Discussion Questions

  • This chapter discusses tensions between ideal and real culture in attitudes and practices linked to conventional attractiveness and honesty. Can you think of other cases where ideal and real cultures appear to collide?

  • The chapter suggests that mass media may play a paradoxical role in society, offering both the information needed to bring about an informed citizenry and disseminating mass entertainment that distracts and disengages individuals  from debates of importance. Which of these functions do you think is more powerful?

  • What is cultural capital? What, according to Bourdieu, is its significance in society? How is it accrued and how is it linked to the reproduction of social class?

  • The chapter presents an argument on the relationships among culture, mass media, and sexual violence with a discussion of the concept of a rape culture. Describe the argument. Do you agree or disagree with the argument? Explain your position

  • Sociologist George Ritzer sees within globalization two processes—“glocalization” and “grobalization.” What is the difference between the two? Which is, in your opinion, the more powerful process, and why do you believe this? Support your point with evidence.