Final Post

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The article I found most influential is "The Big Five" by Ben Bagdikian. I enjoyed reading it because it shows that even though the media has multiple channels of communication, a vast majority of it all is owned by five companies. It was interesting to see how each of these conglomerates came into existence from their humble beginnings to multi-billion dollar corporations. Vertical integration seems to be the common thread among "The Big Five", which some might argue is a sign of a lack of diversity in content, ideas, and opinions. It really opened my eyes to know that most media channels are owned by the same five companies because it shows that the amount of ideas and opinions in the media today is filtered by their parent company. I am not saying that media personalities cannot speak their mind freely, but it almost has to match the opinion of the parent network.

The End...

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Well to start off, I really enjoyed the class. Everything about it was fun and engaging. My favorite or influential article was Douglas' article of Enlighten sexism. For the most part it really distinguished the difference between third wave feminism and 'postfeminism.' It helped me understand that 'postfeminism' is not a form of feminism, because of her calling it enlighten sexism. The entire idea behind her article was eye-opening. Originally, I had a preconcieved notion of what feminists were and I was proven wrong by this article. I'm extremely happy that I was able to get a chance to understand the principals behind feminism. The article has also allowed me to recognize the way women are portrayed in the Media and know that there is still a lot that needs to be done for the stereotypes of women.

Final Post

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The reading that had the greatest impact on me was "White Privilage" by Peggy McIntosh. I could relate to a lot of the readings from this semester, but this one in particular stood out to me. This is the article that I did my discussion leading on, so I feel like I know it pretty well. It has definitely changed the way I think about racism. McIntosh gave many everyday examples of ways that white Americans have privileges over African Americans, and most don't even realize it. I remember being shocked at how many of these advantages I received on a regular basis. Since reading "White Privilege," I have tried to be more conscious of how I am being benefited by my race.

Final Blog

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I found the Dana Cloud article to be the most influential reading of the semester. It was the first article that really critiqued the neoliberal ideology which ended up being a theme throughout the rest of the readings in the semester. It made apparent the fact that focus on the individual can mask inequalities within a community as a whole. It kind of deconstructed the idea of "If I can do it, so can you if you just work hard enough." Not everyone has access to the same resources or the same opportunities in society. It also showed how hegemonic powers will point to a successful person from a certain ethnicity, class, or gender, and use them as a token that proves there are no inequalities for that group; it's just a matter of working hard enough. It also points out that in order for certain groups to be successful they must conform to the dominant ideology, or "the norm," which in our society is a white, male, heterosexual, middle/upper-class, college-educated way of thinking, which is unfair to anyone outside of that group. I think it's even more influential when paired with the Berube article, which forces us to look at ourselves and recognize the group we come from, and that just because a certain group holds the dominant power within a society, that does not make it "the norm." There are many other groups that need to be not just represented in media, but represented fairly. As someone who wants to be involved in the creation of films, television shows, and other media, I think that these two articles are very important to keep in mind.

Final Blog Post

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There have been many articles over the semester that have changed the way I view media and how it has influenced me. However, the article that was most influential on me was Rereading Sex and The City: Exposing the Hegemonic Feminist Narrative. It really made me open my eyes when watching TV and see how certain groups in society are represented. When reading this article I never realized how many groups were being marginalized. I have definitely paid more attention now more than ever when watching tv. I have noticed multiple times on televisions shows like Glee. Which is interesting because Glee is supposed to be about equality and equal representation. But they are just as guilty as Sex and The City was. I think media in general have this image in their heads of how certain groups in society are suppose to be characterize and positioned. That worries me because people today consume a lot of media specifically on the television and seeing the media representation of these groups can get the wrong image in their mind. This article has influenced me to stop watching certain shows that overtly marginalize certain societal groups and I now make the conscious effort to look for things in the media that I never knew existed before.

