Me and Mr. Bieber

I am currently reading Peter Berger’s The Sacred Canopy for my Sociology of Religion course, and it’s the kind of deliciously theoretical text (with statements like “Society is a dialectic phenomenon in that it is a human product, and nothing but a human product, that yet continuously acts back upon its producer.”) that I love! But theory work requires a lot of deep thinking, and I can think of no better thinking-partner than the highly-esteemed Mr. Bieber. In fact here we are thinking about the dialectic components of discursive reality just this morning.

I think the bangs help him think.

Oh yes, that is the one and only Mr. Justin Bieber.  (Actually as a young male, I believe the proper terminology is Master Bieber, but that just sounds weird.)  Ok, technically this me with my Justin Bieber poster, but maybe I fooled you? Or did I at least fool you into thinking that this post what about sociological theory when it’s really about my relationship to Mr. Justin Bieber?

So me and Mr. Bieber.  Justin (and I think we are on good enough terms to occasionally use first names) didn’t come into my life until Junior year, and surprisingly, we got to know each other through one of my classes.

Spring of my Junior year I enrolled in a course called “Bodies in Transition” with this intriguing course description: “In this class we will study the ways that the human body is unsettled rather than static, capable of transforming from child to adult, from healthy to infirm, or from one gender to another. We will also consider how bodies become artifacts: texts to be represented and studied by doctors, artists, authors, and by us as scholars.”

The class was a small seminar full of a variety of fascinating readings and really good discussions about a range of body-related issues.  The coolest part was our final project could be presented creatively.  Inspired by an article sent to me about Taylor Swift, I quickly proposed to my Prof. that I write about the bodily transition of Justin Bieber…and she said yes! Even better, I was allowed to present my critiques in a written/visual blog format  with lots of screen shots from his music videos, analysis of his lyrics, and the ability for my classmates to provide feedback.  One my favorite posts for the project was a comparison between Bieber’s “One Time” party video and Aaron Carters “Aaron’s Party” with a discussion of how both represent the transition from child to adulthood.  Blogging about Bieber allowed me to recognize how my academic knowledge has become infused in the way I consume almost everything in the world these days, especially pop-culture.

Quite proud of my blog, I shared it with a lot of friends and quickly got the reputation as “the one who likes to talk about Justin Bieber” (plus they started providing me with lots of Bieber paraphernalia). I totally own up to that title because I find Justin Bieber hilariously fascinating, especially in an academic way.  So while this post wasn’t really about sociological theory (can’t imagine you want to hear my thoughts on that), it is about how my academics actually brought Mr. Bieber and I together, and how there are so many super cool classes  at William and Mary, like the ones that allow me to blog about Bieber.

And now I think I will go write in my newest journal (which, by the way, I brought to class one day and a professor totally mocked me for it–so W&M’s not all Bieber fans).

I’ve actually turned this journal into a book of lists because that always seemed like a cool thing to have.

Categories: Academics, Arts & Culture, Student Blogs

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