Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Hippies, Feminists, and Neocons: Using The Big Lebowski to Find the Political in the Nonpolitical

  • J. Wesley Leckrone (a1)
Abstract

Films used for political science instruction are typically political or historical and are selected to examine concepts developed by the filmmaker within the context of a curriculum. This approach may not be appropriate for introductory American government classes given students' weak foundation of political knowledge and lack of interest in politics. This article examines an alternative model of film use employing the seemingly nonpolitical film The Big Lebowski. Viewed early in the semester, the film highlights the ubiquitous presence of politics in society and government's relevance to everyday life. Clip montages of the movie characters were used to enhance discussion of the First Amendment, voter identification, social capital, and foreign policy throughout the semester.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Hippies, Feminists, and Neocons: Using The Big Lebowski to Find the Political in the Nonpolitical
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Hippies, Feminists, and Neocons: Using The Big Lebowski to Find the Political in the Nonpolitical
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Hippies, Feminists, and Neocons: Using The Big Lebowski to Find the Political in the Nonpolitical
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Ashe, Fred. 2009. “The Really Big Sleep: Jeffrey Lebowski as the Second Coming of Rip Van Winkle.” In The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, ed. Comentale, Edward and Jaffe, Aaron, 4157. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Beavers, Staci L. 2002. “The West Wing as a Pedagogical Tool.” PS: Political Science and Politics 35: 213–16.
Berk, Ronald A. 2009. “Multimedia Teaching with Video Clips: TV, Movies, YouTube, mtvU in the College Classroom.” International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning 5: 121.
Comentale, Edward, and Jaffe, Aaron, eds. 2009. The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Comer, Todd. 2005. “‘This Aggression Will Not Stand’: Myth, War and Ethics in The Big Lebowski.” SubStance 34: 98117.
Deets, Stephen. 2009. “Wizarding in the Classroom: Teaching Harry Potter and Politics.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42: 741–44.
Galston, William A. 2001. “Political Knowledge, Political Engagement, and Civic Education.” Annual Review of Political Science 4: 217–34.
Gaughran, Richard. 2009. “Professor Dude: An Inquiry into the Appeal of His Dudeness for Contemporary College Students.” In The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, ed. Comentale, Edward and Jaffe, Aaron, 353–64. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Haglund, David. 2008. “Walter Sobchak, Neocon: The Prescient Politics of The Big Lebowski.” Slate. September 11.
Handelsman, Mitchell M., Briggs, William L., Sullivan, Nora, and Towler, Annette. 2005. “A Measure of College Student Course Engagement.” The Journal of Educational Research 98: 184–91.
Hillygus, D. Sunshine. 2005. “The Missing Link: Exploring the Relationship Between Higher Education and Political Engagement.” Political Behavior 27: 2547.
Hunter, Latham. 2005. “'What's Natural About It?': A Baseball Movie as Introduction to Key Concepts in Cultural Studies.” Film & History 35: 7177.
Kennedy, Nilgun Fehim, Senses, Nazli, and Ayan, Pelin. 2011. “Grasping the Social Through Movies.” Teaching in Higher Education 16: 114.
Kiesa, Abby, Orlowski, Alexander, Levine, Peter, Both, Deborah, Kirby, Emily Hoban, Lopez, Mark Hugo, and Marcelo, Karlo Barrios. 2007. Millennials Talk Politics: A Study of College Student Political Engagement. College Park, MD: The Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning and Engagement.
Kurutz, Steven. 2008. “White Russians Arise, This Time at a Bowling Alley.” New York Times. December 2.
Kuzma, Lynn, and Haney, Patrick. 2001. “And … Action! Using Film to Learn about Foreign Policy.” International Studies Perspectives 2: 3350.
Lieberfeld, Daniel. 2007. “Teaching about War through Film and Literature.” PS: Political Science and Politics 40: 571–74.
Lindley, Dan. 2001. “What I Learned Since I Stopped Worrying and Studied the Movie: A Teaching Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.” PS: Political Science and Politics 34: 663–67.
Longo, Nicholas V., and Meyer, Ross P.. 2006. College Students and Politics: A Literature Review. CIRCLE Working Paper 46. Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement.
