R. Reese, Cal Poly Pomona, Political Science Department

PLS 382: POLITICS, POLICIES, POP CULTURE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course examines the fusion of politics, policies, and popular culture on our
society. The side effects of elitism, greed, and capitalism will be highlighted. The
course will deconstruct the causes and consequences of “hyper” consumerism,
materialism, sexualization, and masculinity in our society.  More specifically, this
course will examine the impact of film, television, music, and mass media on youth
behavior.  It will discuss how Congress and The Courts have attempted monitor and
regulate the “Culture of Dysfunction.” Social Science Synthesis (D4)

OBJECTIVES
At the end of this course students should:
1) Be able to examine the fusion of politics, public policies, and popular culture
2) Understand the regulatory function of Congress in monitoring youth behavior
3) Have a broad perspective of contemporary issues in public policy
4) Be able to identify fundamental features of the policymaking process
5) Have a substantial understanding of the causes and consequences of policy decisions

REQUIRED READINGS
Hong Kong Nights; CLASSPACK (Pick up at Bronco Copy `N Mail).

EVALUATION
10% 1st Paper Assignment (Hong Kong Nights)
 5%  2st Paper Assignment (Democracy)
 5%  3rd Paper Assignment (Akeelah and the Bee)
25%  Midterm Exam
10% Field Research Assignments
20%  Group Project—Written & Visual Presentations (short films)
25%  Final Exam

Pop Culture Field Research Assignment
Go to a party or to a nightclub. Interview 2 women and 2 men. Ask the questions: Why did you
come to this party/club tonight? Why do you think others came here? What influences your style?
Briefly describe the party/club scene e.g. the music, the people, the environment. Summarize your
interview responses.  Analyze how popular culture is manifested in the party/club scene. 1.5 pages
singled-spaced pages

Winter Course: Valentine’s Day Field Research Assignment:  Interview 2 women and 2 men. 
Ask the question: What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?  Go into any jewelry store, flower shop,
lingerie shop, candy store, or adult store and briefly interview an employee.  Ask the question: Why
is Valentine’s Day such a big deal? Give me your analysis of the meaning of Valentine’s Day. 
Assignment is 1.5 pages (singled-spaced).