Final blog post

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I cannot believe that this semester has come to an end so quickly. I truly enjoyed this class and looked forward to it regularly, the readings always brought up an interesting point and opened my eyes to many new ways to look at different media types that are influencing my life daily. I think that the article that I enjoyed most and it could simply be because I dove into it the deepest was the Katz article. The concept of an angry white man being used to sell products just makes perfect sense in my life. I am an avid sports fan and a huge packers fan and although I wouldn't say that I only buy Gillette razors strictly because Clay Matthews but I also cannot deny that it has influenced my decision or the products that I look for when I am at the store buying things. I absolutely have allowed sports stars and military advertisements to influence my decisions.

Final Blog

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The reading that had the biggest impact on me or stuck with me the most was definitely the Waetjen and Gibson article "Harry Potter and the Commodity Fetish: Activating Corporate Readings In the Journey from Text to Commercial Intertext" After reading this article I remember being really almost upset. I found what they were saying about class in a book meant for young people honestly pretty much ridiculous. It was reading way to much into a mythical world of wizardry. Saying that Harry only had all this success was because he had the money to get the best stuff, unlike his friend Ron who did not have much money and was not as good at magic as his pals did not make sense to me either. Harry lived under the freaking stairs in his relatives house where he was pretty much a servant! Harry was not better at magic than most because of what he had he was better at it because he had the skills to do it. They compare Harry to his cousin which is completely not right. Even in their different worlds they were nothing like each other. I do not think that JK Rowling intended to include as much of class definition in her books as the authors criticized the book about it. Her book took off and became crazy popular, good for her. I feel like the authors would not be criticizing the book the way they did if it didn't become so popular.

Final Blog Post

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Honestly, there were many readings that had a lot of impact on me. I really learned a lot and many of these readings challenged me to see the media/world through a different lens. Off the top of my head I think of bell hook's "Eating the Other" and the article about Tokenism and Oprah. I had always been aware of the issues that both of these articles addressed but I never understood it on a grand scale. One article that really introduced a whole new way of understanding to me was "Rereading Sex and the City".

This reading was especially eye-opening to me because I had always considered myself a fan of the series. After reading the article, I was left asking myself, "Holy crap. Have I been supporting a hegemonic feminist idea this whole time?". Of course I hadn't but that is because I was lacking media literacy when watching the show. I loved the show because I enjoyed watching Carrie be successful. I loved seeing the outfits the main characters wore. I loved seeing them go through relationships and deal with "boy trouble" as many women do. In a lot of ways, I had always found some sense of relatability between myself and the main characters even though we really were so different in terms of socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds.

So when the article exposed all the shitty ways the show treated people of color, I was really shocked--with myself. Sure, I had noticed that there weren't many characters of color and sure I had noticed that it was weird that people of color only showed up when the main characters needed something. But I think I let it all fly over my head at times. It wasn't until I read this article that I was truly able to understand the implications these portrayals put forth. I wasn't able to understand the power structures in the show until I read the examples from the article.

"Rereading Sex and the City" was the more influential reading for me because it made me really reflect on myself and my choices. I still love Carrie. I still love her personality and her crazy need for Monolo Blahniks. I still love the friendship between the four main characters because their personalities remind me of my own group of best friends. But my love for the show itself is bittersweet now. Had I read this article while the series was still running, I can't honestly say I would have continued watching it. But now that it's all been said and done, the best thing I can do is take what I've learned and apply it to new forms of media I encounter.

