In her book Republic of Signs, political theorist Anne Norton says that the “force of a political idea lies in its capacity to transcend thought and make itself part of everday life in the material world. . . ideas are most powerful not when they impose practices upon us but when we take them for granted. . . in popular culture, in the possessions of ordinary people, in the habits of everyday life.” The purpose of this assignment is to “do” political theorizing in a contemporary mode. Using our reading of Jayber Crow as an example of how a novel can embody political theory, please choose one object of American popular culture – a song, a print advertisement, a television commercial, a Hollywood film, an episode of a television show, a consumer object — and analyze the political implications and ideologies that it embodies. Dissect the ways that our political beliefs and values are demonstrated in this piece of popular culture – how it is a “text” of political theory in the same way that The Republic, The Prince, or On Libertyare, and how it should be read and understood.
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