Category Archives: Culture and Cultural Studies

Essay on Digital Division

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Essay on Digital Division

What is the digital divide, and how does it influence the relationship between global and local cultures? Focus your essay around a particular example of digital division and its impact upon global/local cultures.

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MIRROR ESSAY: Popular Culture

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1 Corinthians 13:12;    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

MIRROR ESSAY: Popular Culture

Your identity, subjectivity (i.e. selfhood), and agency are informed by a multiplicity of factors that intersect to create you. In other words, you are never defined by just one category. How do you experience your own identity? Perhaps you have encountered conflicts between different ways you identify (say, as queer and as a Southern Baptist, for example). Perhaps certain aspects of your identity are more prominent in your life than others. Importantly, various identities allow the self to connect with the other (i.e. other people). We will explore our own identities in Week Seven by considering how popular culture (mis)represents ourselves to ourselves. After some preliminary research and contemplation about your identity you will hone in on a particular aspect of yourself and find three artifacts from popular culture that (mis)represent that aspect in some way. We will then find some secondary sources to inform our understanding and write an analysis of how your chosen aspect is (mis)represented, categorized, reinforced or undermined in popular culture. We will do this analysis under the conceit that we may now never fully know ourselves, as illustrated by the metaphor of a dark or dim mirror in Corinthians 13:12. This is to say that even when we see our own identities reflected in popular media, we must be suspicious of the image that we see. Carefully read through each step of this assignment. This is not an essay that you can write in one or two nights. STEP ONE Consider some of the social, cultural, and political categories that inform who you are: Nationality, ethnicity, race, first and second languages, skin color, gender, sex, sexual preference, socio-economic class, body size, income, level of education, age, including the generation or decade in which you were born, political affiliation, religion, abilities or disabilities that you may have, and sub-cultural interests (as a gamer, punk, ballerina, fan of __, etc.). Write down where you personally fall in each category (you won’t turn this in or show it to anyone unless you want to). For example: I am American, Dutch/English/Italian/Indonesian, white, I speak English as a native speaker and French as a second language, I have light skin, I identify as male, straight, I have a Master’s degree, I come from a lower-middle class family, I am a big Game of Thrones fan, I don’t have a driver’s license, etc… STEP TWO Pick one of these aspects, or a combination of these aspects and explore how popular culture portrays them. For example, if you want to research Native American identity, you might watch some old Western films as well as the latest film, Revenant, read a few stories by Sherman Alexie or other indigenous authors, play some video games that have indigenous characters, like Prey or Never Alone, and so on. STEP THREE Pick a few of these texts from popular culture to write about. In popular culture studies, anything can be a ‘text’, not just written material (this includes, movies, games, images, commercials, toys, etc.). Remember that your topic is not the texts themselves so much as the way the texts portray the identity you are exploring. You are not writing a review or consumer report. You might examine how the texts depict your identity (either accurately or inaccurately), influence your identity, targets your identity as the audience, or ignores your identity as the audience. Continuing with our Native American identity example, we might select an early Western film that depicts indigenous people, Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Tonto in the latest Lone Ranger film, Disney’s Pocahontas, and the film Smoke Signals, written and acted by actual indigenous people. STEP FOUR Find some secondary sources on your topic. A secondary source is anything that analyzes or discusses a primary source. In this case, the primary sources are the texts you found in step three, as well as your own experience with the identity you chose. For example, we might cite the documentary film, Reel Injun, which looks at how Native Americans are depicted by Hollywood. We could find an interview with Sherman Alexie about his film, Smoke Signals, and find a few articles through the PSU library databases, like JSTOR. STEP FIVE Develop a thesis. A thesis statement gives your reader the argument you’re making in your essay. In order to develop a strong thesis, think about the controversies surrounding your chosen identity, or the contradictions between different texts. An example thesis (after much research, re-writing, and re-thinking) “Contemporary films like Pocahontas and The Lone Ranger perpetuate destructive myths and stereotypes about Native Americans that were established by the Western genre, the most destructive being the ‘disappearing race’ myth. The films Smoke Signals and The Business of Fancy Dancing attempt to address these stereotypes in a sometimes earnest, sometimes playful way by depicting the lives, culture, and self understanding of contemporary Native Americans.” STEP SIX Write a rough draft. You will hand this rough draft off to a peer for review in Week Eight. STEP SEVEN Write a revised draft. Revision means that your writing should look significantly different than the rough draft. Take the time to rearrange your paragraphs if necessary and write completely new sentences. Incorporate the advice from the peer review that you found useful. Your revised draft should be free of typos and grammatical errors, and easy to read and comprehend. The revised essay must be in MLA format (12pt font Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, double-spaced, last name and page number in header, Works Cited page, and in-text citations with last name of author and page number in parentheses after citations). See the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University for more information on MLA format.

