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AMST 300


Due Friday, June 30 at 11:59pm

Part II of the “Pop Culture and Me” essay will ask you to deepen your exploration of the pop culture topic that you wrote about in Part 1, using the critical tools that we have sharpened in this class. In this essay, you will be asked to write about the same topic that you wrote about for Part 1, while now also discussing its significance socially and culturally.

Answering one of the questions below should form the basis of your essay. Choose one of the following questions to answer:

1. What does your topic represent about American popular culture?

2. What might your topic tell us about or have to do with branding, marketing, consumption, and consumer culture?

3. What does your topic tell us about the social construction of an identity group ( race, class, gender, sexuality, and/or ability)?

4. What does your topic tell us about myth narratives and/or The American Dream?

5. What does the fandom or community around your topic tell us about society?

Part 2 of your essay should be 3-4 pages in length and consist of the following parts:

1. Introduce your specific pop culture topic in your own words (1 paragraph). At the end of this introduction, provide a thesis statement (1 sentence) that says what your essay will be argue.

2. Take multiple paragraphs to answer one of the prompting questions above. Include details and evidence about the topic to support your larger ideas.

3. Provide a conclusion (1 paragraph).

Your essay should include 4 sources** total, 2 from each of the following two categories:

A. 2 sources – In-class material – You can cite our main textbook (Brandt and Clare), articles or book chapters assigned in class, or films from the class. Citing different chapters from Brandt and Clare still only counts as one source, as they are from the same book.

B. 2 sources – Reliable research sources – Scholarly journal articles; reputable magazines or newspapers; books; reputable podcasts; films or documentaries, etc. If you’re in doubt about whether or not something will work for this category, ask me.

Format: 3-4 pages, 12 point, Times New Roman, double spaced, 1-inch margins. ** Use an established citation style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) to cite your sources, both in-text and as a bibliography. If you need help with this part, please reach out to library staff or the Writing Center for more guidance.


· Title – Legally Blonde, Elle Woods, and Gender Identity

· Introduction paragraph – What is the movie Legally Blonde?

· Thesis statement – Through its main character Elle Woods, the movie Legally Blonde taught me that women can be smart, strong, and also conventionally beautiful and feminine.

· Point 1 – Women and girls are often taught that being beautiful is the most important thing, but Elle was able to be both beautiful and studious.

· Cite Andi Zeisler’s chapter on women and popular culture (Source 1, Type A)

· Cite Naomi Wolf’s famous book The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women (Source 1, Type B)

· Point 2 – Women are often taught that finding the perfect man and getting married is a top priority; however, Elle Woods focused on her goals and eventually found a male partner later.

· Cite Brandt and Clare work on heteronormativity and monogamy (Source 2, Type A)

· Cite scholar Susan Maushart’’s book Wifework (Source 2, Type B)

· Conclusion – I think part of the reason Legally Blonde has become some a classic film is because it forces us to grapple with the complexity of constructions of gender and womanhood. Women can wear pink, be blonde, be beautiful, while also pursuing a Harvard Law degree…… etc.


· Title – Fandoms, Sub-Cultures, and Odd Future

· Introduction – What is the hip-hop collective Odd Future?

· Thesis – The hip-hop collective Odd Future (OF) has a fandom that constitutes a unique sub-culture, which allows marginalized youth to have a voice.

· Point 1 – Odd Future’s fanbase constitutes its own sub-culture, through concerts, merchandise, a television show, a music festival, and more.

· Cite Brandt and Clare’s definition of a “sub-culture” (Source 1, Type A)

· Cite scholar Henry Jenkins’s work on fandoms (Source 1, Type B)

· Point 2 – Odd Future’s fandom aims to provide a voice for marginalized youth, who might not feel otherwise heard or understood.

· Cite Tricia Rose chapter on hip-hop being a voice for the marginalized (Source 2, Type A)

· Cite New York Times album review of Off Future album (Source 2, Type B)

· Through their quirky and unique sound, image, and brand, Odd Future has carved out a unique sub-culture that speaks to the complexities of their fan base. As a youth, their music and art helped me to feel less alone, which popular culture has the power to do …. Etc.

This paper …


… has a clear introduction and conclusion. It is organized in a way that includes transitions, topic sentences, a logical order, and “flow” (organization).

… has a clear purpose in addressing the prompt, by specifying a

particular pop cultural item and its significance. This purpose is stated in a thesis statement.

…provides details supported with evidence.

…is clear and understandable throughout, fully explains ideas with details ( development).

cites the correct number of sources (4 total—two of each category type). The sources are cited consistently and correctly, both in text (parenthetical), as well as a separate bibliography list.

Total score (Out of 20)