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Lady Gaga course offered at US University
A new sociology course studying the rise of Lady Gaga to fame has Kipp thinking about the point of university.
November 4, 2010 2:30 by shafeer
Think what you will about Lady Gaga, but did you ever imagine she’d become the object of attention for academic discourse? The BBC reports this is just what’s happened.
The story goes that a US university, The University of South Carolina has developed a sociology course that will deal with understanding Lady Gaga’s rise to fame. The course is being offered by Belgian-born sociologist Professor Methieu Deflem, who is an admitted Gaga fan – he has seen her in concert a remarkable 30 times already.
Speaking to the university’s student newspaper, Professor Deflem said, “We’re going to look at Lady Gaga as a social event (…). So it’s not the person, and it’s not the music. It’s more this thing out there in society that has 10 million followers on Facebook and six million on Twitter. I mean, that’s a social phenomenon.’
Kipp found this BBC story of this university course on Lady Gaga posted on a friend’s Facebook wall along with snide comments and the usual drivel about the degradation of the education system – but we just roll our eyes. Kipp finds the course as both intellectually stimulating and a lot more culturally relevant to the kids of today than Durkheim’s concepts of anomie (considering the emo-ness currently in vogue, maybe anomie is actually more relevant – but you know what we mean).
In any case, this course might just be a lot meatier in substance than other university courses. Consider, for example, the Queen’s University Belfast course on Jedi mind tricks, the Art of Walking, offered by Kentucky’s Center College, or even Alfred University in New York’s Maple Syrup – The Real Thing, a course which looks into the profession of making maple syrup.
Some may callously argue that learning about Lady Gaga’s shenanigans isn’t going to be useful (as if) – but if Kipp is going to consider that argument to be true, we wonder how many people actually go on to actively use everything that they learn at university? As far as we know, university is the time to build one’s character and to come into one’s own. And if learning about Lady Gaga’s P-p-p-poker face adds variety to the process, well so much the better.