In this course we will examine the effects of cultural processes and products on the values, beliefs, identities, and relationships of power that shape society, with particular attention given to the role of the media and the social construction of gender. Students are introduced to the process of critical cultural inquiry-the integration of critical thinking, theory and socially responsible engagement-as a means of analyzing (1) cultural artifacts such as consumer goods (clothing, music CDs, cell phones), television programs, advertisements, films, and architecture; (2) the media’s role in shaping how meaning is created and communicated; and (3) social institutions and practices, and how they help create and maintain inequalities in identity. Specific emphasis is also given to identifying injustice and developing appropriate responses. Theories and methodologies from a variety of disciplines are employed.