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Culture: A Reader for Writers presents work from a broad spectrum of writers who are grappling with the cultural trends around them. Some defend the status quo, some wonder what to make of new gadgets, some embrace uncertainty, and others celebrate inevitable shifts that will resonate for years to come. Whether the topic is working conditions, student loans, movie protagonists, or soldiers returning from war, the writers give voice to the discomfort and hope that accompanies change. And more importantly, they show the writhing and wonder that makes culture itself readable. Each chapter takes on a particularly urgent subject of contemporary conversation: work, consumerism, language, social media, identity, entertainment, nature, politics, and war. The photo galleries give shape and imagery to the subjects discussed in the readings.
Developed for the freshman composition course, Culture: A Reader for Writers includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and scientific reading selections, providing students with the rhetorical knowledge and compositional skills required to participate effectively in academic and public conversations about culture and change.
Culture: A Reader for Writers is part of a series of brief single-topic readers from Oxford University Press designed for today's college writing courses. Each reader in this series approaches a topic of contemporary conversation from multiple perspectives.
John Mauk is Writing Director and Instructor of Composition and Rhetoric at Northwestern Michigan College.
Table of Contents
1. Work: What We Do
Amy Reiter, "Why Being a Jerk at Work Pays" Daily Beast
Elizabeth Dwoskin, "Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs" Bloomberg Businessweek
Julie Hanus, "White Collared: When Did Our Jobs Turn Into a Joke?" Utne Reader
Patricia Ann McNair, "I Go On Running"
Jason Storms, "In the Valley of the Shadow of Debt"
Ross Perlin, "Of Apprentices and Interns" Lapham's Quarterly
Christian Williams, "This, That, and the American Dream" Utne Reader
Mike Rose, "Blue-Collar Brilliance" American Scholar
2. Consumerism: How We Spend
Sara Davis, "Freshly Minted" The Smart Set
David E. Procter, "The Rural Grocery Crisis" Daily Yonder
Dan Heath and Chip Heath, "How to Pick the Perfect Brand Name" Fast Company
Charles Kenny, "Haiti Doesn't Need Your Old T-Shirt" Foreign Policy
Drew Harwell, "Honey Buns Sweeten Life for Florida Prisoners" St. Petersburg Times
Sharon Begley and Jean Chatzky, "The New Science Behind Your Spending Addiction" The Daily Beast
Sharon Angel, "Sorting Out Santa"
Fredrik deBoer, "The Resentment Machine" The New Inquiry
Damien Walter, "Sparks Will Fly" Aeon
3. Language: What We Mean
Julie Traves, "The Church of Please and Thank You" This
Richard Chin, "The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right" Smithsonian
Blake Gopnik, "Revolution in a Can" Foreign Policy
Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, "Thoughts on a Word: Fine" The New Inquiry
Juliette Kayyem,"Never Say, "Never Again" Foreign Policy
Robert Lane Greene, "OMG, ETC" More Intelligent Life
Fleda Brown, "Art and Buddhism: Looking for What's True"
4. Social Media: How We Communicate
Lucy P. Marcus, "What It Means Today To Be 'Connected'" Harvard Business Review
Steven Krause, "Living Within Social Networks"
Cynthia Jones, "Lying, Cheating, and Virtual Relationships" Global Virtue Ethics Review
Michael Erard, "What I Didn't Write About When I Wrote About Quitting Facebook" The Morning News
Robert Fulford, "How Twitter Saved the Octothorpe" National Post
Roger Scruton, "Hiding Behind The Screen" The New Atlantis
James Gleick, "What Defines a Meme?" Smithsonian
5. Identity: Who We Are
Sameer Pandya, "The Picture for Men: Superhero or Slacker" Pacific Standard
Cristina Black, "Bathing Suit Shopping With Annette Kellerman, the Australian Mermaid" The Hairpin
Doug LaForest, "Illegal Aliens"
S. Alan Ray, "Despite the Controversy, We're Glad We Asked" Chronicle of Higher Education
Eboo Patel, "Is Your Campus Diverse?" Chronicle of Higher Education
Leila Ahmed, "Reinventing the Veil" FT Magazine
6. Entertainment: What We Watch, How We Listen
Laura Bennett, "Fallon and Letterman and the Invisible Late Show Audience" The New Republic
Richard Lawson and Jen Doll, "Lies Hollywood Told Us: Love and Romance Edition" The Atlantic Wire
Stefan Babich, "The Fall of the Female Protagonist in Kids' Movies" Persephone
Amanda Marcotte, "The Shocking Radicalism of 'Brave'" American Prospect
Steve Yates, "The Sound of Capitalism" Prospect
7. Nature: How We Share the Planet
Jerry Dennis, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" Excerpt from From a Wooden Canoe
Stephanie Mills, "Some Words for the Wild" from Tough Little Beauties
Hugh Pennington, "Bug-Affairs" London Review of Books
Robert Moor, "Mother Nature's Sons" N+1
Rob Dunn, "Fly On Wall Sees Things It Wishes It Hadn't" Scientific American
David P. Barash, "Two Cheers for Nature" Chronicle of Higher Education
Michael Shellenberger and Ted Norhaus, "Evolve" Orion
8. Politics: How We Govern
Jeremy Brechner, "The 99 Percent Organize Themselves" The Nation
David Korten, "When Bankers Rule the World" Yes Magazine
Deanna Isaacs, "The Transnational Economy" The Chicago Reader
Starhawk, "A Pagan's Response to the Affordable Healthcare Act" Dirt Worship
David R. Dow, "We Stop the Next Aurora Not With Gun Control But With Better Mental Health Treatment" Daily Beast
Janice Brewer, "Letter from Governor Janice Brewer to President Barack Obama"
Kat Langdale, "The Illogical World of US Immigration"
9. War: How We Fight
Doug Stanton, "What the Water Dragged In" New York Times
Benjamin Busch, "U.S. Soldier Afghan Rampage Tears at Our National Soul" Daily Beast
Emily Chertoff, "Occupy Wounded Knee" The Atlantic
Nick Turse, "A Six-Point Plan for Global War" TomDispatch
Neal Whitman, "'Kinetic' Connections" Visual Thesaurus
Chris Hedges, "War Is Betrayal" Boston Review
Tom Malinowski, Sarah Holewinski, and Tammy Schultz, "Post-Conflict Potter" Foreign Policy
Appendix: Researching and Writing About Culture
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