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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Sweet! Someone hold me back!!

Interplay of Race, Gender and Social Class - "Made in America - Bloods and Crips".
Socialization - "The Truman Show"
Social Class - "Persuit of Happyness"
Cliques (and more) - "The Breakfast Club"
Justice/Institutionalization - "The Shawshank Redemption"
Family (and more) - "Big Fish"
Social Class - "People Like Us" PBS Documentary
Education - "America's Schools" 1990's Documentary
Media and Socialization - "Merchants of Cool" Frontline Documentary

There are also endless possibilities from "The Office" and "The Simpsons". I could go on for hours...
Thank you Tim, you rule!

Any Office specifics (diversity day is a priceless episode)?
You hit it right on the mark! Choose any subject in Sociology and there is either a clip or a whole episode you could use to introduce it. My students also do an individual episode analysis of the Simpsons for almost every unit!
Simpsons for every unit = cool. Thanks for the great ideas!
I teach high school Sociology, but I show...
Mean Girls- Socialization/Cliques/Culture
My Big Fat Greek Wedding- Culture or review of all concepts taught
Freedom Writers- Social Class/Education

I also show episodes of Seinfeld (check out the book Seinology), Friends, Freeks and Geeks, 30 days...

Also, the students are GREAT at finding extra video clips, movies, etc. that relate to topics.
Nice Heather, thank you for the additional ideas! And yes, having the students find clips = great focus idea.
Okay, so my response is not exactly what you are asking for, although it is connected. I have used the attached assignment -- the Psychology of Song -- to get students to think about what they listen to and how it connects with key concepts. Hope some of this helps.

Chris, cool - thank you for the idea! I'll adapt it, if it is OK with you for the Soc lens!

Thank you!

No proplem. It should be fairly easy to adapt.
Without a doubt - the 1986 movie "Gung Ho" with Michael Keaton. Never was there a funnier take on cultural differences between Japan and the US. Plus, its a pretty decent commentary on the 80's industrial competition with Japan when we were getting our butts kicked all over the map. Watch it - I have a question sheet somewhere if you need if I can find it.
Thank you for the idea Andrea? That is a funny film.
I must admit a favourite of mine for examining relationships (particularly family and marriage) is Ron Howard's "Parenthood". Invariably students can delineate between the various forms and complexities of these relationships, and there is at least on character that we all feel we 'know' personally. Also gives great opportunities to profile and analyse the various forms of 'family' that exist in society.



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