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San Diego State University Cultural Ideal in Popular Culture Discussion

San Diego State University Cultural Ideal in Popular Culture Discussion

Question Description

Journal Prompt #1

The premise of this class is that cultural ideals and norms (“truth claims”) are relentlessly promoted in popular culture, and as a result we internalize these ideas as our own truths. We then constantly compare ourselves, our lives, and others with these ideas, and when/if we or they don’t “measure up” we can feel unhappy.

Your journal entry needs to describe the content/process of doing each of following in your conversation (please label each response 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5):

  1. Identify at least one “truth claim” or cultural ideal you see in popular culture that you compare yourself to and use in your life (i.e. ideas about happiness & health, body & beauty, success & material goods, love & relationships, what it means to be a “good person,” etc..). Where do you encounter this truth claim and how do you apply it to yourself? Share your reflections with your conversation partner.
  2. Ask your conversation partner to do #1 as well, and note their responses.
  3. Discuss with your partner the effects on both your lives/identity (how you feel about yourself) of this comparison process – how does it affect your experiences of happiness/unhappiness?
  4. Imagine what would happen if you no longer believed the “truth” of the truth claim or that comparing yourself leads to greater happiness. How would that change how you live your lives, how you think about yourselves?
  5. What was it like to talk about these ideas with someone else? (Some things to consider: Were you/they comfortable sharing? Did you feel supported, vulnerable, or something else? Did you agree/disagree about things? Did it help you think about things differently?)

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