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Popular Culture Courses

Online popular culture courses on edX. Learn about pop culture by taking classes about popular movies, books, movements, and more.

What is popular culture?

Pop culture is a set of practices, objects, and even popular beliefs with society at any given time. Also called mass culture, pop culture also includes how people feel about these particular objects or beliefs and how they interact with them.

It includes popular music, mass media, social media, and other aspects of everyday life. Culture studies focus quite a bit on aspects of subcultures as well as cultural theory. Studying popular culture provides insight into the dynamics of current civilization and sheds light on the larger themes happening — politics, economics, war or peace, and others.

Although pop culture from the United States is frequently criticized for being focused on mass consumption, its immense popularity may have contributed to the globalization of 21st-century culture. American popular culture and its global counterparts offer a peek inside modern everyday life.

Learn about popular culture

The edX platform offers a way to explore themes such as popular culture in unique, flexible course choices. Offerings are created by leaders and thinkers in these fields and offer students the opportunity to study from respected institutions. Students learn with a global cohort of peers and can explore most courses for free.

Students seeking official credit may choose official tracks for a fee. edX offers single courses, certifications, and micro-degrees and continues to add full degrees, all from accredited institutions.

Pop culture courses or certifications

The great thing about popular culture studies is that it encompasses many fields. Students can explore the role of mythology in modern superhero creations with the Smithsonian Institute's The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture. Alternately, Brown University's the Ethics of Memory explores how we create collective and personal memories that shape experiences and interactions. Students explore how memory differs from history and its impacts.

Learners can also take an active role in consuming and creating pop culture. The University of Cambridge offers a course on Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries. Learners can explore the height of current pop culture, memes, with DavidsonX's How to Do Things With Memes. 

Exploring pop culture with edX

The social sciences offer the chance to explore humanity's instincts individually or as a whole. High culture provides a look into humanity's lofty ambitions. Culture and society are inextricably linked to social change, so we cannot toss aside pop culture's insights. Students can build a course series on popular culture based on their interests and gain insight into the culture of the people in America and worldwide.

edX offers everything from pop art to media culture to popular culture in history. Students can explore the industrial revolution to the data revolution, listen to theorists explain subcultures like folk culture and the working classes, or learn about one of the greatest influencers in popular culture, New York City. It's all possible with the unique platform from edX.