, (Chapter 9), a look at A&E's “Mad Men”, (Chapter 10), and a comparison of the two “Star Wars” trilogies (Chapter 7, Writing about Film).
  • Readings of Varying Lengths: There are now essays of varying lengths and styles throughout each chapter to accommodate different reading requirements and assignments, as well as to illustrate the possibilities for student writing.
  • New Reading Chapter: To help students read more complex works, a new critical-reading chapter has been added - Chapter 4, Reading in the Pop Culture Zone. This new chapter includes sections and strategies to help students become more critical readers, including advice on how to effectively annotate reading selections, summarize important information, and analyze reading selections. A highlight of the new chapter is a section on analyzing visuals with strategies on how to analyze design, content, context, audience, and purpose.
  • Multimodal Composition: The text includes visual essays and multimodal writing assignments for each chapter, from list essays to mapping to blogs. In addition, the new Chapter 4, “Reading in the Pop Culture Zone”, includes a section on analyzing visuals.
  • Revised Chapter 6: The most popular readings and topics from the previous Chapter 6, “Writing About Groups, Spaces, and Places”, and Chapter 9, “Writing About Sports and Leisure”, are paired with new readings on social networks to create a new chapter, “Writing about Social Networks”. This allows students and instructors to think more strategically about the role of networks in forming and/or claiming identities in and through popular culture.
  • Stump Your Teacher: The last question in the chapter-opening quiz is now a write-your-own Stump Your Teacher question to allow for more instructor/student engagement.
  • Decades Readings: The decades have been combined in the following way: 1970s-1980s, 1990s-2000s, and the '10s.
  • Briefer Text: The second edition has been edited to allow for more efficient classroom use.

Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

“PCZ offers an in-depth, multifaceted, and critical look at a topic that is of interest to much of our student population. The mediums explored and critiqued in the textbook have often prompted exciting and thoughtful discussions among my students, and led them each to take a closer look at those aspects of their own lives that reflect - and spur - trends in popular culture. The textbook's main strength is its theme and propensity to generate ideas; however, it lacks in helping guide students through the process of writing and how to properly analyze the reader portion of the text.”

— Nicolette Costantino, Tallahassee Community College

“A book on popular culture that treats the students with respect by acknowledging, first, that liking the stuff is not bad, and, second, that the students are themselves the experts in this field. This textbook promotes a true - and honest - decentered classroom.”

— Gareth Euridge, Tallahassee Community College

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Meet the Author

Author Bio

Allison D. Smith

Allison D. Smith is professor of English and Coordinator of Graduate Teaching Assistants at Middle Tennessee State University. She received a BA in Teaching Language and Composition and an MA in Applied Linguistics from California State University, Long Beach and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics/Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education from The University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. Her primary teaching and research areas include writing pedagogy, writing about pop culture, writing assessment, discourse analysis, and pedagogical grammar. Recent publications include a book chapter in More Ways to Handle the Paper Load, an article on journal writing for the English Leadership Quarterly, and COMPbiblio: Leaders and Influences in Composition Theory and Practice, a book focusing on the career arcs of leaders in composition. In addition, she is one of the series editors for the Fountainhead Press X Series for Professional Development. She is the co-author of THE POP CULTURE ZONE: WRITING CRITICALLY ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE (Cengage/Wadsworth, 2009). She is an active participant in the National Council of Teachers of English, the Conference on Composition and Communication, and the Research Network Forum.

Trixie G. Smith

Trixie G. Smith is Director of The Writing Center and a member of the faculty in Rhetoric and Writing at Michigan State University. After earning a BA in English and Elementary Education from Mobile College, she spent several years teaching middle and high school students in southern Alabama. She then received an MA in English, an MLIS in Library and Information Science, and a Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. Her teaching and research revolve around writing center theory and practice, writing across the curriculum, writing pedagogy, and teacher training. These areas often intersect with her interests in pop culture, service learning, gender studies, and activism. Recent and upcoming publications include a book chapter in (E)merging Identities: Graduate Students in the Writing Center, several articles in Southern Discourse, and COMPbiblio: Leaders and Influences in Composition Theory and Practice, a reference book focusing on the career arcs of leaders in composition studies; she is also one of the series editors for the Fountainhead Press X Series for Professional Development. She is the co-author of THE POP CULTURE ZONE: WRITING CRITICALLY ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE. She is an active participant in the National Council of Teachers of English, the Conference on Composition and Communication, the Research Network Forum, the National Writing Project, and the International Writing Center Association.