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THIS IS DIFFERENT ASSIGNMENTS IN ONE ASSIGNMENT 1: This doesn’t directly relate
THIS IS DIFFERENT ASSIGNMENTS IN ONE ASSIGNMENT 1: This doesn't directly relate to this week's topic, but it's very interesting sociologically in terms of how the pandemic has changed our social relationships, including those concerning our relationships with popular culture. Notably, it address how it has affected our "weak ties," a term coined by sociologist Mark Granovetter. During the pandemic we keep in touch with close friends and family, but not "the guy who’s always at the gym at the same time as you, the barista who starts making your usual order while you’re still at the back of the line, the co-worker from another department with whom you make small talk on the elevator. They’re also people you might have never directly met, but you share something important in common—you go to the same concerts, or live in the same neighborhood and frequent the same local businesses. You might not consider all of your weak ties friends, at least in the common use of the word, but they’re often people with whom you’re friendly. Most people are familiar with the idea of an inner circle; Granovetter posited that we also have an outer circle, vital to our social health in its own ways." Granovetter argues that it is often through these weak ties that we find new social or economic opportunites--notably our close friends often have the same friends as us, but our "weak ties" can provide access to other social networks. "The psychological effects of losing all but our closest ties can be profound. Peripheral connections tether us to the world at large; without them, people sink into the compounding sameness of closed networks. Regular interaction with people outside our inner circle “just makes us feel more like part of a community, or part of something bigger,” Gillian Sandstrom, a social psychologist at the University of Essex, told me. People on the peripheries of our lives introduce us to new ideas, new information, new opportunities, and other new people. If variety is the spice of life, these relationships are the conduit for it." https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/01/pandemic-goodbye-casual-friends/617839/ ASSIGNMENT 2: This following article addresses how class can be an embarrassing subject for wealthy people, addressing the social difficulties some people experience in feeling the need to hide their extravagant lifestyles, for instance from their assistants And this article addresses how one of the daughters of the Wal Mart founder Sam Walton started a "high culture" institution, an art museum, with her money. Her father, Sam Walton, was famous for living a humble lifestyle. Very often people who became rich have made efforts to engae with "high culture," something that might bring their family more prestige than money alone. An earlier example would be that of the family of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who created "high culture" institutions such as Carnegie Hall with his newfound fortune. http://www.npr.org/2011/11/08/142019716/wal-mart-heiress-brings-art-museum-to-the-ozarks ASSIGNMENT 3: A main idea in this lesson is that class position is not simply measured in terms of monetary capital, but that it also has much to do with cultural capital. Can you think of some good examples of people who you have encountered (whether personally or in the media) who have much more of one than the other? In some people's comments in the discussion boards for the last lesson there were suggestions that wealthy people, notably celebrities, as being associated with "high culture." This is sometimes the case -- we can see examples of some stars (such as Steve Martin, Robert DeNiro and others) who are known as collectors or modern art--but it's important to distinguish the differences between money and "having class," as expressed in Fussell's examples of the old, "out of sight" wealthy. But please note that being rich and having expensive things is not the same as "high culture," which refers to things that are refined and not simply "bling." ASSIGNMENT 4: Over the last decades a major trend in the business world is that of corporate mergers -- when one giant company buys multiple smaller companies or even equally sized rivals. Can you think of how people you know have been affected by a merger of a company in terms of their employment? Or can you think of how your own personal lifestyle or your cultural tastes have been affected as "your" media companies, telephone, internet provider or cable services, etc. have been bought out, and you've been forced to adapt? Otherwise can you think of other corporate mergers that you've read about it or have found to be interesting/good/bad? ASSIGNMENT 5: Your assignment for Lesson 8 is to post on the discussion board a link to an article that you find on the internet along with at least several sentences that explain why you chose it. You should also comment in some substantial way on two article someone else posts (read the article and comment on it, not just say "I like/agree with this article." One option is to find a news article or other website article that address one (or more) of the issues discussed in Chapter 5 in Grazian's book. Alternatively, you can try to find an article that relates to the topics addressed in Peterson's article "Why 1955?," in which he outlines five factors that affect the final version of a cultural product. They are: Law and Regulation - Technology - Industry Structure - Organization Structure - Occupational Careers For instance, the news article this week addresses the issue of technology and its impact on musical production. If you choose this one you can look on the net for an article that discusses how one or more of these these factors affects the production of a specific television program, album, movie, video game, etc.; It's probably easiest to find things related to the first two factors. This will involve some creativity on your part--perhaps you can look up some favorite band, show, movie, etc., and try to look in articles for signs of one of these five factors. I'll post some examples to show you the kinds of things I'm looking for. In looking for articles you should consider using Google's "news" feature--click the "news" tab instead of the regular "search" button. ASSIGNMENT 6: Find an article that relates to one of the topics that's addressed in the lecture and associated readings, and then explain in at least a long paragraph why you find the article to be relevant to the issues discussed here. You should make reference to the section of the book, and post the web address. Also, you should make a substantive comment on someone else's post - that's to say not just "I think so to" or "great article" Topics include: - limits to ownership of media outlets - deregulation of media - net neutrality - regulation of advertising - are there controls on what is fake? - regulation for "National security" reasons - informal boycotts of products - regulation of media in other countries - censorship of software and computer programs by governments - diversity vs. property rights - the Fairness doctrine - regulating morality, such as critiques and labeling of certain products - ratings systems - outlawing or banning certain kinds of media materials (such as sexually explicit ones) - regulation of violent content ASSIGNMENT 7: Drawing upon the lecture and Chapter 8 in the Grazian textbook, post an extended example on the discussion board of how you or someone else has come to view a cultural format -- films or TV shows, pop music lyrics, the image of a celebrity -- in a different way as they have moved to another situation or context. For instance, can you think of how you really enjoyed an artist/movie/TV show/etc. at one point, and then developed a new view of them at another point? Alternatively, you can post another example of the sorts of topics that are addressed in the readings. You are encouraged to comment on others' postings. You will be graded for participation

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