Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media is Not the Answer by Karen SternheimerConnecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media is Not the Answer by Karen Sternheimer

Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media is Not the Answer

byKaren Sternheimer

Paperback | March 14, 2013

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Is violence on the streets caused by violence in video games? Does cyber-bullying lead to an increase in suicide rates? Are teens promiscuous because of Teen Mom? As Karen Sternheimer clearly demonstrates, popular culture is an easy scapegoat for many of society's problems, but it is almost always the wrong answer.

Now in its second edition, Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture goes beyond the news-grabbing headlines claiming that popular culture is public enemy number one to consider what really causes the social problems we are most concerned about. The sobering fact is that a "media made them do it" explanation fails to illuminate the roots of social problems like poverty, violence, and environmental degradation. Sternheimer's analysis deftly illustrates how welfare "reform," a two-tiered health care system, and other difficult systemic issues have far more to do with our contemporary social problems than Grand Theft Auto or Facebook. The fully-revised new edition features recent moral panics (think sexting and cyberbullying) and an entirely new chapter exploring social media. Expanded discussion of how we understand society's problems as social constructions without disregarding empirical evidence, as well as the cultural and structural issues underlying those ills, allows students to stretch their sociological imaginations.

Karen Sternheimeris a sociologist at the University of Southern California where she is also a faculty fellow at the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching. Her research has focused on issues related to popular culture and youth, particularly moral panics relating to both. She editor and lead writer for the Everyday Sociology blog and h...
Title:Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media is Not the AnswerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:322 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:March 14, 2013Publisher:Taylor and FrancisLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813347238

ISBN - 13:9780813347233


Table of Contents

Preface 1 Media Phobia: Why Blaming Pop Culture for Social Problems Is a Problem 2 Is Popular Culture Really Ruining Childhood? 3 Does Social Networking Kill? Cyberbullying, Homophobia, and Suicide 4 What's Dumbing Down America: Media Zombies or Educational Disparities? 5 From Screen to Crime Scene: Media Violence and Real Violence 6 Pop Culture Promiscuity: Sexualized Images and Reality 7 Changing Families: As Seen on TV? 8 Media Health Hazards? Beauty Image, Obesity, and Eating Disorders 9 Does Pop Culture Promote Smoking, Toking, and Drinking? 10 Consumption and Materialism: A New Generation of Greed? 11 Beyond Popular Culture: Why Inequality Is the Problem Selected Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

"This book encourages students to question the way that social scientific data is reported in mainstream media and to see the limitations of this type of research."—Communication Research TrendsPraise from the First Edition:"The author cautions against focusing on the media as predator and turns readers' attention to themselves and the society they create around and conceivably ‘for' their children and families to better grasp how people create and perpetuate social problems. Well researched, with an attention to policy details, this book helps debunk the notion that media is the cause of society's ills. Highly recommended."—Choice"Focusing on children and young adults, [Sternheimer's] main argument is that the intersection of race, gender, and poverty makes social problems significantly complex, and as a result, we blame popular culture for societal quandaries because it is easier to convince ourselves that television and video games are the cause of social disparities Sternheimer asks us to take another look. Her book is a well written rationale as to why we should."—American Sociological Association