CULT 100-001: MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURES IN GLOBAL CONTEXT
MEDIA RESPONSE #1 ASSIGNMENT
DUE DATE: Friday, November 1, 2019
Note: Written assignments must be uploaded to Canvas in PDF or Word format before
midnight on Fri Nov 1. Do not e-mail your assignment to the TA or the Instructor. Students who
submit their essays after midnight on Nov 1 will be penalized for lateness (5% per day, including
weekends, to a maximum of 25%). No late Media Response #1 assignments will be accepted
after Fri Nov 8.
In “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture,” Douglas Kellner argues: “[w]e are
immersed from cradle to grave in a media and consumer society and thus it is important to learn
how to understand, interpret, and criticize its meanings and messages” (2015, 9). Kellner claims
that a critical cultural studies approach allows us to dissect the meanings, messages, and effects
of dominant cultural forms and therefore resist media manipulation. Put another way, Kellner
suggests that if we critically analyze the “politics of representation” of media and popular
cultures, we engage in a struggle for alternative cultures and political change.
For your media response assignment, choose ONE example of mass media or popular culture
(e.g., a TV program, Hollywood film, video game, Internet site, magazine ad, billboard,
newspaper article, YouTube clip, music video, etc.) and write a 500-750 word critical analysis of
that cultural text. Your essay must address the question: how does my critical analysis of media
and popular culture contribute to social change?
Your media response must be written in standard essay format, which means you will be
evaluated on the quality of your thesis statement and organization of ideas. Underline your
thesis statement. Your essay must make reference to at least TWO (2) key concepts from the
course (see KEY CONCEPTS in your syllabus). You will need to draw on at least one reading
from the course, for example, your textbook (Popular Culture: A User’s Guide).
To clarify how to perform a critical analysis, review the readings by Douglas Kellner (2015)
(assigned Sept 12), Stuart Hirschberg and Terry Hirschberg (2002) and Andrea Noack (2012)
(assigned Oct 10).
In your essay, consider including one or more elements of a multiperspectival analysis:
1. Discuss the conditions of production or the political economy of your text
2. Perform a textual analysis
3. Analyze the reception and use of your cultural text
You may use the word “I” in your written work. Avoid errors of spelling, grammar, and
punctuation. Remember to proofread your assignments. You can lose a full letter grade or even
more by forgetting to proofread and make final revisions.
Include a title page with an original title, your name, student number, course title, and
date submitted. Note: “Media Response #1” is not an acceptable title.
Use 12-point Times or Times New Roman font
Double-space your essay
Use 1” margins
Number your pages
NOT exceed the word limit. Any writing beyond 750 words will not be graded
Keep a back-up copy of all written work until you have the final mark for the class
All written assignments must be properly referenced in MLA or Chicago format (or another
referencing style guide as long as you are consistent) and must include a bibliography. Use the
Quick Guides and resources offered on the University of British Columbia Okanagan library
Avoid over-use of quoted materials. Quoted passages need to be contextualized and require
comments that directly forward your own argument. When citing work, all direct quotes and
ideas that are paraphrased (written in your own words) must be referenced.
Note: Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. All students in this class must read and
understand the policies on plagiarism and academic misconduct referenced in the Academic
Additionally, all students are encouraged to complete the Academic Integrity Matters program
provided by Writing and Research Services: http://library.ok.ubc.ca/wrs/aim/. Ignorance of such
policies is no excuse for violations. More details on Academic Integrity are provided at the end
of your syllabus.