Final Blog Post

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One reading that still sticks out to me from the very beginning of the semester is "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" by Nicholas Carr. I thought that that article was a great especially for us as media scholars to be aware of the possible effects that it can have on us personally and society. I think a big part of the reason why it stuck with me so much is that I had not really thought about the effect that Google and the internet was making on me. When we discussed it (and the article in response to Carr by Clay Shirky) I realized how much I really had changed in this respect in the past few years. I used to be constantly reading books and I genuinely enjoyed learning and was fairly good at understanding new things. I was able to sit for large amounts of time (like in the car or something) in silence and thinking to myself and processing things in my head. Nowadays, however, I barely ever have a good chunk of silence in my life without the presence of technology. It really has changed the way I relate to crowds, receive my entertainment, and learn new information. This is not necessarily a bad change in and of itself, but I can see some negative effects it has had on me since I've been thinking about it this semester. It really is harder for me to concentrate for long periods of time on a single thing. My mind keeps wanting to jump back and forth, needing visuals to stay focused. This is exactly what Carr talks about in the article, and when he discusses the greater impact it could have on our society in a negative way I can't disagree with him. However, I think awareness is a big step. There have been times this semester where I was not able to concentrate on something or be still, and instead of just going along with it and switching to something else, I intentionally made myself stick to that task until it was done. It sounds silly, but in doing this I have realized that it really is still possible to do these things, it might just take a little more effort and will power at first. As long as we uphold the value of deeper thought and understanding, and practice it even a little, I'm not too concerned about Google ruining our lives; at least for right now haha.

Final Blog Post: Producing Identities

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I can't believe this semester is almost over. I have had a fun in this class because I had a chance to study media with other perspective. Before I took this class, I usually thought media was only for entertainment. Now, I know media study is a really board subject because it involves various aspects such as cultural awareness, social conflict, feminism, and personal identity etc. For me, my favorite reading in this class is Producing Identities because it influenced me the most throughout the entire class. I was also the discussion leader for this article. I had thought deeply about my identity after reading this article. It is very important to understand the different between social identity and individual identity. What I belong with might not the real me. However, I as an audience as Market, part of my identity is defined by my participation in the market. As an international student, I have had a lot thought of human's identities since I moved to the United States. I remember there was a time i have received an email from Chinese Student Association during the first week of class this year, it said there was a cultural seminar and they hoped all the Chinese people on campus could attend. When I got there, the speaker asked audiences a really good question,"who are you". Of course, he was not looking for an answer like Chinese or U of M student. Since we are in the United States, we have chance to meet someone else who is not has the same cultural background as you. It's time to step out from your comfort zone to meet more people, understand more about yourself through participating diverse activities, something you won't have a chance to do when you were in China. What the speaker said are familiar with the reading, the reading said sometime we purchase a particular product because everyone in your social group has purchased it before. Meanwhile, we do something because that's what our social group are doing. You will be an outsider if you didn't do the same thing as your social group did. This article is very good for understand what human being. More than that, this article also talked about how media portrayed human's identity and how they use human's identity to target audience, and then made the audience became consumer. In the future, I want to be a marketing director/advertising director. Understand human's identity is very important to target audience because it would influence consumer's purchase decision the most.
This course gained my media knowledge and help me to prepare how to work in a media industry. I want to say thanks you to my instructor and my classmate. Without their lecture and participation, this class will never be that much fun.

Final Blog Post - Oprah and Tokenism

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I really enjoyed reading the Tokenism article about Oprah! It had such great analysis and really pointed a lot of fingers in the direction that I think most people are afraid to, or in areas that most people overlook. Personally, I have disliked Oprah for a number of years and was really happy to finally read an article that not only exposed some of her flaws, but stated several points that I agreed with. Although there were some things that were on a bigger cultural level, which I will talk about later, I enjoyed the talks about Oprah herself. It really painted the picture of someone who, although very powerful, still has less control of her image than most people think. Yes, she owns her own Production company, but she is still accountable to someone higher than her; and if this isn't someone in particular, it is the system in general that is making sure she is the exception, not the rule.

The more important issue I took away from the article was HER impact on society through the filter of "Tokenism". It was interesting to hear someone else's opinion of Oprah and how she related to empowerment, as opposed to always hearing her own. She has done extremely, if not impossibly well for a woman in her life-circumstance. However, I think that her own admittance or acknowledgement of her own "tokenism" is maybe self-evident, but would never be uttered by her. This is unfortunate because the only other option-- at least the article made it seem this way-- is to argue that she was such a hard worker and so determined, and her lifestyle and wealth is a product of this. Having never really thought about Oprah's message in this detrimental-to-others fashion, it was very interesting to consider that her message of self-empowerment and individual achievement as having such a drastically inverse effect, especially among the lower-class audience that watches her show. Also considering that black women are disproportionately high in this lower-class demographic, it is incredibly unfortunate that this message of hope and prosperity is directed at them.

