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Eng 802 Assignment _2 Spring 2010

Eng 802 Assignment _2 Spring 2010 - Assignment#2 Argument...

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Assignment #2: Argument and Counter-Argument (4-6 pp.) Overview: To meet the requirements of this assignment successfully, you must take a position on an issue and use class readings and additional research to construct an argument in support of that position. You must also use research sources to discuss a position contrary to your point of view, and then argue against that contrary position by constructing an effective refutation . Although both positions must be present in your paper and supported by academically credible sources, you must maintain a clear focus in support of your own position. Our readings recently have focused on the semiotic analysis of consumption—shopping, product design, and advertizing. Applying semiotic analysis to these topics raises controversial issues about which informed people disagree: What is the significance of shopping for consumers? How is shopping gendered? Does our freedom to choose among many different products allow us to form identities? Does it erase traditional cultures? Does it do both? In this paper, you will take a position on the ways that identities are constructed by consumption. As Maasik and Solomon put it, “Those aren’t just a pair of shoes you’re wearing: They’re a statement about your identity. That’s not just an iPod playlist: It’s a message about your worldview” (75). You will choose an example of the contemporary culture of consumption—a product, package, or retail space— and analyze and evaluate how it is used to construct the consumer’s identity. Or you may analyze an identity and identify the products and modes of construction used to construct it. In either case, you should think carefully about the identity you are analyzing, reflecting critically on the stereotypes and generalizations associated with it. (Are Maasik and Solomon right to associate cellphones so closely with
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