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Access to Popular Culture - Freshman Essays

Access to Popular Culture

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze challenges to popular culture access
  • Analyze sources relevant to popular culture

Required Readings

Holt, D. & Cameron, D. (2012). Fuse Music Television: Challenging incumbents with cultural jujitsu. In Cultural strategy: Using innovative ideologies to build breakthrough brands (pp. 245–264). New York: Oxford University Press.

This reading is from a book called Cultural Strategy about innovative and insurgent marketing strategies for popular culture. The book addresses how popular culture finds and develops its audience and at the same time can restrict the development of new popular culture distribution organizations. The book as a whole includes discussions of everything from Nike, to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, to branding social innovation. The selection above is about how a music video channel, Fuse, took on the giant MTV (Music Television) in an effort to reach the audience MTV originally appealed to: people who want to watch music videos, not reality shows or adult-themed cartoons.

Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands, by Holt, D.; Cameron, D. Copyright 2012 by Oxford University Press – Books (US & UK). Reprinted by permission of Oxford University Press – Books (US & UK) via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Federal Communications Commission Consumer Help Center. (n.d.). Obscene, indecent, and profane broadcasts. Retrieved


Document: Student-Contributed Resource Worksheet (Word document)

The following websites may be helpful throughout this course by demonstrating ways of analyzing pop culture texts as artifacts.

Cultural Politics. (n.d.). Popular culture. Retrieved from

Pop Matters. (2015). Retrieved from

USC Annenberg. (2014). Media, diversity, & social change initiative. Retrieved from…

Required Media

TEDGlobal 2013. (2013, June 18) Juliana Rotich: Meet BRCK, internet access built for Africa [Video file]. Retrieved from…

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

This talk highlights access issues around the world and introduces a device that allows access to the Internet even when power is cut.

In this course, you explore and contribute readings to the class dialogue about popular culture. Each week’s Learning Resources provide a foundation for the week’s topic. During the weeks with discussions, you will also find articles on topics related to each discussion. For the discussions in Weeks 3, 4, and 6, you are encouraged to use the article you find as a source for your response. In addition, you post an annotated reference to the article into Doc Sharing. As the course progresses, you and your colleagues build on the class bibliography. You may also draw upon this list of student-contributed resources for the Final Project.

This week, you download and complete the Student-Contributed Resource Worksheet from this week’s Resources area. This Assignment is designed to help you find articles or resources that both meet academic requirements and enrich the course dialogue.

ASSIGNMENT 1:Submit your Student-Contributed Resource Worksheet.


To prepare for this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources.

For this Discussion, choose one thread from the choices listed this week and follow these instructions: Each thread is limited to a maximum number of students based on class size. A thread will close if the limit is reached. If a thread is closed to new posters, select from the open threads.

Thread A

Post a 250-word response in which you:

  • Reflect on one or two of the popular culture artifacts that you are working with for your final project, and consider ways that you access the artifacts and what challenges others might have accessing them. For example, can they be enjoyed by people in another community or country across the world? Is there a financial cost to access? Is special equipment needed?
  • Explain how access to popular culture affects community.

Thread B

Post a 250-word response in which you:

  • Describe how much control production companies or/and governments have over access to popular culture.
  • Explain the role of the web/technology in providing a shared popular culture experience. Analyze how access affects the shared experience.


Final Project Milestone 3: Access and Community

Last week you researched the history of your popular culture artifacts. You also examined the audience for your popular culture artifacts and how each affected the other. This week you look at how access to popular culture affects society.

To prepare:

  • Review your two chosen popular culture artifacts.
  • Review your Final Project Worksheet from Week 1 and any feedback received.
  • Spend some time looking at the student-contributed resources posted in Doc Sharing. (Note: You will need to use at least one of these for this milestone.)
  • Consider the following:
    • How does the distribution mechanism control the issues addressed in the artifacts’ content?
    • Determine who controls the distribution of your chosen popular culture elements.
    • In what ways does the controller of distribution affect the shared experience of the audience and community? Keep in mind that a community may be local, regional, national, or global. Be specific in your discussion.

Submit a 400- to 500-word essay that addresses these questions as they relate to your chosen popular culture artifacts. Be sure to include:

  • At least one student-contributed resource from Doc Sharing
  • At least two other academically relevant sources. The Course Readings List, found in the Syllabus of the course navigation menu, will be helpful, as will the required and alternate resources listed here.