Overall, the reason that this article made such an imprint is for the same effect as a lot of other impactful readings: it forced me to think about the world in a different way. I always knew I didn't like Oprah, but more so for her "jesus christ pose" that she took with everything. Knowing now the terrible effects of her message, as well as other "tokens" out there, I won't be so quick to judge or not judge them as I previously have. The message of "I did this and so can you" greatly underestimates how hard life is for so many people, and is also under-appreciative of the help that these people had along the way. I really think Ms. Cloud was on to something truly brilliant when she decided to tackle this subject that isn't really so much about Oprah, but more so a major social problem in our world.

Final Post

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My favorite readings were between Buffy and the New Girl order and Rereading Sex and the City. I think I most enjoyed the Buffy article because it is the article I used for my discussion leading. I enjoyed it because I felt that I got a thorough understanding of the main points and we got to watch a large clip of Buffy which was interesting to see in relation to the article. I also enjoyed the Sex and the City article because I thought it was an easy and relatable example to use when discussing hegemonic feminism. Although the topic is more serious I think it is important to be able to realize when certain types of media are excluding and even oppressing other races, genders, or sexual differences. Being media literate in this sense has given me the ability to recognize some of these examples in everyday media consumption. Even last night watching a football game I couldn't help but relate aspects of the latest course pack reading (which was either great or sad or both) but nonetheless I feel that I have gotten a lot out of many of these readings and have been able to carry these concepts through the semester and apply them to everyday life.

Final post - Whites of their Eyes

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The most influential reading of the semester for me was Stuart Hall's "The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media." The striking part was the three examples of common base-images for minority characters in TV and film: the slave figure, the native, and the clown or entertainer. These images and the characteristics attributed to them are so frequent that they almost seem like the default character form to me. I realized that I adopted all the characteristics for that character at the slightest hint or first display of one of the characteristics. It is interesting to take step back and think about how those stereotypes came to be and how often they are reinforced by images in the media. Antoine Dodson, from the viral youtube clip Bed Intruder News Story/Bed Intruder Song (Hide ya kids, hide ya wife) was seen through the double vision of the white eye. Sure, what he was saying was noble, defending his sister who was the victim of an attempted sexual assault, but the song has over 118 million views because he plays the role of entertainer or clown from what he says and the way he says it in defense of his sister.

Last forum post

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Sara Banet-Weiser's essay titled "What's your flava? Race and post-feminism in media culture" was my favorite essay we read this semester. This was also my essay for class presentation day. The reason I liked this essay so much is because it talked about the ways that people of color are typically represented in media to represent whole racial groups while not looking closer at traits of the individuals in the race or culture, which was not something I had thought about to such an extent. Part of the major issue with this is how corporations try to represent people of all backgrounds by celebrating their diversity as a form of advertising when it actually seems that they are doing the minimal work required to be diverse. In other words, corporations are just getting by with appearing to be diverse and making a huge profit on doing so. It seems that the corporations are more interested in making money being "diverse" than actually trying to spread diversity. Another very interesting part of this essay was her argument about post-feminism- her arguments about the way females represent themselves as post feminists really appears to be just representative of females that have no empowerment (even though they think they do). Companies even bank on the ideas of post-feminism by promoting girl power, etc, but do they really have the power if they are just a commodity? Is the way women are presented really how women want to be perceived? This is a bigger question she poses and I felt that it was really the first time I felt that I understood post-feminism.

