European Studies SMLC HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU
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BA Course

Elective Course
AMER2042 Consuming culture: decoding American symbols 6 credits
Images of America (as revealed in Hollywood films, television, advertisements, music and music videos, news media and consumer products) shape our vision of US culture. In a course specifically designed with Hong Kong students in mind, we will study and decode cultural products mediated to us by the increasingly global American media. We will approach national culture, including popular culture, as an extension and creation of national myths and propaganda and explore why Americans are so attached to certain symbols, and what these symbols mean for the United States as a whole. In the course of our discussions we may touch on the symbolism and reality of the American Dream and the myth of “rags to riches,” the notion of success, materialism and consumerist culture, as well as on the national and international symbols that for many define the image of America. We may also consider distinctions between high and low/popular cultures and see how class, gender and race affect notions of culture.
Assessment: 100% coursework.
(Not on offer in 2018/2019)

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