Teaching Gaga

As some of you already know, I’m not big on watching the news because I’m not interested in constantly hearing about all the negative shit out there. But today I woke up early for my physio session and decided to turn on the tube before I left. At that hour, there’s nothing on but news and traffic reports. I was intrigued to learn that the University of South Carolina will be offering a Sociology course on Lady Gaga’s rise to fame starting in January 2011. Let’s all pause for a moment to absorb this before I continue.

Let me preface what I’m about to write by saying that I don’t dislike Lady Gaga. While her musical style isn’t necessarily in line with mine, I’ll admit to singing along to Poker Face, and her wardrobe is always entertaining to say the least. I have long wished for a bra that spews fireworks so that I can use it as a weapon while on the train, but alas, La Senza doesn’t appear to stock this bra. Anyway, in my opinion, Lady Gaga is the female equivalent of what Elton John was back in the day. While I think this course will be interesting, I have to wonder if Lady Gaga is worthy of a university level course. I can think of a number of famous people and artists that don’t have a course centered around them, but who could, given the various contributions they’ve made to our society: Bono, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela. Sure, Lady Gaga may be considered a social icon, but she’s not the only eccentric artist who admits to being bi, who has a large following or who has met the Queen. Besides having a massive Facebook and Twitter following, what else has she done to merit a course all about her and her rise to fame?

The course overview which can be found here, says the class will introduce students to a ‘sociological analysis of selected social issues related to the work of Lady Gaga.’ According to the BBC, Professor Deflem was quoted as saying:

“We’re going to look at Lady Gaga as a social event,” Prof Deflem told the USC student newspaper, the Daily Gamecock.

“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.”

What the hell does he mean it’s not the ‘person’ or the ‘music?’ At her core, isn’t this what Lady Gaga is all about? Without this, would there be a course about her rise to fame? That’s like teaching a class on Facebook but saying it’s not about the social networking factor.

What do you think? Would you take this class if it was offered at your local university? Why or why not?

 

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12 thoughts on “Teaching Gaga

  1. What a load of fucking bollocks!! Excuse my French – but that is without doubt the most ridiculous thing I have heard!! I know there are courses out there that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on and a complete waste of time. Most of the time these courses are dragged out to a couple of hours a week and spread over a year – in fact they could just as well be digested in a lunch-break! Who the fuck cares about the ‘sociological analysis of selected social issues related to the work of Lady Gaga.’!!? Professor Deflam sounds like he needs a good fucking shag!!

  2. Oh my goodness. Maybe the uni is desperate for some more student fees and trying to appeal to the common man? Will look great on the graduating student’s CV when entering the job market 🙂

  3. I think a sociology course on the rise to fame and becoming a social phenomenon would be interesting and relevant but why focus on Lady Gaga, and study her music and videos? Why not Justin Beiber? I mean, he became pretty famous, pretty fast. And he’s already published his memoires! Where are Lady Gaga’s memoires? (note sarcasm lol)
    My point: The course could be interesting, but should look at “celebrity” and fame in general, and not just focus on one person…who may or may not be around in 3 years.

    • True. My opinion is such that there are famous people – whether they be artists or not, who have made more significant contributions to society then Lady Gaga. I think that people like Bono, who’s been involved with numerous organizations while being a ‘rock star’ are more relevant. Or, the Dalai Lama, or Nelson Mandela – it’s not necessarily about fame but about relevance.

  4. OMG! This is….insane?! A course on any of the other celebs listed by you would be interesting and I might be tempted to take it, but on the rise of Lady Gaga as a “social phenomenon”? Sorry, I’ll pass!

  5. I think this course looks interesting. And there are people out there who are more deserving of having a course of their own., but she beat them to it. It will be interesting to explore the social values of society today and why such a freak show appeals to them.

  6. Oh my god, are you serious? Let me say that I am in the same spot you are when in comes to Gaga. I listen to her music, my kids listen to her music, she is entertaining, but that’s about it. I can’t see taking a course on Gaga, and think it’s a bit ridiculous honestly. I’m sure there are many of her stalker fans that would jump at the opportunity to be even more crazy than they already are, but not me. I think that there are hundreds of icons that warrant a University level course before Lady Gaga does. Just my opinion.

    *ducking from the Gaga fans* – Don’t shoot. 😉

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