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Societal Impact of Pop Culture

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jdinverno
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Societal Impact of Pop Culture Western culture has always been influenced by ideas and content perceived as popular by others. The compilation of these cited works provide insights as to how social media and entertainment outlets continue to formulate perspectives and influence culture within western society as well as emerging global markets. The selected writings provide information specific to the societal impacts of watching TV, playing video games, and communication through social media networks.
Bissell, Tom. "Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter” They Say I Say, The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing With Readings. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 349-362.
Tom Bissell describes his personal experience playing the newly released video game Fallout 3 on November 4, 2008. Bissell expresses how he played the game for seven hours straight and missed watching the CNN International broadcast of the United Sates Presidential election results that occurred this same date. The remainder of the article Bissell describes the related game content and characteristics for which he expended his time. Bissell evaluates and provides specifics regarding the games atmospheric graphic elements, overall style, and in-game play intelligence. Bissell expresses that he is more interested in video games that tell stories. Bissell evaluates the differences between films and video games by which the player creates the game experience and storyline. While Bissell’s article provides a review of the video game Fallout 3, he also informs readers of general video game attributes that individuals find entertaining and worth their playtime.
Gladwell, Malcolm. "Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted." They Say I Say, The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing With Readings. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 312-328.
Malcolm Gladwell, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and New York Times bestselling author, evaluates the differences between traditional activism and online social media network engagement. Gladwell provides a detailed description of how a sit-in protest started by four African American college freshman in Greensboro North Carolina in 1960 became a civil-rights movement for the next decade in the southern United States. Gladwell describes that traditional activism relies upon strategy, chain of command, discipline, and strong tie relationships amongst the group of individuals. Gladwell describes that consensus of the group rather than a single central authority controls social media networks. Gladwell evaluates hierarchal activism’s position to challenge an organized establishment and describes beneficial uses of social media. Gladwell believes that social media is an ideal means of communicating general information to a mass audience; however when it comes to challenging an organized establishment he identifies that people standing in line compared to being online is more successful.

Johnson, Steven. "Watching TV Makes You Smarter," They Say I Say With Readings, The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 277-294.
Steven Johnson, award winning American popular science author, describes the historical progression of content complexity from shows televised during the past three decades. Johnson evaluates the progression by introducing a television show from 1981 titled Hill Street Blues considered the beginning of serious drama that joined complex narrative structure with complex subject matter. Johnson graphically displays the progression of narrative threads by charting episodes from the television series of Starsky and Hutch, Hill Street Blues, and The Sopranos. Johnson assesses that as viewers follow these televised complex environments their minds continue to develop from the exercise of following the mix of content complexity. Johnson evaluates how individuals can improve their mental proficiency by watching TV.
Zinser, Jason. "The Good, The Bad, and The Daily Show." They Say I Say, The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing With Readings. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 363-379.
In this article, Jason Zinser reports that an increasing number of Americans are choosing to watch imitation news programs rather than mainstream media. Zinser describes one of these programs known as The Daily Show, which combines comedy and current events for its viewing audience. Zinser evaluates the fine line between a TV program’s intentions to increase viewer ratings rather than reporting the news accurately. Zinser expresses that the delivery content of The Daily Show is prepared in a manner that prompts a viewer’s conclusion, and he evaluates how this is quite different from traditional journalism that provides viewers with the information necessary for choice. Zinser also identifies how shows like The Daily Show generate social media interest creating a large audience for the programs message.

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