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Assignment 1; traditional Torres Strait Islander customs

Assignment 1; traditional Torres Strait Islander customs

Description Word limit Wtg(%) Due date
Essay 1750 words 40% 28 July 2016

Please ensure that all referencing is compliant with Harvard AGPS style. We have had constant issues with the referencing. To fix the reference issue once and for all, these links will only take a few minutes:

  1. (1 minute video)
  2. Link to download Harvard AGPS Style
  3. Instructions on how to do it







Assignment 1

Description Word limit Wtg(%) Due date
Essay 1750 words 40% 28 July  2016



Select and then compare and contrast three traditional Torres Strait Islander customs with three contemporary customs/practices. Include and discuss three examples of traditional customs and three examples of contemporary customs. Explain how the modern customs/practices evolved and the choices Torres Strait Islander people themselves had, if any, in the establishment of these contemporary practices.

Assignment 1 – Marking Sheet


Word limit: 1750 words
Please submit with Assignment 1.

Student name:___________________________ Student no.:_______________________

Item details Marker’s comments Marks
A.  Definition of the topic

1. The topic has been clearly defined and answered.

B.  Structure of the essay

2.  The introduction names the customs that have been selected, with clear statements of the issues to be raised in the essay.

3.  The essay has a clear structure or organisation in which the nature and evolution of three traditional Torres Strait Island customs and three contemporary practices are examined. The main points develop logically. The relevance of the material to the theme is clear.

4.  There is an effective conclusion which draws the main points together and which does not introduce any new material.

C.   Content

5.  There is evidence of adequate reading and research.

6.  The breadth of coverage is adequate.

7.  Three examples of both traditional customs and contemporary customs are included.

8.  The issues and ideas are analysed in sufficient depth.

9.  The ideas are clearly linked and integrated.

10.  The arguments/explanations are supported by evidence, examples, sources and apt, generally brief, quotations.

D.  Analysis

11.  The arguments/explanations are logical and consistent.

12.  The opinions are based on fact and/or logic.

13.  The essay shows evidence of original thought.

E.  Presentation

14.  Assignment Cover Sheet and Marking Criteria Sheet are included.

15.  Fluency and style of writing.

16.  Spelling, grammar and paragraphing.

17.  Neatness and legibility.

F.  Sources

18.  All sources acknowledged and references cited correctly, using the APA system or Harvard system of referencing.

Total   /40


Marker: …………………………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………

Individual Presentation: Cultural Group: Hispanic & Latino Americans vs Socio-Cultural Group: Cuban Heritage

Individual Presentation: Cultural Group: Hispanic & Latino Americans  vs Socio-Cultural Group: Cuban Heritage

Each student will choose one cultural group and one socio-cultural group from the list provided below and set up a PowerPoint presentation  in APA format. Required a inimum of 16 slides.

Preparation for the presentation will include synthesizing the information from assigned readings, Internet resources, the scientific literature, and other sources. Students will provide a minimum of five sources.

The presentation will address the following:

  1. A brief history of the cultural/socio-cultural group
  2. Values
  3. Worldview
  4. Language and communication patterns
  5. Art and other expressive formsNorms and rules
  6. Lifestyle characteristics
  7. Relationship patterns
  8. Common rituals
  9. Degree of assimilation or marginalization from mainstream society
  10. Health behaviors and practices.

The presentation must include a comparative and contrast analysis of common characteristics and distinguishing traits between the cultural group and the socio-cultural group. As well as a brief explanation of differential approaches needed by health care professionals.

Grades will also be based on overall quality of the professional presentation including handouts and references. The presentation is due by the end of Week 8.