Final Blog

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Easily the most influential article for me was the one I presented. "Is Google Making Us Stupid" was so relevant to me because of my lifestyle leading upto this point. Both the article itself and Clay Shirke's response have points of interest for me. I have always loved reading and I love to read complex interesting books, so I felt Carr's argument. However, I also love electronics and the Internet and what Shirke say's about the relationship between reading and the Internet really resonates with me. I even included these two articles in my final paper because of my love for the whole Lord of the Rings fantasy world. I had liked the movies but I really began to love the books later. The Internet let me do a lot of things with literature I couldn't before such as Sporcle quizes to test my insane obsession with Harry Potter, online boards such as ASOIAF (A Song of Ice and Fire) based on the novels from George R.R. Martin, and sites like albinoblacksheep which first introduced me to the spoof, They are Taking the Hobbits to Isengard. Abundance is a good thing in my mind, it allows for even more of a world to be explored and created and the access to these worlds or even realitys are tangible with the Internet. Specifically referring to theory generation and FanFic, the point Carr makes about reading being less critical is a bit discredited considering the depths people use blogs to analysis etc. So yeah, I really did enjoy these articles and the thought it provoked in me.

Final Blog

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I would say that the Postfeminist Media Culture article by Rosalind Gill is by far the one article that influenced me the most throughout the entire semester. I was the discussion leader for this article and I also wrote my unit 2 paper on it as well. I think Gill had so many important things to say and it really related to my life, along with countless other women.

It is obvious that in today's media, having a 'sexy body' is presented as women's key (if not sole) source of identity. This article prompted me to think deeper about the medias examples of women and to think about what they are trying to get across. I learned that postfeminist media engage in the notion that being a successful woman means you have to constantly be enhancing yourself to look successful and professional and to juggle many things with individuality as well. But the key aspect to take away from this article is that women can live above the "social media" norm, and break away from stereotypes. Being able to just be yourself is the ultimate goal, not sexy or physically perfect.

Final Blog Post - Most Influential Article

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I know that this was a short article and we didn't really discuss it in class, but Lava's "What 'Orange is the New Black' Get Right About the Prison System" influenced me the most. Mostly because of the fact that my brother is in jail and will soon be going to prison for a long time. Something like this kind of takes over your life, so it is pretty hard for an article like this not to influence me ;).

I have learned a lot about how messed up the prison system can be, with my brother's situation being completely fucked up and it being almost out of our control completely as to what his fate will be. Orange Is the New Black was interesting to me in the fact that it does touch on aspects of the prison system that are not usually shown in media. With information from my brother in terms of his experiences and then watching the show and reading Lava's article, I found many cross-overs in each. Funny thing is, my brother was actually the one to tell us about the show Orange Is the New Black last summer, even while he was in jail. Don't ask me how he found out about it. They also watch Breaking Bad in there...weird, I know.

But getting back to the article, I enjoyed how it hit on the problems of the prison system today and how it is important for media to show that side of it. People are influenced by media and stereotypes are formed in their brain after watching media; it is important for media to show all sides of a story. I am sure glad they are on their way of doing that in regards to the prison system.

Great article.

Take-Home Quiz Response

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The essay that I found most influential was the Buffy essay on feminism and femininity. I think it addressed some very important issues on femininity for today's world. I have found myself at odds with the traditional definitions of feminine and feminist, and I think Levine's essay makes a great amount of sense to me. Also, Buffy has been a longtime heroine in my eyes, so that made me like the essay as well.

Take-Home Blog Entry/Final Quiz

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The article or reading that had the greatest influence on me during this class period was the article "Postfeminist Media Culture" by Rosalind Gill. Obviously, I used it in both my Unit 2 paper and my final paper, so it did have quite an affect on me. Even while reading the article, I became immediately energized. Each page made me nod my head more and more. Finally! Someone who got me, and she wasn't even trying to get me. She was just writing a scholarly article, but somehow Gill was able to speak directly to me.