MartinPaul “Pablo,” Paul “Pablo,”, and Renegar, Valerie. 2007. “'The Man for His Time': The Big Lebowski as Carnivalesque Social Critique.” Communications Studies 58: 299313.
Martin-Jones, David. 2009. “No Literal Connection: Mass Commodification, U.S. Militarism, and the Oil Industry in The Big Lebowski.” In The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, ed. Comentale, Edward and Jaffe, Aaron, 203–27. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Mulligan, Kenneth, and Habel, Philip. Forthcoming. “The Implications of Fictional Media for Political Beliefs.” American Politics Research.
National Center for Education Statistics. 2011a. “The Nation's Report Card: Civics 2010—National Assessment of Education Progress at Grades 4, 8, and 12.” Washington, DC: The United States Department of Education.
National Center for Education Statistics. 2011b. “The Nation's Report Card: U.S. History 2010—National Assessment of Education Progress at Grades 4, 8, and 12.” Washington, DC: The United States Department of Education.
Nieland, Justus. 2009. “Dudespeak: Or How to Bowl Like a Pornstar.” In The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, ed. Comentale, Edward and Jaffe, Aaron, 7497. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Niemiec, Christopher P., and Ryan, Richard M.. 2009. “Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness in the Classroom: Applying Self-Determination Theory to Educational Practice.” Theory and Research in Education 7: 133–44.
Paddock, John R., Terranova, Sophia, and Giles, Lance. 2001. “SASB Goes Hollywood: Teaching Personality Theories through Movies.” Teaching of Psychology 28: 117–21.
Pryor, John H., DeAngelo, Linda, Blake, Laura Palucki, and Tran, Serge. 2011. The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2011. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles.
Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Touchstone.
Raczkowski, Christopher. 2009. “Metonymic Hats and Metaphoric Tumbleweeds: Noir Literary Aesthetics in Miller's Crossing and the Big Lebowski.” In The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, ed. Comentale, Edward and Jaffe, Aaron, 98123. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Rosenthal, Alan, Loomis, Burdett, Hibbing, John, and Kurtz, Karl. 2003. Republic on Trial: The Case for Representative Democracy. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Ryan, Richard M., and Deci, Edward L.. 2000. “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being.” American Psychologist 55: 6878.
Saltmarsh, David. 2011. “Movie Lessons: Cultural Politics and the Visible Practices of Schooling.” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 33: 108–31.
Simpson, Archie, and Kaussler, Bernd. 2009. “IR Teaching Reloaded: Using Films and Simulations in the Teaching of International Relations.” International Studies Perspectives 10: 413–27.
Sunderland, Sheri, Rothermel, Jonathan, and Lusk, Adam. 2009. “Making Movies Active: Lessons from Simulations.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42: 543–47.
Thomassen, Lasse. 2009. “Gladiator, Violence, and the Founding of a Republic.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42: 145–48.
Thompson, Stacy. 2009. “The Dude and the New Left.” In The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies, ed. Comentale, Edward and Jaffe, Aaron, 124–48. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Ulbig, Stacy. 2009. “Engaging the Unengaged: Using Visual Images to Enhance Students' ‘Poli Sci 101’ Experience.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42: 385–91.
Venters, Monoka. 2010. “College Students and Political Engagement: Reigniting the Spark.” Journal of College and Character 11: 19.
Waalkes, Scott. 2003. “Using Film Clips as Cases to Teach the Rise and ‘Decline’ of the State.” International Studies Perspectives 4: 156–74.
Webber, Julie. 2005. “Independence Day as a Cosmopolitan Moment: Teaching International Relations.” International Studies Perspectives 6: 374–92.
Weber, Cynthia. 2001. “The Highs and Lows of Teaching IR Theory: Using Popular Films for Theoretical Critique.” International Studies Perspectives 2: 281–87.
Zukin, Cliff, Keeter, Scott, Andolina, Molly, Jenkins, Krista, and Carpini, Michael X. Delli. 2006. A New Engagement?: Political Participation, Civic Life and the Changing American Citizen. New York: Oxford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 27
Total number of PDF views: 202 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 419 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.