The Effects of Popular Culture on American Youth

Americans concerned with performance gaps in international student achievement measurements should consider the influence of popular culture on our youth.

As a Science teacher, I have noticed that many students, regardless of economic or cultural background, have embraced a lifestyle forged by Hollywood’s glorification of drugs and violence.

One of the prime jobs of parents and teachers at any grade level is to swim upstream against the juggernaut of the perverse marketing forces that present such tripe for consumption by our young students.

For the United States to allow movie producers to shamelessly market films that glorify a twisted, fantasy culture in the interest of free-market capitalism is just another example of deregulation gone awry and the domination of our culture by corporate profiteers. America’s young are paying the price and teachers have to help undo the damage. I have yet to see a course designed to help a teacher accomplish this. Better solutions are obvious but will anyone pursue them?

George Damasevitz

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