Why are people fist pumping like the characters of Jersey Shore?

Unit III Final Draft Assignment
A Cultural Critique

In our society, pop culture has become a part of the products we own, the shows we watch on T.V., and the fictional characters we talk about and even emulate. We often don’t take the time to consider what messages are being portrayed through these artifacts, and why the characters are portrayed the way they are. What is the history and reasoning behind these pieces of pop culture?

This assignment asks you to perform a researched critique of a cultural artifact, character, or T.V. show that has influenced our society. Consider objects that influence particular subcultures. How do Ray-Bans become symbols of a subculture? Why are people fist pumping like the characters of Jersey Shore? What does Barbie say to little girls? Why does Apple come up with certain iPod apps?

For the Unit III Cultural Critique, you will be asked to evaluate multiple sources and perspectives on a topic, and form your own opinion about its significance. From your careful consideration of the evidence, you will form your thesis. While any text will have an underlying argument of some kind, the focus of this paper is more exploratory than persuasive. The purpose of this assignment is to look at a piece of cultural from a variety of different angles, and inform the reader about how it affects our society and what it reflects about our culture.

This assignment asks you to compose a 4-5 page cultural critique. Unlike the hands-on research you conducted in Units I and II, you will complete this assignment by consulting a variety of secondary sources, and discovering how your chosen artifact is represented and written about within the culture at large. Your final paper must draw on a minimum of five outside sources, at least three of which must be from an academic or similarly credible scholarly publication, such as a journal, article or book. The other two sources may be an informal commentary source, like a blogs or magazine article. They could also be multimedia sources, such as videos, photographs, etc. Keep in mind that Wikipedia, though sometimes a good starting place for basic information, should not be used as a source for this paper. We will learn more about the different types of sources as the unit progresses.

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