It is my hope that I will get to work in radio broadcasting after graduating from Queens. My passion for radio began at a young age, and I like many things about the industry, especially the pop culture aspect. It would make sense then that given my career aspirations and goals, one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken in the Knight school was COM 348: Communication and American Pop Culture, with Dr. Carreiro. This class explored how important themes such as the class system, cultural appropriation, and privilege play into today’s popular media.
Before COM 348, I was somewhat familiar with the terms that we would be studying in this class. I had some sort of a concept of what things such as racism, sexual objectification, and ethnicity were. But I didn’t know how all of these terms played into today’s popular culture. Through detailed examples of various forms of media, analyzations, class discussions both in class and on online forums, and group debate projects, Dr. Carreiro showed our class how to think critically about how the big players behind today’s media and popular culture try and present messages to the masses about these subjects that only show certain views on issues. A favorite assignment of mine in this class was our group debate projects, which happened twice during the semester. All of the students were placed into small groups of four, and each group was given a pop culture icon or popular movie or TV show to analyze and research. Group members would then deliberate on this subject out during a live timed debate in front of the class, and debate about how the themes and terms that we were studying in class related to the specific topic up for discussion. This was a great way for us to learn from our peers, and to see course material getting applied to specific pop culture scenarios.
Another assignment that I really enjoyed was our class’s global perspectives presentations. Each student interviewed someone who was not originally from the United States about what pop culture was like in their native country, and how it differed from the United States. The person that I interviewed was from France. We had a great interview, and it made for a really interesting project and presentation. It was also relevant to me because the summer following taking this course, I studied abroad in France for my JBIP program, so having a first-hand grasp on the popular culture of the country before leaving was useful to me.