Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer

Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer

Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer

Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer

Excerpt

Rather than viewing popular culture as “guilty” or “innocent,” the central theme running through Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture is that various media and the popular culture they promote and produce are reflections of deeper structural conditions—such as poverty, racism, sexism, and homophobia—and economic disparities woven into major social institutions. While discussions of sexism in various forms of media, for instance, are often lively and provocative, the representations themselves are not the core reason that gender inequality continues to exist. Media images bring it to our attention and may further normalize sexism for us, but our examination of our society should not end with media.

In order to understand social problems, we need to look beyond media as a prime causal factor. Media may be a good entry point for thinking about how social problems have a basis beyond the sole individual. But while that premise can open the discussion, this book aims to help students and other readers take the next step in understanding social problems. We must look deeper than popular culture— we need to look at the structural roots to understand issues such as bullying, violence, suicide, teen sex and pregnancy, divorce, substance use, materialism, and educational failure.

Neither media nor popular culture stands still for very long—making the study of both a never-ending endeavor. In this second edition of . . .

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