Making Curriculum Pop

Hey Everyone, 

As I have a background in Cultural Studies I was just approved to do an undergrad Sociology 101 course.  I've never worked in this exact discipline, for that reason I was wondering if social science folks could share their "essential" films or songs that you find helpful for introducing broad sociological concepts.

Any thoughts would make me smile!


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Jeanette, thank you for that idea - yes, this is a funny film, eh?
ANY Miyazaki film would work, but especially: Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Both deal extensively with problems that are created when cultures clash. His films are all deeply complex, but very easy to watch (students of all ages love them!). Another good film addressing culture clash is Fight Club and V for Vendetta - but both of these are more about uprising rather than the study of culture, so I don't know if they're exact fits, but still, worth considering.
MVS, Interesting ideas - I've taught Spirited Away in other contexts, hadn't thought of this one. Thank you!

Hi Ryan! "La Haine" (Hate) (Mathieu Kassovitz) is at the top of my list. There are some great lines in the film (Parisian mumbles these boys are " le malaise de banlieue"). Never mind that it's in French :) Tant mieux! Quel film extraordinaire! For a backgorund on social "problems" in France, some nice photo essays can be found on
I was also curious to know in what context you have used "Spirited Away" ?
MG - yeah, that film is incredible, eh? Thank you so much for bringing it to mind - also great photo essays. Thanks! I hope you're doing well out in the BX!

Here are some articles about how the brain processes music. Enjoy!

Two movies I use in high school level sociology are "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (Culture and Social Structure) and "Crash"(Race and Ethnicity). "Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment"(Crime and Punishment) is good documentary.

I think you and your students would have a great time with these!
Oh, yeah, very cool ideas Phil - I love TGMBC ! I need to start thinking about foreign films also as I want a wide range of models. Thanks man!

Along with My Big Fat Greek Wedding, In America and Bend It Like Beckham are great for exploring culture and immigration issues and challenges between first and second generation immigrants.
Glori, thank you for the additions - nice ideas!!!
I use Remember the Titans as an attention-getter when introducing the unit on multiculturalism and I used The Secret Life of Bees for a host of topics from abuse to racism.
Phyllis - thank you for those additions to the list - both movies I didn't want to like but really enjoied!



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