Cultural Capital

The Concerted Cultivation of Spelling

The Concerted Cultivation of Spelling

Vice News, 2018, 7:12… If you keep up with the world of competitive spelling, you've noticed the 10 year winning streak of South Asian-Americans. Kids from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have simply dominated the competition, and the South Asian Spelling Bee circuit has a lot to do with that. Launched in 2008, the South Asian Spelling Bee is an elite circuit whose alumni account for a decade of spelling dominance in the nation's most competitive spelling competition.

Aspirational Lifestyles

How TV Ruined Your Life: Aspiration (Episode 3) -- BBC, 2011, 29:19 -- https://youtu.be/tNGK9ni4aSY

It's a shame Americans don't know about Charlie Brooker aside from his Black Mirror series on Netflix. But this sociological critique of aspirational imagery in the media is brilliant, hilarious, and is certainly understandable to an American audience. This episode brings up concepts such as social class, status symbols, conspicuous consumption, and focuses on how the false consciousness a la media creates misery in our lives. Television socializes us to become obsessed with the perverted rat race of opulence, celebrity, and unrealistic standards of beauty. We now aspire to a way of life manufactured by the media and have seemingly forgotten how fabricated such an ideal is. 

Subcultural Tastes

Why people keep watching the worst movie ever made -- Vox, 2017, 5:32 -- https://youtu.be/k27mr6p-yhY

Big shout out to Vox @Voxdotcom for explicitly incorporating a major sociological concept, cultural capital, into their video on fans of “trash cinema”. It’s a good example of subcultures and while there is lots of subjectivity here, the idea of having a good taste in bad taste should make for an interesting discussion. I wonder what John Waters would think…

Poverty in America

Baltimore: 'This is what poverty in the US looks like' -- BBC News, 2017, 4:18 -- https://youtu.be/qytbhMlXltI

A look at (relative) poverty in the United States. The opening of this video is impactful and challenges our privileged assumption of open social mobility in the "land of the free".