Life as culture

CTCH 203 – Intro to Media and Communication
Assignment Guidelines

The assignments are regular formal essay assignments. 

Ensure that your name appears on the essay.
Choose an appropriate title.

Each essay is to be 1300 words min. (max. 2000 words).
Use 12pt font, 1” (2.54 cm) margins, double spaced.

Write from the 1st person perspective. However, this is not a journal or diary so be careful to not make it about you. Always maintain a critical and analytic perspective.

Your assignments must contain: an argument; short introduction, body, and conclusion; logical progression of ideas; proper grammar and spelling. Always try to develop a personal writing style.

A Harvard Style quick reference guide is posted in URCourses. Please use it for your citations. 

Try to be engaged, creative, and experimental. 

It is time to do some applied thinking. For this assignment please identify an element of your own life and reflect on it as a culture, using materials that you have read and viewed in class. For example, if you are involved in a regular group activity, let’s say Ultimate Frisbee, think about how you might frame the sport as a culture. You may choose any activity that you wish. The challenge will be to work with notions of culture that we have studied and apply them to your own life.
Refer to materials from weeks one through three (only) for the assignment. Assignments must engage with the readings, media, and lecture materials from these weeks. Extra research is not required, but it is welcome if you wish. 
Once you have chosen a topic post your reflections to the Life as Culture Assignment on the course main page. 
Questions to Consider

What is the activity that you have chosen to discuss and why?
What are its key features? (For example Ultimate Frisbee involves elements beyond simply playing the sport).
Why do you consider it to be culture? What ideas from class support your claim?
Identify 3 questions that help you to understand your idea as a culture.

resources: 

Raymond Williams biography 
Contemporary Centre for Cultural Studies – Birmingham https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_for_Contemporary_Cultural_Studies
Cultural Studies booklist   https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/cultural-studies
Williams, Raymond (1989) “Culture is Ordinary” Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy Socialism, London: Verso, pp. 3-14 | PDF used under fairdealing guidelines 
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “The Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas”, Keyworks: 31-33 | PDF used under fair-dealing guidelines
Antonio Gramsci, “(i) History of the Subaltern Classes; (ii) The Concept of ‘Ideology’; (iii) Cultural Themes: Ideological Material ”, Keyworks: 34-37 | PDF used under fair-dealing guidelines
Marx Reloaded.  Film available iTunes rental ($6.99).  Completely optional!  Trailer: https://youtu.be/ybvsZ7YjBL0
History Guide to Karl Marx – http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/marx.HTML
Short Guide to Antonio Gramsci – https://globalsocialtheory.org/thinkers/gramsci-antonio/ 
Stuart Hall, “Notes on Deconstructing the Popular,” https://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/research/news-and-events/events/phd/2019/hall_notes-on-deconstructing–the-popular-.pdf | PDF used under fairdealing guidelines. 

Media

Illustration of The Simpsons family by 20th CenturyFox Film Corp.  Licence: Fair use. Source.

The Simpsons, “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield (Season 7 – Episode 14, 1996) and “Much Apu About Nothing” (Season 7 – Episode 23, 1996) available from Youtube, iTunes and Disney Plus. Please also check for free versions.
Horkheimer and Adorno summary – https://themaxklinger.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/a-summary-of-adorno-and-horkheimers-slightly-interesting-and-staggeringly-pretentious-views-on-art/
“Culture Industry” from Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_industry 
Stuart Hall’s life – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/10/stuart-hall-cultural-legacy-britain-godfather-multiculturalism