Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

Pop Culture Sociologist

Marina Berlin

A podcast about books, TV shows and movies from a sociological perspective by media critic Marina Berlin. Subscribe to learn about recently revived historical lesbians, the revolutionary horror of Hannibal, how stories get matriarchies right and wrong, and so much more. Follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit the website: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/

8 Episodes

  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Bonus Q&A Episode

    1:23:54

    For this special episode listeners submitted questions and the host answered them in a live, unscripted recording. Questions included everything from the writing process to opinions about genres and different social issues.   For more podcast episodes and full transcripts of the audio follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/ To support the podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/marinaberlin   You can navigate the episode using these timestamps: 0:00 -  Intro and an explanation about what this episode is, where questions came from, and how the episode works.  3:09 - I would love to hear about the writing process for each episode - if there is a standard process and if so what is it? 19:30 -  Do you start from a phenomenon and look for suitable works or vice versa? 25:10 - In writing the episodes and analyzing media - how prominent is your inner author vs the former sociology student? 28:29 - How do you balance between choosing topics that are popular / catchy enough to be interesting to others, and avoiding topics that are overdone? 35:45 - Who do you think is the perfect / target audience for the podcast? 43:42 -  A question about the last episode - are you going  to revisit the topic after watching the second season of "Motherland: Fort Salem"? I’m really curious to hear what you’ll have to say about it, in comparison and in general. 47:22 -  In the episode on Fort Salem you touched a bit on the issue of loyalty to a team made up entirely of women. Are there more examples of female partnerships and female friendship in the media you love? 51:22 -  I was wondering if you wanted to expand on dealing with real historical people in fiction from the KJ Charles/Devil's Mistress episode. In one of her books (Seditious Affair), Charles uses not only characters but dialogue gleaned from trial documents to tell about a doomed group of rebels, and I find it personally so sad to read because I know they were really hanged. How do you think choices like this help or hinder the overall effect of what an author is trying to do? 55:58 -  Can you compare Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings, and how the two works deal with World War II and its aftermath (Lord of the Rings for Germany against the Allies, and Harry Potter with the idea of the superiority of pure-blooded sorcerers). 59:28 -  Please tell the whole class how black sails is a perfect series and everyone should watch it. 1:06:27 -  Whats the right way to bridge a cultural gap (for example - Americans who write about China, white people writing about black people, straights about queer people, etc.), and is it right to try and bridge that gap at all? 1:08:13 -  How does audiovisual pop culture use poetry? What does it mean when a character reads, writes, quotes, or recites poetry in film/TV/video games -- what does that tend to say about that character, and what does that say about our popular conception of poets and poetry? 1:12:08 - What are you looking for today in historical novels (or series / movies) and where did you find it? 1:17:29 -  Is there a chance that in future episodes you'll talk about children's literature / fantasy / detective / romantic novel 1:21:19 - final thoughts
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Is there a right way to write a matriarchy?

    33:31

    When's the last time you read a story set in a matriarchy? Did you enjoy it? What are the common tropes to writing matriarchies and who do they serve? In this episode you'll hear about fantasy and science fiction matriarchies in everything from Star Trek to books by Kameron Hurley, Sarah Rees Brennan, C.S. Pacat and many more, and what they get "right" and "wrong" about this form of social worldbuilding. In the final part of the episode you'll hear more in detail about a TV show that's breaking all the rules of fictional matriarchies - "Motherland: Fort Salem", a show where witches serve in the U.S. military.  For bonus content, more episodes and a transcript follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

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  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Who gets to be the hero in historical narratives?

    23:35

    How accurate does historical fiction have to be to enhance our understanding of the past rather than harm it? In the age of historical retellings/reimagenings like Hamilton and Bridgerton, I look at the works of historical romance novelist KJ Charles and the British TV series "The Devil's Mistress" to examine how marginalized people are and aren't allowed to take up space in historical narratives. Can fictional characters ever be "accurate", and is that the only standard we should judge historical fiction by? No knowledge of either KJ Charles' books or the TV show is necessary for enjoying the episode. For more podcast episodes and full transcripts of the audio follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/ To support the podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/marinaberlin
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Does Jemisin's "The Fifth Season" solve the "X-Men Problem"?

    31:43

    The X-Men universe popularized a unique set of tropes common to fantasy worldbuilding: people with superpowers who are feared and persecuted by society. This trope is everywhere from the "Witcher" books/games/show to many popular YA novels, but it creates a particular set of problems when it comes to representing systemic oppression. In this episode I'll explain the "X-Men Problem" and why it's a common genre trope, and dive into the award-winning book "The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemisin, which offers a refreshing, fascinating take on this issue. No knowledge of either the X-Men franchise or the contents of the book is necessary for enjoying the episode. For more podcast episodes and full transcripts of the audio follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/ To support the podcast on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/marinaberlin
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    The Best Queer Pairing You'll Never Watch: Root/Shaw on Person of Interest

    40:28

    Sometimes TV shows give us amazing queer pairings but end up not treating them right. In this special episode of Pop Culture Sociologist I'm going to give you all the best parts of badass assassin Sameen Shaw and hacker spy Samantha "Root" Groves and their epic (canonic!) romance from the show "Person of Interest". If you've never watched the show, I'll give you the best parts, and if you've watched it, I'll analyze the characters and the pairing and hopefully give you some new interesting things to think about. For a "only the good parts" episode guide, more podcast episodes and full transcripts of the audio follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Lyanna Stark and how "Game of Thrones" was almost a brilliant social critique

    34:19

    What does Lyanna Stark's portrayal on Game of Thrones have to do with women in the real world being written out of history? The show has been both praised and criticized for its portrayal of female characters, but could the difference in Lyanna's plot between George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" books and the TV show be the key to understanding women's stories in the world of Westeros? In the second episode of Pop Culture Sociologist you'll hear about the One Weird Trick the show could have used to bring the most subversive part of the books into the adaption. For bonus content, more episodes and a transcript follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Why "Hannibal" is the best screen adaptation of "Lolita"

    36:16

    Why is Bryan Fuller's "Hannibal", a horror show about a cannibal and an FBI profiler, a more accurate adaptation of "Lolita" than the two official film adaptations of the book, by Stanley Kubrick and Adrian Lyne? In the first episode of Pop Culture Sociologist we'll be talking about the TV show "Hannibal" and the book "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov, what they have in common, and how Hollywood failed to communicate the things that TV did successfully. For more Pop Culture Sociologist, follow the podcast on twitter @PopSocPodcast or visit the website: https://marinaberlin.org/podcast/
  • Pop Culture Sociologist podcast

    Pop Culture Sociologist: A New Podcast About Media

    0:39

    Welcome to Pop Culture Sociologist! I'm media critic Marina Berlin and I'm starting a podcast about movies, TV shows and books, through a sociological lens. In season one I'll tell you about recently revived historical lesbians, the revolutionary horror of Hannibal, how stories get matriarchies right and wrong, and so much more.

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