Pop Culture in the Classroom: American Idol, Karl Marx, and Alexis de Tocqueville

  title={Pop Culture in the Classroom: American Idol, Karl Marx, and Alexis de Tocqueville},
  author={Alexis de Tocqueville},
  journal={PS: Political Science \& Politics},
  pages={561 - 565}
  • A. Tocqueville
  • Published 30 June 2010
  • Sociology
  • PS: Political Science & Politics
Abstract 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 American 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. Students are asked to construct a written argument projecting Marx or Tocqueville's perceptions of American Idol, based on their readings. My… 

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    An alternative approach, which I will test next semester, is to assign both readings during the same week. This schedule may allow for a more direct dialogue between Marx and Tocqueville