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Pop Culture in the Classroom: American Idol, Karl Marx, and Alexis de Tocqueville
PS: Political Science & Politics (2010)
  • Miguel Centellas, University of Mississippi
This article discusses the use of pop culture in the classroom as a means to teach foundational political science authors and concepts. I focus on my experience using Amer- ican Idol as a point of reference to discuss Marx and Engel’s The Communist Manifesto and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America in undergraduate comparative politics courses. Stu- dents are asked to construct a written argument projecting Marx or Tocqueville’s percep- tions of American Idol, based on their readings. My experiences demonstrate that asking students to reflect on their own contemporary experience through the prism of these two works helps them in three ways: (1) to better understand the ideas of Marx and Tocque- ville, as well as their differences; (2) to develop an appreciation for the continued relevance of works in the discipline’s canon; and (3) to sharpen and develop critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Marx,
  • Tocqueville,
  • American Idol,
  • pedagogy,
  • pop culture
Publication Date
July, 2010
Citation Information
Miguel Centellas. "Pop Culture in the Classroom: American Idol, Karl Marx, and Alexis de Tocqueville" PS: Political Science & Politics (2010)
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