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Culture Studies Handbook

Author(s):Andrew Reimann
Publisher Intergraphica Press
This text aims to engage students with interesting and relevant content, provide opportunities for reflection, critical thinking, evaluation and self-exploration. Exercises and activities build research skills and a sense of curiosity that will motivate and facilitate students in extending their inquiry and interests beyond the classroom. As a predominantly student centered text, students are expected to provide much of the information and questions steering the lessons towards their own goals while the teacher assumes the role of facilitator, guide and mentor.

This text is a collection of topics and activities designed to inspire curiosity in areas of culture studies and social issues. The sections are short, concise and open ended in order to facilitate development of key concepts and ideas for the purpose of critical thinking, academic research and discussion. In the age of increased connectivity, information is in abundance and it is increasingly important that students are able to process and evaluate facts determine what is relevant and generate questions for further inquiry and research. Therefore the main purpose of this book is to provide a platform for the students to use as a starting point to develop their own ideas thoughts and lines and inquiry. New information should not be taken at face value but questioned, dissected and reevaluated through discussion, research and independent sources. Students will be required to conduct original research developing and supporting their ideas with their own examples, explanations or through external sources with supportive evidence or expert opinion. Many of the themes are purposefully open-ended or ambiguous, this is done to encourage discussion, debate, curiosity and further investigation. It is important to remember that in culture studies and social sciences there are no right or wrong answers and nothing is ever black and white. When studying human behavior, communication or relationships it is essential that final conclusions are avoided as these invariably lead to stereotypes. Rather any tendencies observed in this field need to be supported based on fieldwork, participatory research and observation generating evidence based on examples and explanation. This process is a form of ethnographic research, which uses triangulation (three independent methods or sources) and thick description to support any findings and conclusions. Ethnographic research methods will be developed throughout this text as a means of cultivating both overt and covert research and observation skills that will help learners become more sensitive and aware of their environments, individual differences and social or cultural issues in general.

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