Pop Culture and Hinduism

| February 24, 2014

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Analysis Paper
An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture by Dominic Strinati
American veda by Phillip Goldberg
Darsan by Diana L. Eck
Hindu Primary Sources by Carl Olson
1) The title should be the question: How does television (The Simpsons “The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons” and The Office “Diwali”) affect the portrayal of Hinduism in western country (USA)?
2) The first paragraph should set up the question, list the major points of the paper, and state the thesis
(which is a one-sentence answer to your question).
3) Each paragraph should follow from the previous one, include a topic sentence, and unfold according
to the stated framework. Prove the thesis with evidence, emphasizing citations from the readings in the appropriate section of the course but also including references from class notes, etc.
4) End with a conclusion that summarizes the argument, restates the thesis, and reflects on the wider implications of your argument. The reflective portion of the conclusion should draw on Eck and
Goldberg to articulate how your analysis sheds light on the significance of enduring ultimate questions,
the ways in which those questions are historically and culturally conditioned, and the extent to which
Hinduism has become a part of American culture.
Method of Analysis
1) Survey: Map the Context, Medium, and Perspective(s)
The context: Background on the cultural expression, religious beliefs of the artists, etc.
The medium: Information on the form of cultural expression and how the medium shapes that expression
The perspectives: Different perspectives that shape and complicate the expression (various audiences,
producers, cameras, directors, writers, actors, etc.)
2) Excavate: Uncover the Cultural Materials and Artifacts
Identify all the cultural ?materials? and ?artifacts? that communicate meanings and values (dialogue, lyrics,
props, costumes, lighting, instruments, etc.)
3) Analyze: Understand the Meanings/Values Being Communicated
Theology: How does the cultural expression interpret/reinterpret religious communities/beliefs/practices?
Does the expression reflect an accurate or responsible theology? And to what end? How might theologians
understand what meanings and values are being communicated? What would they say about what is really
going on?
Theory: How might cultural theorists understand what meanings and values are being communicated?
What would they say about what is really going on? at least 2 theories from Striation
In order to write this essay you will need three books and you can only use these books as source. In addition to that, there are 2 television episodes that you can use to analyze which are The Simpsons “The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons” episode and The Office “Diwali” episode. Please compare and contrast these two episodes in regards to how Hinduism is portrayed in pop culture in USA.
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