American Culture and the Media (The College of Westchester)

About this class

This course features significant themes in American culture and media focusing on the impact of issues such as diversity and gender on work, family life, entertainment, sports, and the environment.  Students will also examine issues of power related to gender, race, and class and the economic and cultural implications of mass media representation and consumption.  Materials for discussion and analysis will be drawn from essays, newspapers, television, advertising, and music.

The College of Westchester
by jthompson1864 on October 13, 2013
In what ways is the development of robotics technology analogous to the development of American culture? What does our development and use of robotics say about our cultural development? What are the advantages and perils of the combined technologies of robotics and the internet?

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The College of Westchester
by jthompson1864 on September 23, 2013
The music industry has evolved exponentially from it's modest roots of Thomas Edison's voice-recording on a telegraph machine. The 20th and 21st centuries have seen pivotal developments in the business of music. Please discuss key aspects of the ways in which the industry has developed. Also, what are some of the current issues facing the business? What are the implications of these issues for its future? In other words, where has the music industry been and where do you perceive it's going?

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The College of Westchester
by jthompson1864 on September 23, 2013
The music industry has evolved exponentially from it's modest roots of Thomas Edison's voice-recording on a telegraph machine. The 20th and 21st centuries have seen pivotal developments in the business of music. Please discuss key aspects of the ways in which the industry has developed. Also, what are some of the current issues facing the business? What are the implications of these issues for its future? In other words, where has the music industry been and where do you perceive it's going?

4,023 | 5 | 0
The College of Westchester
by jthompson1864 on September 23, 2013
This is the "chicken/egg" debate to determine precedence. So, please share your thoughts on the following question: Does music inform and shape a societal culture, or does societal culture inform and shape its music?

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The College of Westchester
by jthompson1864 on September 23, 2013
This is the "chicken/egg" debate to determine precedence. So, please share your thoughts on the following question: Does music inform and shape a societal culture, or does societal culture inform and shape its music?

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Teacher

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5 years 6 months ago

Marijuana should be legalized. If controlled and taxed correctly, this government will have the potential to eventually dig them selves out of this financial rut. Also, there are medical benifits behind medicinal marijuana. Such as, cancer patients who are being treated with chemotherapy have a higher loss of appetite, and marijuana has an effect on most people making them hungry and wanting to eat. Also marijuana activates receptors in your brain which can relieve pain, (According to http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Does+marijuana+really+relieve+pain....) Instead of a doctor prescribing all these potentially addictive pain killers such as OxyContin, Percocet,Vicoden. Marijuana is not a drug that when abused can become addictive where as Pain Pills are a commonly abused perscription drug. with that being said, i believe medicinal marijuana when controlled will be a very good idea. What i mean by controlled is it should be treated like sudafed. Sudafed has a chemical in it called Pseudoephedrine. With the right ingredients, Pseudoephedrine can be cooked and made into methamphetamine. (Crystal-Meth) You can buy no more than 9 grams of Pseudoephedrine per month with out getting a visit from law enforcers. Marijuana should be controlled the same way.

Thank You for your time

5 years 6 months ago

Mental illness is a very real and present issue in health. We see this in mental retardation, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, etc. Although when we get to the issue of mental illness in children, as far as ADHD and ADD, we tend to, nowadays, lean toward medical science for an answer. Social media and relatively easy information access has inundated American society to always have a quick and understandable solution. We as a whole need to self evaluate ourselves and find out what the real issue is. The main symptoms of ADHD are easy distractions, becoming bored fairly quickly (when not doing something ENJOYABLE), having trouble completing homework, and having difficulty waiting your turn. Anyone today from the age of 4 to forever display these traits almost on a daily basis, especially in the adolescent stage. These main symptoms appear in every child and I see this on a daily basis at my job as a elementary after school counselor. We should stop trying to diagnose our children every time they do something wrong but actually get to know them and take the time out to find the core issue.

5 years 6 months ago

A crime is a serious offence such as murder or robbery. A punishment is a penalty imposed on somebody who is convicted of a crime. A punishment could be, for example, time in prison or a fine.

6 years 1 day ago

Societal culture informs and shapes music in which we are living in an ever changing society where the music artists have to adapt to the changes in American Culture. As an ever growing society infused with a melting pot of different cultures we all have different tastes and aspects towards the way we listen or make music. Years ago music had a more acoustic folk sound to it and now a days in music you hear a lot more pop, techno, and urban feel to music. Music is flowing with the changes in American culture because as people grow they evolve and so do their tastes in music. With every passing century there is a new style added to music. Before an artist can create a particular song or create a particular sound to the music they must adhere to the societal culture of music. I remember being a young teenager and very heavy into Boy Bands Like New Kids on The Block, Back Street Boys and N’sync, and as I grew up my interest in boy bands have changed where I’m more into an urban style of music. I would believe the same would go for today’s young teens that are into boy bands. And sooner or later the idea of boy bands will phase out once again and a new genre of music will be imposed.

