Skidmore College Is Offering A Course This Summer Called "The Sociology Of Miley Cyrus"

There is a very good chance that college students will have to write the word “twerk” in their serious academic papers and that is beautiful.

1. This summer Skidmore College will be offering a class in “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus”:

2. It’s being taught by Carolyn Chernoff, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Skidmore.

3. According to Chernoff’s page on Skidmore’s faculty site, this is the seventh class she’s taught at Skidmore.


I am interested in cities, arts, and social change, particularly on the level of social interaction and the production of “community”. I investigate the role of culture in reproducing and transforming social inequality, and research conflict around diversity and difference. As a long-time cultural worker and activist, I have worked with many women’s cultural organizations on issues of violence prevention, self-expression, and arts and culture. I have taught courses in education and in sociology at Penn, Moore College of Art and Design, and Ursinus College. Outside of higher education, I am a longtime community-based educator, having worked with K-12 students and adults in museum settings, nonprofits, and a variety of arts organizations, including The Girls’ DJ Collective, of which I am co-founder.

4. The class description says that the course uses Miley Cyrus as a lens through which students can explore themes about race, gender, and identity in the media.

Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT

5. The class will also cover a variety of topics including:


• The rise of the Disney Princess
• Gender stratification and the hyper-commodification of childhood
• Transitions to adulthood
• What happens to Disney stars as they age (see Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and more)
• Allies and appropriation
• Uses of culture across race, class, and gender
• Bisexuality, queerness, and the female body

6. And if that doesn’t interest you, you could always hit up the Beyoncé course at Rutgers University.

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