Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

  • Topics
    • Historians and popular culture
    • Popular culture and family life
    • Suburban rebels
    • Youth cultures
    • The sixties and the counterculture
    • Black power and popular culture
    • Essay workshop
    • The sexual revolution and the seventies
    • The eighties
    • Hip-hop and black culture
    • Postmodern gender cultures
    • Interactivity and reality TV
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

In this subject students will:

  1. locate, read and analyse different kinds of historical evidence (primary sources), including visual and textual sources;
  2. devise and answer research questions drawing on primary and secondary evidence;
  3. identify key arguments in secondary source materials and apply them in your own historical arguments;
  4. communicate thoughtfully in classroom discussions, and in a range of written forms;
  5. be able to identify and analyze key developments in the history of popular culture since 1945;
  6. analyze selected examples of popular culture produced since 1945 in their historical contexts, and to describe the ways these examples relate to, and reflect, broader social, cultural and political trends;
  7. explain how the social and political movements of this period were reflected in popular culture.
  • Assignment 1 - Analysis Task (10%)
  • Assignment 2 - Weekly Quiz (25%)
  • Assignment 3 - Research Proposal (25%)
  • Assignment 4 - Research Project (40%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MAQ-HST370

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as HST370 From the Beats to Big Brother: Popular Culture Since the 1950s.

What can we learn about the past when we study popular culture? This subject traces a history of popular culture in the United States of America and Australia from the 1950s to the present. We particularly focus on the ways in which class, gender, race and politics have shaped the experience of popular culture. Film, television, music, music video and other media are used in this subject to evoke seminal moments in the history of popular culture and students are encouraged to explore such non-discursive forms as primary sources. Students are also encouraged to consider the reception of popular culture by audiences and to think about their own experience of popular culture historically. This subject will be of particular interest to students in media and cultural studies, as well as history.

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