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Tracking Social Change in Beer Advertisements
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social change

How to Cite

Cserpes, Tunde. 2015. “Tracking Social Change in Beer Advertisements”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, April. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Have you ever heard someone saying that everything used to be better in the good old days? How about that history repeats itself? When we use these examples, we actually evoke different understandings of social change that philosophers have been tackling with for centuries. Is social change cyclic or evolutionary? Is there a punctuated equilibrium, a...

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Subject Area(s):
Social Change
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This in-class exercise could be used in any class where social change is addressed.

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Identify aspects of social change and formulate hypotheses why that change happened.
  2. Encourage students to use different scholarly definitions of social change such as cyclic, evolutionary, punctuated equilibrium, a tipping point, or critical mass.
  3. Encourage students to think critically about the nature of data and evaluate the glass through which beer advertisements allow us to see the past.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of social change by selecting two time periods, by identifying the type of social change, and by highlighting differences in social aspects over time.
  2. During class discussion, students are asked to name the type of social change they identified using the beer advertisement. This discussion brings up the different ways in which scholars talked about social change.
  3. Class discussion emphasizes the constructed nature of historical sources. Class discussion emphasizes how the market position of Anheuser-Busch has changed over the examined time period.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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