Advertising and Popular Culture
Behind the Screens: Hollywood Goes Hypercommercial (8:16)
How do movies get made? This clip explores how corporate ownership impacts which movies get produced and which do not.
Toxic Sludge is Good For You (5:49)
Public relations firms can shape and manipulate public opinion, and ultimately, public policy.
Advertising & the End of the World (5:11)
Communications scholar Sut Jhally explains how we often ask the wrong questions about advertising when we focus on individual effects.
Crime and Culture
Crips and Bloods: Made In America (10:43)
The first African American gang formed in Los Angeles because the local Boy Scout troop only accepted white children.
A Hard Straight: A Documentary about Doing Time on the Outside (4:47)
Making the adjustment from prison can be extremely hard. In this segment, a parolee struggles to find a place to live without many resources.
Class Dismissed (7:06)
Television has played a central role in communicating the meaning of the American Dream since its earliest days. Its programs shape cultural notions of class and what it means to have "made it" in America.
The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need (7:22)
We increasingly compare ourselves-and our stuff-with both peers and those earning significantly more that we do, creating an endless attempt to present the trappings of wealth.
Culture and Communities
Malls 'R Us (4:51)
Malls are more than meccas of consumption; they are important cultural spaces. Some even consider them similar to sacred spaces.
Downside Up (10:02)
North Adams, Massachusetts had been economically decimated by closing factories and mills, but was revitalized by converting a factory into Mass MoCA, a contemporary art museum.
On the Road (7:56)
Is it possible to be part of a community when you don't stay in the same place? RVers are modern-day nomads who create communities through a shared lifestyle.
Culture and Globalization
Edge of Islam (7:50)
Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya, is extremely poor but has a thriving tourist trade. In this clip, we see the conflict between welcoming tourists to promote economic growth and maintaining the island's culture.
Rain in a Dry Land (6:33)
Refugees from war-torn Somalia must learn American customs and culture as they settle into their new country.
Food, Language and Ethnicity
Pidgin: The Voice of Hawai'i (5:43)
Pidgin, a combination of languages, is common in Hawai'i.
Looking for My Gypsy Roots (8:39)
This clip follows a Hungarian man of Roma (often called "Gypsy") decent who grew up in an orphanage run by non-Roma. He feels separate from Roma culture, yet as a Roma he is not fully accepted as Hungarian.
Eating Alaska (7:34)
In Alaska, part of the culture of eating includes hunting and gathering. This clip looks at what it's like to hunt for one's dinner.
Milk in the Land (6:19)
Milk consumption was linked with racial superiority in the early twentieth century.
No Country for Young Girls? (5:38)
Some cultures favor bearing sons so much that there is a widespread practice of aborting female fetuses. In India this practice is illegal but not uncommon.
Further Off the Straight & Narrow: New Gay Visibility on Television, 1998-2006 (8:56)
How do TV representations shape and reflect attitudes and beliefs about gays and lesbians in the broader culture? This clip looks at "reality" television shows in particular.
Spin the Bottle (5:11)
Cultural messages imply that "real men" can out drink others. If not, they are often considered weak.
Witches in Exile (4:28)
We often think that the fear of witches and witchcraft is a concern of the distant past. This clip examines why the belief in witchcraft continues in part of Ghana.
Three Sisters (8:51)
Can war change culture? Eritrean women of the countryside must choose between cultural customs, like female circumcision, and their health.
Playing Unfair: The Media Image of the Female Athlete (9:43)
Women athletes are frequently ignored or sexualized in the media, revealing the contradictions between being a strong, competitive, athlete and traditional cultural messages about femininity.
Latching On: The Politics of Breastfeeding in America (7:09)
Breastfeeding is healthiest for babies, and yet the U.S. has very low rates of breastfeeding.
Teeth are more than just body parts, more than a way to chew food. They are central in creating cultural meanings.
Sex and the Body
Busting Out (7:43)
Breasts are more than just ways for mammals to feed their young. In our culture, breasts have significance that also teaches us about gender and power.
The Education of Shelby Knox: Sex, Lies & Education (12:40)
Sex education is controversial in many parts of the country. This clip explores the challenge in Lubbock, Texas, to introduce sex education in public schools.
Strange Fruit (8:52)
Billie Holliday's recording of "Strange Fruit," a song about lynching, raised awareness about racism despite being banned from the radio after its 1939 release.
Wall Street: A Wonderful Trip (6:51)
Wall Street impacts the global economy and our everyday lives in ways we aren't always aware of. Beyond its global reach, the financial world also has its own unique subculture.
The Amish and Us (2:57)
The Amish are an American subculture that believes in simplicity, eschewing modern conveniences and preferring simple dark clothing to avoid differentiating themselves from others.