The Miley Cyrus College Course Prof Is Here to Answer Your Questions


Carolyn Chernoff, Ph.D. is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Skidmore College. This summer, she will be the instructor of a two-and-a-half-hour, three-day-a week class called “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media.”

Since this is a subject we have some thoughts about, we thought it would be fun to get Professor Chernoff here to answer some questions.

The course is described thusly:

From Disney tween to twerking machine, Miley Cyrus has grown up in the public eye, trying on and discarding very different identities onscreen and off. She provides rich examples for analyzing aspects of intersectional identities and media representation, including:
• The rise of the Disney Princess
• Gender stratification and the hyper-commodification of childhood
• Transitions to adulthood
• What happens to Disney stars as they age (see Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and more)
• Allies and appropriation
• Uses of culture across race, class, and gender
• Bisexuality, queerness, and the female body
Ongoing media frenzy focused on Miley Cyrus’s public image, music, and body highlights the ways in which intersectional identities ares haped by pop culture and mass media. In this special topics course, we will explore core issues of intersectionality theory, looking at race, class, and gender, as well as taking a feminist critique of media, using Miley as a lens through which to explore sociological thinking about identity, entertainment, media, and fame.

A bit about Professor Chernoff:

Carolyn Chernoff is a sociologist and cultural worker. Her work examines the role of culture in reproducing, eliding, and transforming social inequality. She is particularly interested in understanding racialized conflict in and around arts and culture. Currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Skidmore College, Chernoff hold a joint Ph.D. in Sociology and Education/Culture/Society from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the co-founder of the Girls’ DJ Collective. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Leeway Foundation, which funds women and trans* artists working for social justice in the greater Philadelphia area. Find her on Twitter: @ccriot.

Submit your questions below, and she will answer them; she is with us for about an hour.

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