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Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Its unique critical method of cultural analysis continues to make this the most widely adopted of all composition readers that focus on American popular culture -- now revised to respond to students' increasing need to understand and analyze visual culture.
Published December 31st 2003 by Bedford Books (first published January 1994)
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OK, I'm not into pop culture anyway. Besides, I can think of 100s of things that are more interesting than "Credit Card Babrie," "The Semiotics of Home Decor," "Reality TV meets Plastic Surgery," "So You Wanna Be A Gansgsta," "The Science of Shopping," or even "Funky White Boys and Honorary Soul Sisters." Just reading these titles make me ill.

Why is it that the popular and unimportant or even unnecessary (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Kim Kardashian, et. al.) get way too much attention.

Buku pop culture di Amerika yang dibeli seharga 25 rebu saja. Punya saya terbitan tahun 1997. Buku ringan karena mengajarkan sambil jalan, tentang hal-hal sekeliling kita. Proses pemaknaan itu bisa mulai dari soal kapan dan dimana dan sistem budaya yang dikandung dalam benda dan kegiatan di sekeliling kita. Kita memang hidup dalam kepungan ribuan tanda yang sayang untuk dilewatkan saja. Sayang juga jika hanya hanyut dalam kebudayaan bebek (massa) tanpa jelas posisi kita.

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Like Profiles of popular culture : a reader, this is a collection of essays culled from different sources with introductory material and discussion questions at the end of each piece, but unlike the former book, the essays stand well on their own and you can pretty much ignore the supplementary material and still have a good read.

Side note: I'm getting a little burnt out on the Pop Culture thing; I think I'm going to go back on an Information Management kick for a while.
This is fantastic to give to high school students. A lot of introductory essays on Semiotics that are readable and accessible. Many of my students disagreed with the interpretations in some of the essays, which were conducive to various types of dialogues that both myself and the students could engage in. I dig it when kids can read material that forces them to question their surroundings.
Dianah Fabry
Aug 30, 2011 Dianah Fabry is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am assigned to read selections from this book for my College Writing II class. I accidentally bought the wrong book and when I went to get the correct on at the bookstore, they were all out. I have an assignment due on our next class meeting :( I am going to research semiotics and as much as I can about pages 75-85. My teacher is suppose to send me the writing prompt on page 81.
May 30, 2008 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: whoever
Recommended to Michael by: Deckard Hodge (my English teacher)
This book has a ton of essay type papers that are all about the culture we live in. i'm not enjoying it to much because I think some of the arguments expressed are a little far fetched. Again, this is a secular book so some of the content isn't good.
Read selections for a class--a good collection, though an article or two were not as well-organized as I would like.
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
I had to read this for my class on pop culture. The pieces were intriguing; however, I didn't always agree with the articles.
I had to read for a lit class. I enjoyed it much more than most required reading, which I usually loathe.
A great collection of essays covering many facets of American life.
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“Two clichés make us laugh. A hundred cliches move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion.

(Casablanca, or, The Clichés Are Having a Ball)”
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