Saturday, February 16, 2013

Notes on Wasik

Recall that we will review Wasik's text "My Crowd" this upcoming Tuesday. Please reread the article and pay attention to the following notes and questions. These do not need to be answered formally. We will use them to guide our discussion of the text in class.

Also, note that there is a typo on the Rubric for Paper One, which misspells Wasik incorrectly as Watsik. There is no letter "t" in this author's last name.

  • What is the concept of deindividuation and how does it apply to groups, mobs, and the loss of individual identity?
  • Explain why Wasik chooses the hipster generation as a "mercurial" example of this concept of deindividuation.
  • Which MOB was your personal favorite? Why. 
  • Explain what the significance is behind Bill's claim that his occupation is within the culture industry.
  • Why is boredom a principle trait of mobsters, especially in the media's portrayal of them?
  • Describe the social experiments and artistic theories of Stanley Milgram. How are his ideas important to contemporary flash mobs? 
  • How and why did the flash mob "die" when it was co-opted by consumer capitalism?  
  • At the heart of Milgram's and Wasik's experiments is the question of conformity, control, and the malleable freedom of human nature. Examine your own sense of conformity. What do you conform to? How and why or why not?

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