Cultural Case Study Assignment Due Friday June 28 @ 11:59pm Objective A key take

Cultural Case Study Assignment
Due Friday June 28 @ 11:59pm
A key take away from this course is that popular culture is not separate from society. Popular culture is not just a niche thing we engage in when we have “free” time. It actually has a lot to teach us about who we are (or want to be) as a society, and whom and what we value (or don’t).
The final paper assignment is an opportunity for students to see how course content can help make sense of recent controversies in music, sport, and film. The paper also challenges students to see how recent controversies in popular culture are not isolated incidents but exemplars of more generic sociological processes.
Case Study Options (Choose 1):
Beyonce, Cowboy Carter, and country music 
Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift effect in the NFL 
The Barbie film and its presence at the 2024 Oscars
A selection of commentary from popular media have been uploaded to Avenue To Learn for each case study. These articles are meant to serve as some background context for people who are unfamiliar with the case study. They also serve as examples of how each issue are being discussed.
Your Task: 
Choose a case study. These case studies were chosen because they are well-known and have sparked significant cultural coverage and public debate and are relevant to the themes of our class. Familiarize yourself with the controversy and content of debates. Examples of media discourse on each issue have been uploaded to Avenue to Learn. You can limit yourself to the articles provided – but are welcome to draw upon other relevant and legitimate media commentary as well.  Just make sure to cite whatever you use.
Get some perspective using the classical toolbox: In the first half of this course, we examine the unique features of sociological approach to culture including how key theoretical frameworks (namely, functionalism, critical perspectives, and symbolic interactionism) help us understand different facets of our shared culture. Consider how each of the classical theoretical perspectives we learned about in class to your chosen case study.
How would a functionalist, critical theorist, or symbolic interactionist study or explain that cultural controversy you’ve chosen? For example, if I were to write a paper about debates regarding banning TikTok, I might think about what would a functionalist say about the purpose social media in maintaining social ties? Are people making functionalist arguments when saying that TikTok should or should not be banned? Or how would a critical theorist see the entire debate? Would they be for or against a ban? And how would a symbolic interactionist makes sense of the controversy.
Assess what’s at stake: In the final half of the course, we learned how popular culture helps us to understand society: specifically, how many forms of social inequality are not only reflected in popular culture, but also reproduced in popular culture. How are cultural status beliefs showing up or reflected in the case study, if at all? Are there any types of inequality being invoked, challenged, or reproduced in the way the case plays out? What are some potential consequences of this controversy for how people behave or understand one another – especially as it relates to race, gender, or class differences? 
Question the cultural significance: Drawing on insights from the above, why do you think your case study such a big deal? Famous people date and break up every day. Lots of albums get released. And many more people never get awards, or even nominations, than the people who do. So why did these events become such huge stories in our culture?
Hint#1: It’s not because these cases involve extremely famous people.
Hint#2: These stories are about something bigger than the characters involved.
Technical Details:
Length and Format: Your paper will be approximately 10-15 double-spaced pages in standard 12-point font.  This does not include the bibliography.  An electronic copy of the assignment must be submitted via Avenue to Learn and 
Paper Organization: The task breakdown above suggest something about how best to structure your paper. It seems most efficient to include an explanation of the case study, and a section that explores central tenets of functionalist, critical, and interactionist schools and how they apply to the case study.  The 3rd and 4th tasks could then be addressed in the final sections of the essay. These are suggestions, and not requirements.
Evaluation: This writing assignment will count for 40% of your final grade. Students will be graded on the following criteria: 
Demonstrating an in-depth comprehension of course concepts and content; 
Effectively making connections between case study details and relevant course concepts; 
Generating critical insights when applying course content to analyzing key concepts; 
Originality and Writing style. 
Submission: The paper is due Friday June 28 @ 11:59pm via Avenue to Learn. Late submission will lose 5% per 24 hours of lateness, with the clock beginning to tick at 12am on Saturday June 29.
Note: There are restrictions on using MSAFs for course requirements worth more than 35%. Please consult the relevant MSAF policy for more details.