Tag Article List: class

Resistance, Race, and Myth: A Critical Survey of American Popular Music Culture in the 20th Century

Scott Haden Church
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT, USA
scott_church@byu.edu

Abstract

The topic of popular music in the United States has garnered much analysis from scholars, particularly how popular music has created or reflected American myths, collective memory, and racial politics. This essay is a review of select research on the interface between 20th century American popular music, culture, and power. The essay reveals that pop music scholarship is rooted in paradox. Hence, it focuses on three chiastic or antithetical themes permeating scholarship on the topic: Popular music as either cultural hegemony or resistance to that cultural hegemony; Popular music as fundamental to the American myth, or the American myth as fundamental to popular music; and Popular music as inextricable from American race, or race as inextricable from American music. Further, it sheds light on the interconnectedness of American culture and popular music in the 20th century. This review of critical scholarship on popular music culture in the 20th century is significant for popular culture studies and pedagogy because it provides a frame of reference from which scholars and teachers may formulate research about popular music in the 21st century. 

Keywords: Popular Music, Race and Ethnicity, American Dream, Gender, Class, Postwar

Author Bio

Scott Haden Church (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communications at Brigham Young University. His research primarily uses critical methods to examine popular culture and social media. His research has been published recently in Journal of Media and Religion, Public Relations Review, and Critical Studies in Media Communication.

Suggested Citation

APA

Church, S. H. (2019). Resistance, race, and myth: A critical survey of American popular music culture in the 20th century. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 6(3). http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v6-issue-3/resistance-race-and-myth-a-critical-survey-of-american-popular-music-culture-in-the-20th-century/

MLA 

Church, Scott Haden. “Resistance, Race, and Myth: A Critical Survey of American Popular Music Culture in the 20th Century.” Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, vol. 6, no. 3, 2019. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v6-issue-3/resistance-race-and-myth-a-critical-survey-of-american-popular-music-culture-in-the-20th-century/

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Grounded Aesthetics: Pedagogy for a Post-Truth Era

Becca Cragin
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH, USA
bcragin@bgsu.edu 

Abstract

With the rise of cultural studies, positivism and formalism fell out of favor. But in recent years, altered versions of these methodologies have been suggested as solutions to the deficiencies of the ideological approach dominating the field. Where the ideological approach looks at the content of texts to determine their meaning, the aesthetic approach adopted by media scholars in recent years returns to the close textual readings of formalism (while abandoning its assertion that meaning resides in the text alone). Similarly, where the ideological approach tends to use textual analysis devoid of sociological empiricism, the use of “big data” in the humanities enhances interpretation by using empirical data alongside it (while rejecting positivism’s assumption that measurable data alone is probative). This article draws both methodological strands together to propose an approach to media interpretation called “grounded aesthetics.” Grounded aesthetics involves correlating sociological data with close textual reading to argue for the likely social meaning of the text, given the techniques it uses and the social reality around it. Examples of classroom activities are used to show how the approach can address the “post-truth” perspective many students share: that analyses of representation are interchangeable opinions. Grounded aesthetics greatly improves students’ ability to create well-supported textual analyses and to evaluate the persuasiveness of others’ arguments. It also models critical thinking skills that are useful for dismantling attacks on reality in the “fake news” era, especially those that dismiss analyses of inequality as ideology.

Keywords: aesthetics, big data, class, cultural studies, empiricism, formalism, gender, inequality, media studies, pedagogy, post-truth, race

Author Bio

Becca Cragin is an Associate Professor of Popular Culture in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include gender, race, and sexuality in television and film, in comedy and crime genres.

Reference Citation

APA
Cragin, B. (2018). Grounded Aesthetics: Pedagogy for a Post-Truth Era. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 5(3) http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v5-issue-3/grounded-aesthetics-pedagogy-for-a-post-truth-era/

MLA
Cragin, Becca. “Grounded Aesthetics: Pedagogy for a Post-Truth Era.” Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 2018, vol 5, no 3. http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v5-issue-3/grounded-aesthetics-pedagogy-for-a-post-truth-era/

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