Associate Professor (Teaching) of Sociology
- Ph.D. Sociology, University of Southern California, 8/1998
Description of Research
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Detailed Statement of Research Interests
Karen Sternheimer's research has focused on issues related to popular culture and youth. Her first three books, It's Not the Media: The Truth About Popular Culture's Influence on Children, Kids These Days: Facts and Fictions about Today's Youth, and Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media is not the Answer, include analyses of youth violence, kidnapping, substance use, child obesity, teen pregnancy, teen driving, and fears about the effects of media on children.
She recently completed a study of celebrity culture, using celebrity fan magazines from 1911 to 2010 as a primary data source. The resulting book, Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Social Mobility, considers how notions of social mobility and varying versions of the "American Dream" are embedded in the manufacture of celebrity culture, as well as how social, political, and economic shifts have altered the production of celebrity status.
Her current research involves a comparative historical analysis of moral panics surrounding popular culture from the late ninteenth century to the present.
Sternheimer, K. E. (2010). The Everyday Sociology Reader. WW Norton.
Sternheimer, K. E. (2009). Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media is not the Answer. Boulder, CO: Wesview Press.
Sternheimer, K. E. (2009). Childhood in American Society: A Reader. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Sternheimer, K. E. (2006). Kids These Days: Facts and Fictions about Today's Youth. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Sternheimer, K. E. (2003). It's Not the Media: The Truth about Pop Culture's Influence on Children. Basic Books.
- Sternheimer, K. E. (2008). Hollywood Doesn't Threaten Family Values. Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds/American Sociological Association. Vol. 7 (4), pp. 44-48.
- Sternheimer, K. E. (2007). Do Video Games Kill?. Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds/American Sociological Association. Vol. 6 (1), pp. 13-17.
Honors and Awards
- USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty Fellow, 5/29/2008-
- Honorable Mention, Dean S. Dorn Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Career Award (Pacific Sociological Association), 2009-2010
Service to the Profession
- Pacific Sociological Association, 1995-
- American Sociological Association, 1993-
- 851 Downey Way
- HSH 314
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-2539
- Phone: (213) 740 - 3533
- Email: email@example.com