The unequal treatment of men and women in American popular culture is a symptom of the unequal treatment of men and women in American ideology. American society is patriarchal—men are privileged over women and as a direct result men have access to more authoritative positions. America is based on calculated separations, and the framework for discussing how systems of oppression inform theory-making processes is essential to how students learn in the classroom. Regardless of whether it’s visual, lyrical, political, or cultural, when women are scripted, they are dehumanized. Key theorists for this study are Pierre Bourdieu, bell hooks, Paulo Freire, and Annette Lareau. Key entertainment artists are Beyoncé, Rihanna, Erykah Badu, and Chris Rock. Text is not limited to the black and white, 26-letter alphabet, but also includes images, music, lifestyles, cultures, and trends.—visual rhetoric is text. American popular culture is pervasive, accessible, and influential. I argue for the use of popular culture as text in college English courses.
July 17, 2015
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