Does pop culture have a place in academia?

While the answer may depend upon who you’re asking, as digital media pushes traditional media for attention in classrooms, the question will continue to surface as courses are dedicated to pop culture icons such as 2pac (and his class at at UC-Berkeley). Formal study of players that loom large in social consciousness–from to social media giants like facebook to television series such as Mad Men and Jersey Shore–ruffles many a feather in the blue-blood world of universities.

The cons of such entanglement involve merit and rigor: With a finite number of days in a semester, studying Jersey Shore in lieu of Chaucer is a troubling replacement.

But the pros are compelling: Regardless of their seeming academic value, whatever the consumption and production habits of a culture, they should be studied and understood–and needn’t result in glorification.

We would love to hear comments below on your take–or experience–bringing pop culture into formal learning environments.

When Pop Culture & Academia Collide