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Compact in both page count and trim size, What Matters in America's themes examine popular culture topics and provide a sufficient number of selections to make sure topics are given with adequate depth. Gary Goshgarian addresses topics of: Television Violence, Racial Profiling, Capital Punishment and Gay Marriage.
Introduction: Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
1. Is the Internet Changing our Social Lives?
MySpace, Facebook, and Social Networking Sites: Hot Today, Gone Tomorrow?, Knowledge@Wharton
*As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up, Jan Hoffman
Blog Matters: Social Networking Through the Ages, Stephen Fry
*I Tweet, Therefore I Am, Peggy Orenstein
*You Gotta Have (150) Friends, Robin Dunbar
Faceless on Facebook, Kate Beals
*Visual Connections: 20 Years from Now . . .
Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism, Christine Rosen
2. Does Privacy Have Limits?
Privacy Is Overrated, David Plotz
Invading Our Own Privacy, David Schimke
*Who Is Really Stealing Your Privacy?, Amitai Etzioni
The Case for a National ID Card, Margaret Carlson
National ID Cards: 5 Reasons Why They Should Be Rejected, ACLU
Visual Connections: Identity Theft
*The Invasion of the Cookie Monsters, Jack Shafer
*Visual Connections: Chicago’s Camera Network
*Blog Matters: More Employers Use Social Networks to Check Out Applicants, Jenna Wortham
3. How Does Advertising Influence Us?
A Brand by Any Other Name, Douglas Rushkoff
Black Friday…Gray Thursday, Benjamin R. Barber
On Sale at Old Navy: Cool Clothes for Identical Zombies! Damien Cave
*Consumerism Is “Eating the Future”, Andy Coghlan
With These Words I Can Sell You Anything, William Lutz
*The Language of Advertising, Charles A. O’Neill
*Sample Ads and Study Questions
Dolce & Gabbana
*Visual Connections: Corporate Crackdown
*Blog Matters: Branding in Pop Culture, David Mitchel
4. Do the Media Promote a Culture of Fear and Violence?
Extreme Reality: How Media Coverage Exaggerates Risks and Dangers, John Stossel
The Female Fear Factor, Myrna Blyth
Blog Matters: Growing Up in a Culture of Fear: From Columbine to Banning of MySpace, danah boyd
*Violent Media Numbs Viewers to Pain of Others, Diane Swanbrow
Hate Violence? Turn It Off! Tim Goodman
Visual Connections: It’s a Scary World
In Search of Notorious PhDs, Lindsay Johns
Visual Connections: Young Jeezy
*Violent Media Is Good for Kids, Gerard Jones
5. What Does Freedom of Speech Really Mean?
Free Inquiry? Not On Campus, John Leo
Hate Cannot Be Tolerated, Richard Delgado
Academic Bill of Rights, David Horowitz
Visual Connections: Silencing Free Speech
*Blog Matters: Sixth Circuit Orders Federal District Court to Rule on Student Blogger’s Free Speech and Due Process Claims
*Is Harry Potter Evil?, Judy Blume
*Why Stop at Huck Finn?, Alex Beam
The Dark Side of Web Anonymity, Catherine Holahan
6. What’s the Big Deal About Immigration?
Kidding Ourselves About Immigration, Michael Kinsley
Educating Illegal Immigrants, Todd Rosenbaum
*Anchor Babies, USA Today and Roy Beck
*America’s Real Dream Team, Thomas L. Friedman
*Blog Matters: Immigrants Are Crucial to the American Dream, Mike Ford
*The Problem With Question 36, Dafna Linzer
Visual Connections: Two Views of U.S. Immigration
The Next Americans, Tomás R. Jiménez
7. Why Do We Work?
Why Do We Work? Andrew Curry
*Visual Connections: Major Occupational Groups and Mean Annual Wages
*America's Bizarre Secret to Happiness: More Work, Daily Mail
Blog Matters: Americans Work Too Much, Jason Lee Miller
Measuring Success, Renee Loth
The Most-Praised Generation Goes to Work, Jeffrey Zaslow
Visual Connections: The Office
8. Is Fast Food Responsible for a Crisis in Public Health?
What’s To Blame for the Surge in Super Size Americans?, Tori DeAngelis
You Want Fries with That? Richard Daynard
*Time to Trim, Slate Magazine
Blog Matters: Bare Bones
Visual Connections: Body Mass Index (Graph): National Institutes of Health
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Fat Kids, Rahul K. Prikh
When America Relaxes, ‘Food Police’ Should Keep Quiet, Paul King
We Eat; Therefore, They Are, Rosie Mestel
*Visual Connections: Now What Do We Eat? (Food Pyramids)
*Chapter 9: Will Our Economy Ever Bounce Back?
*September’s Song, Natalie Southwick
*How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America, Don Peck
*Blog Matters: 5 Myths About Generation Debt, Kimberly Palmer
*Saving Yourself, Daniel Akst
*Visual Connections: Students Making Skewed Judgments about College Costs
*Why Won’t Anyone Give Me A Credit Card?, Kevin O’Donnell
*Recession Generation, Rana Foorahar
*Chapter 10: What Does It Mean to Be “Green”?
*How We Can Stop Being Eco-Hypocrites, Raina Kelley
*Living Without a Car: My New American Responsibility, Andrew Lam
*Visual Connections: Statshot: How are Corporations Going Green?, The Onion
*The Only Way to Have a Cow, Bill McKibben
*My Carbon Footprint: A Documentary, a Daughter, and All that is Dear, Jennifer Davidson
*Blog Matters: The Cost of Being Green, Sudha Amit
*Green Living Takes Root But Old Habits Die Hard, Patrick O'Driscoll and Elizabeth Weise
Index of Authors and Titles