As a result of the technological age in which we currently live, everyday children of all ages experience a flood of media (images, television shows, movies, music, etc.) that contain messages about life. These messages may be positive, but they may also perpetuate stereotypes about groups of people that can be detrimental to a child’s development and awareness. Unfortunately, schools and other institutions do not always have the resources and/or expertise to teach children how to read and interpret media messages. The Pop Culture Pug is a website designed to help parents and educators navigate the process of teaching media literacy to children. The website provides reviews of popular children’s movies along with discussion suggestions that will help facilitate a healthy dialogue between parents/educators and children. In an attempt to facilitate this dialogue and bridge the disconnect that exists between academia and the real world, Vito [the Pop Culture Pug] provides explanations of selected cultural studies ideas and terms. The website is not affiliated with any religion/creed, and it is not intended to promote any particular viewpoint over another. Vito wants to promote a world of acceptance where individuals are free to disagree but do so in a manner that does not discriminate, humiliate, or belittle any person or group. Vito hopes to celebrate and embrace diversity in all its myriad forms.
Hello my name is Vito, the Pop Culture Pug, and I am here to help inform parents, educators, and children about media literacy. Because I am only 5 years old, I rely on a pair of experts, Matti Z. Pomeroy and Briana L. Pocratsky, to assist me in my quest for media literacy.
Matti Z. Pomeroy received her B.A. in Gender Studies with a minor in ethnic studies from the University of Utah and received her M.A. in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University. In addition to her experience as a popular culture instructor at the college level, Matti’s research interests include music, the body, and the representation of marginalized identities in popular media.
Briana L. Pocratsky received her B.A. in Sociology with minors in English, philosophy, and Spanish from Saint Vincent College and received her M.A. in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University with a certificate in Women’s Studies. In addition to her experience as a popular culture instructor at the college level, Briana’s research focuses on the impact of media on the youth and how parents mediate children’s experience with media. Currently, Briana is earning her PhD in sociology from George Mason University and working as the managing editor of The Sociologist.
Additional Team Members:
Joshua Catalano helped establish and remains a consultant for the Pop Culture Pug. He received his B.A. in History Education from Saint Vincent College and his MA in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University with a certificate in Public History. Currently, Josh is earning his PhD in history from George Mason University and working as a research assistant at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.
Leif Hansen is the visual productions specialist for the Pop Culture Pug. He received his B.A. in Film and Media Arts with a certificate in Arts and Technology from the University of Utah.