Cultural Groups: Socio-cultural group
African American & African Group African American Heritage, Haitian Heritage
Asian American, Asian, & Pacific Islander Group Chinese Heritage, Japanese Heritage, Korean Heritage, Filipino Heritage, Russian Heritage, Thai Heritage, Indian Heritage, Vietnamese Heritage
Native American Group Apache Heritage, Navajo Heritage, Yakama Heritage, Cherokee Heritage
Hispanic & Latino Americans Group Mexican Heritage, Brazilian Heritage, Cuban Heritage, Puerto Rico Heritage, Guatemala Heritage
European  American Group Jewish Heritage, Polish Heritage, Baltic Heritage, Greek Heritage, Turkish Heritage, Irish Heritage, Italian Heritage



Asian Immigration in U.S. History, (assimilation, melting pot, and cultural pluralism)

Asian Immigration in U.S. History, (assimilation, melting pot, and cultural pluralism)


Work type: Article review
Subject or discipline: Cultural and Ethnic Studies
Title: the Asian Immigration in U.S. History, (assimilation, melting pot, and cultural pluralism)
Number of sources: 4
Provide digital sources used: No
Paper format: MLA
# of pages: 6
Spacing: Double spaced
# of words: 1650
# of slides: ppt icon 0
# of charts: 0
Paper details:
This essay is sort of article summary. It contains a lot of reading and videos. Once you read through all the materials, this essay should be easy.

1. Please read the “long essay instructions” first and the articles of “assimilation theories”, “the melting pot”, and “cultural pluralism”. They will give you senses and guideline to write the essay.

2.. Read the rest graphic novels and watch the videos that are related to the 4 characters (Jing Wang, DHH and his father, Chris Iijima) need to be described in the essay. Describe how the 4 characters / individuals become “American?” Please see the “long essay instructions” for details about the 4 characters and corresponding articles or videos links.

3. This essay must include a clear and debatable thesis statement. Please place it at the end of the introduction paragraph.

4. Please cite some quotes from the articles or videos, but do not exceed 25% of the entire paper, 75% of the text must be your own words.

Thank you so much!

Comments from Support Team: Discipline: Asian American Study

 The long essay assignment covers selected materials featured throughout the entirety of the spring semester. It must be typed, double-spaced, roughly 6-7 pages long (a little bit shorter than what I originally listed in the syllabus), and feature 1” margins and 12 point font. It is worth 20 points.

GRADING: The long essay is a formal writing assignment. In your paper, you are expected to 1) observe rules of grammar, 2) show originality and thoughtfulness, 3) integrate and elaborate on specific class materials, and 4) present a well-written and strongly organized essay. You should clearly include your thesis statement near the end of your introductory paragraph(s); this will help strengthen your paper’s organization as well as provide direction for the reader.


IN-TEXT CITATIONS (based largely on MLA style format): When citing an author of a quote, you can simply do the following. In the body of your essay, if you are citing a poem on page 171 of Russell Leong’s article “Poetry Within Earshot,” place the author’s last name and the page number where the quote can be found within parentheses after the quoted text like this: “Our living is an extension of our remembrances / We are at the tip of the past, /

Balancing, / As dancers do.” (Leong 171)


For audio, you can list the author, name of the audio and the minutes: seconds where the citation starts and ends, like this (Phi, “Reverse Racism” 23:10 – 23:46).




  1. Based on your reading of the Immigration in U.S. History articles (covering the 3 processes of assimilation, the melting pot, and cultural pluralism), how do the following characters / individuals become “American?”


Use the following 4 characters to examine and discuss in your essay:


  • Jin Wang, from the graphic novel “American Born Chinese





  • Chris Iijima, from documentary A Song For Ourselves as well as the article about the musical recording entitled A Grain of Sand (link:

[NOTE: As with the concept of domination and subordination, ideas like assimilation (Anglo-conformity), the melting pot, and cultural pluralism (a.k.a. multiculturalism) act as both ideologies and analytical tools/models, meaning that in certain contexts people will argue for or against these concepts when debating such questions like “how should one become an American” and “should there be an official language in the U.S.” In other contexts, these ideas may be used not for any advocacy purposes, but simply to analyze how a society functions or operates on many different levels. For example, regardless of what one may feel about such a process, it is difficult to argue that many American children who attend public school undergo forced assimilation (A+B+C = A) via English-language instruction. Yet, some children may resist assimilation by actively studying a second language at home and/or in a “foreign” language school. And what about material culture [that is, objects] like Korean tacos represent—what might they reveal about how one becomes American? Such tacos are not exemplary of the melting pot (A+B+C = D)—in other words, all ethnic groups have not contributed to its development, nor do all Americans consume this food item as part of a shared national cultural experience. Such a taco can be considered a manifestation of pluralism (A+B+C= A+B+C), whereby Korean Americans are influenced by another culinary tradition(s) [Mexican / Mexican American], and yet produce something that is still uniquely Korean American. (Still others may introduce the term “acculturation” into the discussion at this point. But doing so would overcomplicate things for the purposes of our arts class.)


