Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer

Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer

by Karen Sternheimer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813344174

ISBN-13: 9780813344171

Pub. Date: 08/11/2009

Publisher: Westview Press

Is violence on the streets caused by violence in video games? Do hip-hop lyrics increase misogynistic and homophobic behavior? Are teens promiscuous because of what they see in movies? Popular culture is an easy answer for many of society’s problems, but it is almost always the wrong answer. This innovative book goes beyond the news-grabbing headlines

Overview

Is violence on the streets caused by violence in video games? Do hip-hop lyrics increase misogynistic and homophobic behavior? Are teens promiscuous because of what they see in movies? Popular culture is an easy answer for many of society’s problems, but it is almost always the wrong answer. This innovative book goes beyond the news-grabbing headlines claiming that popular culture is public enemy number one to consider what really causes the social problems we are most concerned about. The sobering fact is that the roots of poverty, child abuse, and unequal public education are much more complicated than the media-made-them-do-it explanations. Karen Sternheimer deftly illustrates how welfare “reform,” a two-tiered health care system, and other difficult systemic issues have far more to do with our contemporary social problems than Grand Theft Auto or 50 Cent.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813344171
Publisher:
Westview Press
Publication date:
08/11/2009
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Media Phobia: Why Blaming Popular Culture for Causing Social Problems Is a Problem 1

Media Phobia #1 Popular Culture Is Dumbing Down America 21

Media Phobia #2 Popular Culture Is Ruining Childhood 47

Media Phobia #3 Media Violence Causes Real Violence 75

Media Phobia #4 Popular Culture Promotes Teen Sex 123

Media Phobia #5 Popular Culture Promotes Teen Pregnancy and Single Parenthood 157

Media Phobia #6 Popular Culture Makes Kids More Materialistic Than Ever 179

Media Phobia #7 Popular Culture May Be Hazardous to Your Health 211

Media Phobia #8 Popular Culture Promotes Substance Abuse 231

Media Phobia #9 Rap Music Promotes Misogyny, Homophobia, and Racism 257

Conclusion Understanding Social Problems Beyond Popular Culture: Why Inequality Matters 285

Selected Bibliography 301

Index 307

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