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Not only is American pop star Lady Gaga famous for her songs and unusual wardrobe, but now she is also the subject of study for a university course.
The class focus of study, the fame of Lady Gaga, is fitting considering her first two albums were named The Fame and The Fame Monster.
University of South Carolina students will be able to take the course in the spring semester, fulfilling a requirement for a degree plan and learning how to analyze a generation that has honored Gaga far above the rest.
At first though, this course might seem absurd, unintelligent, or a waste of an educational opportunity. But taking a deeper look, the class has the potential to break ground on studies of the American public’s fascination with odd civilians.
The course is not about her music or even her as a person, but it studies the effect she has had on the American public.
“We’re going to look at Lady Gaga as a social event,” Professor Mathieu Deflem told the university’s campus 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.”
Deflem has a point, and as a Lady Gaga fan himself, he will no doubt have the ability to figure out how this singer has acquired such a massive following.
Gaga’s music, wardrobe and other oddities are not worth studying in a college level humanities course. The public that is fascinated by her is, though.
Deflem has prepared to teach the course by seeing Gaga perform live almost 30 times. That might give him more authority to teach the course than his 30 years in sociology will.
Seeing the fascination with Lady Gaga that consumes so many in America and around the world, Deflem is ready to dive in and pinpoint what exactly makes millions flock to the idol.
Even for non-sociology majors, the course is unique and offers students a different way of seeing and studying the culture that surrounds them.
It’s thoughtful courses like this that take a topic that is already an area of interest and filter it through an academic lens which change the way students view the world around them.
Deflem is on to something, something the students in his class will be as anxious to learn about and study as he is.
Hopefully, his research will not stop in the classroom; studying social media and its contribution to rising stars could not only make Deflem a favorite professor on campus, but a highly respected member of the faculty as well.
So, way to go, Deflem, for opening up doors into an innovative study of pop culture, and way to go, University of South Carolina, for allowing students and professors to branch out of the norm to research areas of life that are too often overlooked.