Humanities Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a humanities multi-part question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Part 1A: Due 8/4/22

Topic: Violence/Indecency/Free Speech Thread

Controversy Over Time and Space

Earlier you looked at social issues as expressed by popular culture artifacts in historical context. This week you do the same thing, but by looking at current issues that are being addressed by popular culture. Then you hypothesize about whether the conversations about this issue will provoke or resist change, and how and why this might happen. Imagine that you are a philosopher and you have been asked to predict the future of an issue based on popular culture.

Your main post should be in the thread that corresponds to the issue you have chosen for your final project. Posting in that thread will allow you to continue testing ideas you may want to include in your Final Project. However, you should feel free to respond to colleagues in any thread that interests you. Reading about how others approach their issues and popular culture can inspire new ways to think about your own issue and popular culture elements.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review a sampling of modern popular culture artifacts. The artifacts should not be more than 5 years old.
  • Consider how your chosen issue is conveyed in the sampling you have chosen.
  • Select at least two artifacts.
  • Review how your chosen issue is being discussed today in the news media. Do this by visiting credible news sites via the Walden Library or on your own.


Post a 250-word response in which you compare and contrast two popular culture elements in relationship to your chosen issue by answering the following:

  • Evaluate whether your sample of popular culture artifacts is provoking or resisting change.
  • Analyze how society’s acceptance or rejection of these popular culture artifacts might affect definitions of normal in 5 to 10 years.
  • Include references to your popular culture artifacts AND your chosen issue-focused news story.
  • Freedom of speech is quite controversial and has been for years. With the age of social media it has become even more a highlighted topic of debate. Freedom of speech bridges over into freedom of artistic expression. Artistic expression has been deemed in the last 5-10 years when it was determined to be offensive as it relates to school mascots, sports teams, and has even escalated such that there has been discussion about taking down civil war memorials. In June of 2019 a mural outside of a school in San Francisco was under scrunity. According to the National Coalition Against Censorship, ” The murals’ critics argue that Black and Native American students are traumatized by these images of the historical violence and oppression of their ancestors. (Staff, 2020). Eventually, it was determined that these murals had to be covered with alternate material. Additionally, according to CNN, “The NFL franchise in Washington, DC, dropped its moniker and changed its name to the Washington Football Team in July. The prior name had long been denounced by Native American groups as an ethnic slur and a derogatory reference to skin color.” (Levenson, 2020). There has since been other school districts across the US that have followed suit with discussion and change in mascot’s in order to not be offensive. I believe that both of these provided elements will continue to be issues related to cultural change. While some may embrace the change as it is seemingly more acceptable, others have made statements to the contrary that this is part of our historical past and should be not viewed as such a sensitive matter. I grew up in a small town in Medicine Lodge, KS. Our origin is of the native plains tribes in Kansas. Thus the historical reference of our town as well as the name of our middle and high school mascots (Papooses and Indians). When this came to be an issue our town and remaining tribal leaders were quite polarized on how to change it. While one would think it would be the tribe leaders wanting the change it was quite divided. I feel like it depends on values, views, and the individual person as to how cultural shifts like this are perceived. Seemingly as this is still a recent issue there continues to be opposition on both sides for change and resistance there of.
  • Movies and video games are ever changing and becoming more action packed. With the technology around us changing and evolving daily, actors and programmers are being pushed to the max to ensure they have the next best movie or graphics for the video games. With people wanting more action, more speed, more blood, we find the violence in movies and video games becoming the new normal. Directors and creators are working harder to ensure their movies and video games are pushing the limits of violence, ensuring the public receives its perception of what they want.
  • Twenty years ago, there was not nearly as much violence in the movies we watched. The graphics in video games were not nearly as lifelike. From the video game Doom to the movie Pitch Black, it was clear they were only there for entertainment. They weren’t life-like, they didn’t make us feel as if we were there, but they entertained us. It was clear that these devices were only for entertainment, as they happened years away, or even on different planets. However, with movies and games now, society has accepted them as the new “norm”. We now have movies such as The Purge, which shows a world that allows murder on one day a year and even makes it acceptable. This has given our children a wrong sense of what is right, as now horror movies are not only about aliens and other planets, but instead about murdering others. While movies condone the behavior, video games now enhance the approval by allowing children to play the games and “kill” their friends. Had a bad day at school? Go shoot them in the game. Someone made fun of you? Go shoot them in the game.

Part 1B: Due 8/4/22

Respond to the following threads:


Staff, N. (2020, March 24). Art and Culture Censorship Timeline. National Coalition Against Censorship. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from

Levenson, E. C. (2020, December 14). Native American-related teams faced pressure to change their names. Here’s what’s happened since. CNN. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from

This has created a sense where children are desensitized to violence based on the constant bombardment (Cline, et al., 1973). Based on the studies done by Justin Chang and Brad Bushman, children with “exposure to violent video games causes children to engage in dangerous behavior around real firearms” (Change, 2019). So even while we have studies that have proven children are more apt to misuse or mishandle a firearm should they gain access to one, even while these studies shows an increase in violence and a decrease in empathy, society is still gaining more and more acceptance of the availability to violence and exposure to action packed games and movies to the children in today’s society.


Chang, J. H., & Bushman, B. J. (2019). Effect of exposure to gun violence in video games on children’s dangerous behavior with real guns: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA network open2(5), e194319-e194319.

Cline, V. B., Croft, R. G., & Courrier, S. (1973). Desensitization of children to television violence. Journal of personality and social psychology27(3), 360.

Part Two: Due 8/6/22


Assignment: Final Project Milestone 4: Change

This week’s Milestone asks you to select one more popular culture artifact. Refer to your Final Project Worksheet and Final Project Overview documents from Week 1. Remember that there should be no more than two artifacts from the same category with three overall.

** In week one, I selected music and video games **

The categories are:

  • Film
  • Episodic moving image (TV shows—may be broadcast or streamed)
  • Music
  • Music videos
  • Fashion
  • Advertising
  • Animation (general animation/cartoons such as Disney or Warner Brothers or genre-specific animation such as Japanese anime)
  • Food
  • Printed material (books, magazines, manga, comic books, or graphic novels)

To prepare:

Choose a new popular culture artifact, your third, to include in your Final Project analysis. This element should be current (within the last 5 years) and relate to the issue you have chosen.

Consider how this new popular culture artifact defines or disrupts “normal.”

Submit a 400- to 500-word essay that analyzes how your chosen artifact of popular culture relates to society’s values. Explain how this new popular culture artifact defines or disrupts “normal.” Evaluate whether this artifact of popular culture has changed society’s values. Be sure to include:

At least one reference to a news site.

At least two other academically relevant sources.

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