This course explores the history of expressive and material cultures around the world, with emphasis on industrialized nations. Topics include aesthetics, social identification, and production, consumption, and reception of cultural forms. Using literature, films, pictures, and music, students study theories of popular culture and aesthetic hierarchy; explicate historical contexts of artistic movements; discuss cultural imperialism; address problems of cultural appropriation, creativity, and identity; and examine cultural expressions of social difference and deviance. Topics also include the social history of culture in the age of mass society, including popular arts and the culture of consumption.
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