Our ideas about race and gender shape and are shaped by popular media such as the internet, music, television, film, newspapers, magazines, and the arts. In this course, students will investigate how pop-culture industries represent race and gender in ways that create and reinforce systematic gender and racial privilege. The course also focuses on contributions to pop culture by marginalized groups and women in order to study self-representation, critiques of mainstream tropes of race and gender, and the subversion of hierarchies of privilege and power. Considerable content is geared toward the intersectional study of race and racism with gender and sexism. The course explores theories treating gender and race as social constructs (that interact with each other, and with other aspects of identity) at an introductory degree of complexity suitable for a non-specialist, lower-level course.
- Describe the concept of social construction and its relationship to race and gender.
- Recognize and identify socially constructed elements of racism and sexism in works of popular culture.
- Apply various theories falling under the broad umbrella of social construction to a critical analysis of race and gender in multiple and diverse forms of popular culture.
- Identify areas of intersection between race, gender, and other social identities.
- Analyze the construction of race and gender in pop culture in independent works requiring your critical thinking, writing, and academic research.
- Consider personal and institutional responsibilities to recognize and repair legacies of racism and sexism.
- Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
- Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
- Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
- Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
- Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
- Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
- Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
- Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.