6 years 1 day ago

The music industry has developed drastically over the centuries in which we see different cultures integrated into music. With each turn of the century music artists have had to change their music styles because let’s face it as music consumers grow so do their tastes in music. The nature of the industry has changed in that the most popular artists have only a short product life cycle. So artists have to constantly reinvent themselves and change the genre of their music. Such artists like Madonna and Michael Jackson have had the capability of changing their music styles to fit the changes in culture. Music industry has been undergoing drastic changes since the increase of widespread digital distribution of music we see a decline in record sales but live music has increased in importance. The biggest distributer of digital music is Apple Itunes, where with the click of a button you can buy a single of a popular song.
With the increase of internet technology it allows consumers to download music for little to no cost from the internet. Because this has been a widespread popularity in consumers it has contributed to the decline in sales and profits of music records. Music artists now have to find other alternative to make profits of their music. With the growth of American society technology will become even more sophisticated in the coming years. Many artists have difficulties in making a profit because of the dominance of the free music downloads. For them, the Internet may provide a useful means of distributing their music to fans around the world but at what costs. That is why many artists go on tour or perform in concerts. The music industry faces the challenge of meeting a changed market place and how they respond to such changes is going to be crucial in their success and the continued development of the music industry as a whole.
With the growth of technology the music industry will have to adapt to the growth. Artists and record labels will need to come up with different ways to sell their music. A lot of these music labels have incorporated copyright laws. A lot of these artists will also need to develop a means to stay relevant in American culture where they will have to adapt to change.

6 years 1 day ago

The development of robotics technology is analogous to the development of American Culture in which robots can receive electronic transmissions. A net worked robot can communicate remotely with humans and also with other machines. With the increase and advancement of American culture comes the increase of robotic technology. New advanced robotic technology is being created with the course of change of American culture. At this day in age we are into the latest technology such as cell phones game consoles, tablets, ipads. With each passing year there is a new need for a better faster stronger robotic device. The use of robotics in our cultural development shows that we are heavily relying on these devices to think for us to work for us. The simplest task such as dialing a number now can be achieved through voice calling. A text message that was the latest advancement is now something of the norm now we can use our voices to send a text message instead of typing the message on our key pad. The advantages of combining robotics with the internet are it makes it easier and faster for us to save and retain information for long periods of time. Combining robotics and the internet puts a world of information immediately at our fingertips. The perils of combined technology and robotics are robotics contributes to human rights abuse. A robot is susceptible to having information stolen off its hard drive. Its design may lend itself to being hacked. Robotic technology is capable of receiving update orders from its manufacturers where its security could be compromised by an outside entity such as a hacker.

6 years 2 days ago

Perhaps the most perceived analogy is in the military with the development of new instruments of defense and engagement like the flying drones. Other perceived analogy is in the tasks done by employees in commercial warehouses and storages. These and many other examples are manifestations of robotics technology as cultural development in American society that requires training and good decision making skills, just like drivers in their automobiles. We cannot expect robotics technology solve all our concerns in life and work, but its use help us to perform the task that can be difficult, or hazardous, or impossible without it. In the case of internet, it satisfies and stimulates our interest of search information and keeps one another in touch, but there also the concern of being dependent of new ways to distract ourselves from our own duties.

6 years 1 week ago

The way we listen to music has changed. Before the music videos came out in the 1980's music was only about sound. It shared a message or told a story. Being Puerto Rican the music I heard while growing up was Salsa, Charanga etc, good part of the song was enjoying how different instruments played together in harmony.

Once the music videos came out and MTV took over, everything was about the videos and the style. I remember when Kriss Kross first came out and the style was the pants backwards and a lot of guys started wearing their pants like that. Artists and music videos influence what we hear, wear, buy and how we act. Now it has become easier to get our favorite music from any genre straight on our smart phone or computer. We can stream music and videos from programs such as you tube and pandora. Giving music a greater influence in our lives.

Music has evolved. What our parents call music is different from what we and even our children like. Every generation has their own sound, style and opinion.

6 years 1 week ago

I believe music both feeds and shapes society. Yes artists try new things to get more fans and to make fans happy so they can ultimately make more money. However being the mother of a 13 year old daughter I see how much she learns from the music.

6 years 3 weeks ago

I think being recognized for your music and the amount of people you can reach is a lot better now than it was years ago. That's due to all the technological advances and social media networking. Now a days people make music to make a stamp in the world for the present instead of making music that will last for years to come. An artist with longevity in the business is hard to come by. Profit-making due to sales of albums is tougher because of file sharing and illegal downloading but it makes more room for making profit in ticket sales and merchandising. It keeps people on their toes, to think of more creative ways to make money as artists instead of just waiting for albums to sell. This also increases their interaction with fans, as they would have to do more legwork to stay ahead of the competition.

Because of things like YouTube and Songcloud, people who love to make music and want to share it with the world can do so without having to worry about an agent or a record deal. It gives unknown artist exposure that they would not have been able to have years ago. Platforms like this help give hope to artist that might not have the funds to become mainstream. Some eventually do become stars.

So I feel the future of music is favorable. What lacks sometimes is the meaning and content in a song. As time progresses, music with substance is still being created and will last longer than the songs made to satisfy the public's finicky taste of what's trending.

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About the author

I've taught Business and General Education courses at The College of Westchester since 2004. During this time, I've taught and developed courses in the College’s Online and Adult Divisions. Currently, I'm a Walden University doctoral candidate in the Higher Education and Adult Learning program.