Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers / Edition 4

Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers / Edition 4

by Sonia Maasik, Jack Solomon
     
 

Instructors who have used Signs of Life in the USA know that students love to talk and write about popular culture. They can attest that it teaches students to read and write critically about pop culture by providing them with a conceptual framework: semiotics, a field of study developed specifically for the interpretation of culture and its signs

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Overview

Instructors who have used Signs of Life in the USA know that students love to talk and write about popular culture. They can attest that it teaches students to read and write critically about pop culture by providing them with a conceptual framework: semiotics, a field of study developed specifically for the interpretation of culture and its signs.

Signs of Life is written by a prominent semiotician and an experienced writing instructor, and it has been extensively updated to account for the rapid evolution of contemporary trends and student interests. It features insightful themes with provocative and current reading selections that ask students to think analytically about America’s popular culture: How has niche advertising been used to develop a highly detailed profile of your consumer habits? Why are Americans so transfixed by "bad guys"? Signs of Life bridges the transition to college writing by providing students with academic language to talk about the significance of our shared cultural experiences.

And now with the new edition, you can meet students where they are: online. Our newest set of online materials, LaunchPad Solo, provides all the key tools and course-specific content that you need to teach your class. Get all our great course-specific materials in one fully customizable space online; then assign and mix our resources with yours.  To package LaunchPad Solo free with Signs of Life in the USA, use ISBN 978-1-319-01383-7.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312397845
Publisher:
Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date:
12/28/2003
Edition description:
Fourth Edition
Pages:
819
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

Preface for Instructorsv
Introduction: Popular Signs: Or, Everything You've Always Known about American Culture (But Nobody Asked)1
Writing about Popular Culture21
Part 1Cultural Productions43
1.Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption45
The More Factor55
The Signs of Shopping62
What's in a Package69
Hard Bodies79
Blue Jeans86
The Semiotics of Home Decor94
"Careful, You May Run Out of Planet": SUVs and the Exploitation of the American Myth105
2.Brought to You B(u)y: The Signs of Advertising117
The Parable of the Democracy of Goods129
Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising137
A Gentleman and a Consumer149
Sex, Lies, and Advertising160
How Advertising Informs to Our Benefit180
The Fiction of Truth in Advertising188
Web of Deceit194
Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz202
Portfolio of Advertisements210
3.Video Dreams: The Signs of Music and Television223
A Tale of Two Sitcoms236
The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Talk-Show Furor241
Plotting Paternity: Looking for Dad on the Daytime Soaps249
Signs of Intelligent Life on TV260
Rewriting Popularity: The Cult Files265
Twentysomethings276
Bad Sistas279
4.The Hollywood Sign: The Culture of American Film289
The Thematic Paradigm299
Creating the Myth308
Braveheart, Babe, and the Contemporary Body317
Malcolm X328
So You Wanna Be a Gangsta?337
Asian Women in Film: No Joy, No Luck349
The Return of Doris Day357
Class and Virtue366
5.It Was A Dark And Stormy Night: The Codes of Popular Literature371
The ABCs of Popular Culture382
Selection from Blade Runner385
Roadside Bones393
Cult398
Grisham Succeeds in a Novel Way414
The Traditional Romance Formula418
Selection from Dangerous Passions425
Hope I Die before Marcia Gets Old428
Reading at Escape Velocity430
Part 2Cultural Constructions435
6.We've Come A Long Way, Maybe: Gender Codes in American Culture437
Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes447
The Gender Blur: Where Does Biology End and Society Take Over?453
Power at Play: Sport and Gender Relations460
Boys-R-Us: Board Games and the Socialization of Young Adolescent Girls472
The Beauty Myth481
There Is No Unmarked Woman490
Warrior Dreams496
Women and Children First: Gender and the Settling of the Electronic Frontier505
7.Constructing Race: Readings in Multicultural Semiotics515
In Living Color: Race and American Culture526
Put on a Happy Face: Masking the Differences Between Blacks and Whites538
Funky White Boys and Honorary Soul Sisters549
Goin' Gangsta, Choosin' Cholita562
Baby568
Being an Other570
How to Tame a Wild Tongue575
The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition583
The Haves and the Have-Nots593
8.Life on the Margins: Representing the "Other" in American Culture599
Signs of the Street: A Conversation609
The Mind of the Militias618
Race, Sex, AIDS: The Construction of "Other"625
Beauty and the Battle636
American Dreams640
The End of Adulthood?645
Don't Further Empower Cliques653
9.American Icons: The Mythic Characters of Popular Culture657
Be Like Mike? Michael Jordan and the Pedagogy of Desire667
What Makes Superman So Darned American?677
Batman, Deviance, and Camp686
Lara Croft, the Bit Girl702
Our Barbies, Ourselves706
Barbie, G.I. Joe, and Play in the 1960s710
Snap! Crackle! Plot!716
Larger Than Life720
10.Popular Spaces: Interpreting the Built Environment733
Disney World: Public Use/Private State744
The Science of Shopping757
The Man-Made World764
Spatial Segregation and Gender Stratification in the Workplace771
Alternating Currents778
The Ghetto Cityscape784
Manifest Congestion: Freeway Landscapes and Timescapes790
Country Music Goes on the Road797
Glossary803
Citing Sources807
Index of Authors and Titles819

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