Eng 802 Assignment _1 Spring 2010

Eng 802 Assignment _1 Spring 2010 - Assignment #1: Critique...

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Assignment #1: Critique and Evaluation (4-6 pp.) Overview: The purpose of this assignment is to use semiotic analysis to interpret the cultural significance of some aspect of social media. In “Writing About Popular Culture,” Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon define cultural analysis this way: “An analysis explains how [an example of popular culture] works, what cultural beliefs and viewpoints underlie it, what its significance is, and so forth” (41). They suggest that an analytic paper “would not necessarily be positive or negative; it would seek to explain how the elements [of your example] work together to have a particular effect on its audience.” Our readings have focused on the semiotic analysis of social media to uncover what Henry Jenkins describes as new patterns of creation and consumption that they sponsor. Applying semiotic analysis to these media raises controversial issues: what privacy rights should we expect in social media? Where is the boundary between social media and marketing? Do these media open new means of expression to those who have been shut out of mainstream media? This paper does not ask you to solve these questions, but to look at one particular form of expression in social media within the context of the debates we have been following. Your task is to choose one form of expression in social media. You should narrow your topic so that you can develop a detailed picture of the form of expression you have chosen. Here are some topics that are too broad: music performance on You Tube; posting pictures on Flickr. More manageable topics might be: pro- Obama songs on You Tube; virtual gift-giving on Facebook; Philadelphia bird-watching blogs. Focus your
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Eng 802 Assignment _1 Spring 2010 - Assignment #1: Critique...

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