Review Comment

Crossover Culture

November 21, 2020

Rieder, Jonathan
Crossover Culture

I do not recommend taking his class. (Crossover Culture)
You'll only get a good grade if you agree with his opinions and demonstrate them in your writing.

Moreover, he is not at all organized. The syllabus mentioned a 5-page midterm paper, with no date. Then one Wednesday we were notified that it will be an 8-10 page essay due by Monday.

Last thing, the main text he used for the class had homophobic undertones he completely ignored.

The content is interesting. It was fun learning about the history of mainstream American music. But it does not make up for the rest.

Workload:

Long midterm paper, 15-20 page final research paper, and about 50 page readings a week.

I cannot sing Rieder's praises enough! He seriously cares about his students and makes time to meet with each student in his seminars personally to revise/brainstorm their essays. He is passionate about his areas of research, and is genuinely interested in people (refreshing and unfortunately too rare for sociologists). I will emphasize that he is much better in seminar format than lecture; it's a more manageable format for the types of discussions he tries to have. He is not super-organized, which can be frustrating, but I still think his classes are very worth it, for his expertise and the questions he makes you consider. If you care about identity politics, pop culture, music, and the human side of sociology, TAKE A RIEDER SEMINAR.

Workload:

Pretty sizable readings, but you never have to do all of them; he'll usually just focus on one or two specific parts and get caught up in those. Usually a midterm paper and a final paper (possibly more, depending on the class, such as First Year Seminar). For Culture in America, there were two tests, but they were all essays he told us about ahead of time. He's a fair grader, if you put in the effort.

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