Humanism and Pop Culture

Pop culture is massive. If you were to add up all the TV shows, comics, podcasts, pop music, sporting events, video games, movies, books, and memes that make up pop culture – well, you couldn’t. There is far too much pop culture for any human to consume in one lifetime. And now – in an age of mass media, social networks, and streaming – more people around the world are consuming the same pop culture. Pop culture has become globalized: we listen to Beyonce in Belgium, Brazil, and Burundi, while people everywhere hate the Patriots.

Pop culture also matters. Because we consume so much pop culture, and because we consume much of it when we are young, the messages embedded in pop culture can shape our own values and identity. When we dress up as our favorite characters, pre-order a musician’s new album, or follow a streamer as they play our favorite video games, we are shaping our identity after the culture we consume. More broadly, pop culture shapes society: the pop culture icons we lift up can tell us a lot about the values our culture prizes. This means it is important to understand pop culture and examine the messages it transmits.

This course focuses on Humanism in Pop Culture.

 

by James Croft

Dr. James Croft is the Leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis–one of the largest Humanist congregations in the world.  A graduate of Cambridge and Harvard Universities, James is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights.  James was raised on William Shakespeare, Carl Sagan, and Star Trek, and lives in St. Louis with his fabulous drag queen husband Kolten and their darling chihuahua Ella.

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