Summer Courses: Skidmore's ‘The Sociology Of Miley Cyrus’ & Rutgers' ‘Politicizing Beyonce’

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By Riza Ornos | March 28, 2014 8:46 PM EST

New York's liberal arts college, Skidmore College, is offering students a chance to study a sociology course that uses one of Hollywood's controversial stars as a way to dissect gender identity, media, fame and entertainment.

Reuters
Singer and actress Miley Cyrus arrives at the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 24, 2013.

Taught by assistant professor of Sociology Carolyn Chernoff, "The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media" will use the "Wrecking Ball" singer as a lens through which students can explore the myriad of themes in the media.

The class will cover a wide array of topics, including the rise of Disney Princess; transition to adulthood; allies and appropriation; uses of culture across race, class, and gender; and bisexuality, queerness, and the female body. The course will also tackle topics on what happens to Disney stars as they age, including gender stratification and the hyper-commodification of childhood.

The controversial class is set to provide "a better understanding of the way we see social problems play out through mass media, the way even trivial things, like entertainment, reflect larger cultural conflict on race, class and social inequality," said Chernoff in an interview with TODAY.com.

The sociology course about Miley Cyrus is Skidmore's latest class to center on pop culture figure and this is could an interesting class to look forward to this summer.

Rutger University's "Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyonce"

Rutger University's Department of Women's and Gender Studies is offering once again a course about Beyonce called "Feminist Perspective: Politicizing Beyonce." Headed by Kevin Allred, the class will use the Grammy-award winner's music and career as a lens to explore on gender, race and sexual politics in modern America.

The course will also examine Beyonce's lyrics and videos, with readings from Black feminists. Allred believes that the course will help students to think critically about media consumption, as they try to answer questions like: How does Beyonce's music embrace "deviant" bodies? Is she a feminist and/or queer icon?

Here are some courses that will make you want to go back to college.

  • "The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Urban Theodicy of Jay Z" at Georgetown University
  • "California, Here We Come" (on The O.C. and self-aware culture in the 21st century) at Duke University
  • "Urban America and Serial Television: Watching the Wire" at Middlebury College
  • "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame" at University of Southern California
  • "Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1965″ at Northwestern University
  • "South Park and Contemporary Social Issues" at McDaniel College
  • "The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur" at University of Washington

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Singer and actress Miley Cyrus arrives at the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 24, 2013.
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