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in brief: US college to offer miley cyrus course


A liberal arts college in Saratoga, New York will offer a course analysing Miley Cyrus this year.

Skidmore College will offer ‘The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media’ as part of its Summer courses, alongside a range of other creative arts and humanities subjects.

The classes, headed by Associate Professor Carolyn Chernoff, will observe the 21-year-old star as a means to determine how society constructs identities from popular culture.

Associate Professor Chernoff told US ABC News that media coverage of Cyrus perpetuated ideas of the female body in ways that are ‘good, bad, and ugly’.

‘Unfortunately, [in] the way we talk about female pop stars and female bodies: class matters, gender matters, sexuality and sexual performance matters, but race matters a lot [too] and the way we talk about white pop stars is quite different than how we talk about the bodies of women of colour,’ she said.

Intersectionality theory will be used in the course to look at how the media represents women, with the course description telling students they will use ‘a feminist critique of media and sociology of media approach to the Miley “problem”’.

There are further reports clarifying that twerking in class is not in the assessment criteria.

Cyrus is not the first musician to be the focus of academia. Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kanye West have also supposedly been studied at institutions around the globe.

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