MORMON STUDIES AS CULTURAL STUDIES: THE AMERICANIZATION OF MORMONISM REFLECTED IN POP CULTURE Cultural studies is an interdisciplinary approach to studying human life that employs political theory and strategy, as well as philosophy, anthropology, literary criticism, religious studies, and other fields. Its approach is unabashedly political in nature. Its purpose is to show how cultural representations in human life serve to reinforce power structures that marginalize some and centralize others. Once marginalized but now centralized in the American culture, Mormonism is a very interesting case study for this type of critique. I believe we can learn much about Mormonism’s relationship to networks of American power through reflection on the ultra-positive representations of Mormons in pop culture. I will use as a case example the ‘All about the Mormons’ episode of the popular, animated comedy, South Park.
R. Dennis Potter and Scot Denhalter