Inter/Cultural Critique via Popular Culture

After seeing PK movie write the assignment 

Inter/Cultural Critique via Popular Culture

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You will write a 4~5 page paper where you will transpose the main character of the movie, like a sequel, to your “home” cultural and social context to uncover and recast a significant social issue/conundrum. The paper should be in APA style: 12 Times New Roman, 1-inch margin all around, double spaced, and come with a cover page. So the final page count will be a minimum of 6 pages. There is no need for an abstract.

This is a paper where you learn from the movie and its main characters a specific critical perspective and epistemology (a way of knowing/valuing/feeling) used to make a commentary about a perennial social conundrum in India. And then you will apply that very epistemology and perspective to do the same in your “home” cultural/social context. Perennial social conundrum can range from those innocuous everyday practices to the more taboo-like sacrosanct issues.

First, you will start out by framing your paper as inter/cultural learning via popular culture. You need to explain what is meant by inter/cultural learning from the movie for purposes of this paper. Hint: Rather than simply learning about contemporary Indian society the movie is commenting on, this assignment is challenging you to learn from the way others come to know/value/feel

their world, and use that stance/perspective to re-examine your world.

Next, you will explain what social commentary the movie is making and how it goes about doing that through its main character and his journey into contemporary Indian society. Hint: The movie uses satire to address an important social issue/conundrum, namely institutionalized religions and their practices. By using the child-like qualities of its main character and the dilemmas he encounters as the main vehicle to poke fun at various social conventions and practices, the movie questions and deconstructs the taken-for-granted assumptions in order to recast the social issue/conundrum in a new light. All of this is possible, because cultures and its practices are not only tradition-bound and complex, but contradictory, dynamic, and open to self- critique, re-examination and re-shaping.

Third, you will apply the same critical perspective and epistemology to write a sequel to the movie, except this time, the main character lands in your “home” turf and encounters you. Make sure that in your sequel, you address the following questions.

  • What significant social issue/conundrum would PK stumble into?
  • What contradictions would PK find as odd or confusing?
  • How would PK and his child-like eyes unravel various social conventions and their taken-for-granted assumptions?
  • What hegemonic practice(s) and ideology would PK’s “wrong number” expose on the one hand and what core value(s) would it affirm on the other?
  • How would PK’s journey in your sequel help recast the social problem/issue in a new light?Your writing should not just explore the obvious and scratch the surface of your cultural milieu. What you want to do is reach the tacit dimension on the one hand, and shed “critical” light on the larger social institutions, ideologies, and their practices on the other. Once again, this paper is NOT about you assuming the position of authority, but one of learner. We are learning about the world from where we are at today with whatever means we have available. The purpose of this paper is to build skills crucial for becoming an intercultural communicator/traveler – (1) how we make sense of our world by questioning the status quo, (2) how we understand ourselves and others by seeing our world through the eyes/feelings/thoughts of “others”, and (3) how we can see our world from multiple perspectives. Good luck!(there are attached samples)CriteriaPaper Deliverables:Paper length (4~5 pages)/5 points Clarity:Organized writing with appropriate argument/7 points Completeness:Covers all of the key components of the assignment prompt/30 points Quality of effort:Demonstrates attention to detail beyond sparse content, exercises critical and reflexive thinking that enhances the paper/10 points APA StyleChecked spelling and grammar & follows formatting convention/8 pointsTOTAL:/60 points
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