So, as you organize your answer to the essay question, please remember that you will use the aforementioned ideas like assimilation (or Anglo-conformity), the melting pot, and cultural pluralism mostly as tools to analyze the characters’ lives. However, I would also like you to briefly consider in a concluding paragraph the authors’/artists’ ideological positions on assimilation, the melting pot, and cultural pluralism. For instance, do they appear to favor some processes for becoming “American” over others, and if so, why? What evidence can you cite from their work that seems to reflect their own positions?]


Remember, you will not argue in favor for or against any ideas in the long essay (some people refer to this as an expository essay). But you will try to persuade me that character B has become “American” through a combination of this and that process, while character D has experienced a different process altogether, and so forth—and whether you are convincing to the reader or not will be dependent on how thorough and sensible you analysis of the available evidence is.






  1. PROVIDING EVIDENCE: remember, your job is to persuade me how different characters become “American,” using as your analytical tools the concepts of assimilation, the melting pot, and cultural pluralism. “Prove” your thesis by providing thoughtful, detailed analysis of specific scenes, passages, or elements to support your position. You should assume that the readers of your paper are members of the class, and that we have familiarity with the course material. Avoid generalizing or making broad, sweeping claims—strive to be specific and detailed, and say what can be proven within the parameters of your essay.


  1. THESIS STATEMENT: The long essay is an argumentative paper. You should place your thesis statement (i.e., a short 1-2 sentence statement that encapsulates your paper’s central argument) clearly in your essay’s introduction. For more information on creating and developing a thesis statement, see the following helpful resource web pages:


    1. “How To Write a Thesis Statement” (Indiana University)


    1. “Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements” (Purdue University) [copy-and-paste the web address if clinking the link does not work]


  1. QUOTING: quoting from texts, songs, and videos is encouraged so that you can add stronger emphasis to your overall argument, but there are some suggestions I have to prevent you from committing common student mistakes:


    1. Introduce a quote that you use; explain to the reader why you are using it. When possible, you should avoid starting a sentence with a quote.


    1. Try to use quotes only for things you cannot easily paraphrase, or whose emotional effect you cannot replicate through your own words.


    1. As a general rule for my classes, do not over-quote because this infers “lazy writing.” Overall, try to ensure that roughly 70-75% of your essay’s text is in your own words, while 25%-30% consists of quotes.



  1. PROOFREADING: I suggest you proofread your essay several times before turning it in. You are encouraged to practice correct rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation; I believe you will find the following web page helpful as you proofread drafts of your paper:


“Dr. Norm Page’s Writing Gig List” <>



In short, a strong essay is well-organized, thoughtful rather than merely derivative, features claims that are clearly stated and fully supported with evidence, addresses opposing views when possible, and avoids illogical assertions.




Thesis (clear, easily identifiable)

Evidence and Analysis

Organization / Structure

Writing Mechanics / Style

Cuba and US Trade Embargo

Cuba and US Trade Embargo
Work type: Research paper
Academic level: College (1-2 years: Freshmen, Sophomore)
Subject or discipline: Cultural and Ethnic Studies
Title: Cuba and US Trade Embargo
Number of sources: 5
Provide digital sources used: Yes, bid for the order will include additional payment for this feature
Paper format: MLA
# of pages: 5
Spacing: Double spaced
# of words: 1375
# of slides: ppt icon 0
# of charts: 0
Paper details:
Lengthy, direct quotes don’t count toward the number of pages. Minimum of 5 scholarly sources(no Wikipedia,encyclopedias,,etc.) Use MLA style of documentation for citing sources parenthetically and on the Works Cited page. At least 7 citations in the paper. Title needed 3 1/2 inches down from the top of the first page. one inch margins all around with a number 12 font. Double spaced and written in third person. Page numbers placed in the upper right-hand corner.
Comments from Support Team: Discipline: Cuba
Discipline: Contemporary Cuban Topic
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