As you proceed through the course materials and learning activities, you will be expected to make entries in your Learning Journal. These entries should address aspects of everyday culture that you have directly encountered within the domains discussed in each Study Guide unit—the home, the workplace, recreational activities, and real or virtual communities and subcultures. These entries should reflect on how the course topics are making you re-evaluate your own daily life ( Canadian family with 2 kids of school age, both working parents) and preconceptions. The real key to this assignment is to demonstrate some critical self-reflection in relation to the course discussion. A minimum of 3–5 entries or topics (depending on length) should be included.
Themes to be Explored
-Define the terms “culture” and “popular” and trace their origins.
-Explain why the cultures of everyday life are worthy of study.
-Identify the cultural features of many aspects of everyday life and document them in your learning journal entries.
-Describe and understand the ways in which the home is a culturally saturated environment.
-Explore how differences in such things as gender, ethnicity, class, age, and sexual orientation relate to culture in the domestic sphere.
-Outline what the four themes given in Unit 1 mean to you. ( 1-Roles and rituals of Everyday Life: Much of what we do in everyday life we do on “auto-pilot” either due to habit, custom, or a half-conscious awareness of the unspoken expectations of others.
2-Ordinary Embodiments: As Eagleton points out, one of our earliest understandings of the term “culture” derives from the need to contrast the processes and products of human activity (whether art or agriculture) from events and objects spontaneously occurring in the natural world
3-Locating the Ordinary: It seems to be stating the obvious to point out that the affairs of our daily lives are not conducted in a vacuum, yet how often do we really think about how spaces and places inform the various activities that take place within them?
4-Why Understanding Everyday Cultures is Important: It has become a truism to observe that we are “born into” culture, but nonetheless we are. In our family lives, our workplaces, and our communities, we are constantly subjected to cultural influences many of which are quite powerful, that work to shape our identities and so determine who we are. Yet, at the same time, we participate in the making and remaking of culture, or to put it another way, we have agency