For the past few years I've felt like there's been an obvious change in the mentality surrounding postfeminism. It's not just objectification anymore, like Gill said. It's subjectification. I've only ever had one boyfriend, so my perception of sexuality in romantic relationships - or sexuality in general - has been pretty skewed. Gill talks about how women have been transformed from sexual object to desiring sexual subject - "The sexually autonomous heterosexual young woman who plays with her sexual power and is always up for it." Gill nailed it right on the head for me. Exactly!

For most of my young adult life, I've felt like I had to be "on" all the time. Constantly ready to get down and dirty. That's what it meant to be a powerfully free young woman, right? No. I didn't get it, didn't want to get it, but felt that I had to. "Of course I'd be up for that because I'm confident in who I am." Ha. In my mind, Gill is 100% right, through and through. It has been hammered in that it is normal for boys and young men to fantasize over crazy porn-star women because it is normal for girls and young women to be sexually eager subjects ready for some sheet tousling at the drop of a hat.

post for Wednesday

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The online article "Unintentionally Eating the Other" (the one about the white model who did yellow-face) probably had the most impact on me out of the articles we read. It was a short read, but it brought up a lot of ideas like the emphasis on a black-white dichotomy in the US and how issues related to Asians may be taken more lightly because of this. Honestly, I feel like the attention to black-white relations in the US makes the African-American experience affirming in a way that the Asian-American experience is not. Asian-Americans are often associated with foreignness, and this comes out in how Crystal Renn (the model) talks about yellow-facing and "becoming something else". This article made me think about how my mom doesn't like being Chinese and how she spent her youth trying to distance herself from it, so much that she forgot how to speak Chinese and can't really communicate with her parents now. Self-loathing is sometimes a symptom of being cast as "The Other", and Renn's yellow-facing is an act that reinforces the Otherness of Asians.

NFL draft and DQ

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There is little to no chance that I can be objective about Oates' argument on the NFL draft because I am one of the millions of fans who watch the event unfold every April. While I do agree that certain qualities in athletes are the focus of conversation instead of others, I think Oates neglects why those attributes are coveted by NFL teams and fans alike. I have been watching the NFL draft for years, and it amazes me that I never noticed that African American players are talked about for their physical capabilities, and Caucasian players are noted for their intelligence and work ethic. I hate to bring up his name, but Christian Ponder definitely falls into this category of player talk. When Ponder was taken with the 12th pick overall, all the analysts could say is that the kid is smart, intelligent, and that he makes good decisions under pressure. They sometimes mentioned his lack of throwing the deep ball, but most of the conversation was focused on Ponder's leadership capabilities. On the other side of the spectrum, analysts talked about top overall pick Cam Newton's lack of leadership presence in the locker room and his off the field issues. Cam's physical attributes were the subject of conversation, while his intelligence and work ethic received little airtime.
Even though I see what he means about analysts conversations shifting depending on the race of the player, I think he harshly criticizes NFL executives and media personalities for looking at everything a player has to offer. It may be uncomfortable for players to be put on a stage and weighed in front of a crowd, but if they want to earn their high price paychecks from teams, then don't they have the right to gather information about their new asset? Calling professional athletes "properties" is misleading because it is not like the players are playing football for free. They are not being forced to play football, so Oates' comparison between athletes and slaves is also misleading and unnecessary.

DQ: Is Oates' argument stronger or weaker if looking at college football where players are not allowed to receive compensation? Like NFL teams, Universities are making millions of dollars off of college football, and yet student athletes can only receive scholarships. Also like most NFL teams, universities measure and accumulate data about each athlete they interview for scholarship, so what is the difference between NFL teams and college teams recruitment methods?

Media Coverage of Women Olympic Athletes

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Growing up a female athlete, I connected with this article. Not only was I an athlete, but I played a sport that was not played by many females - hockey. I grew up with hockey in my blood and hockey grew with me. I participated in the first U12A girls team formed in SLP, MN and I was proud of it. Women's hockey was just becoming really popular for women when I was about 9 years old. Before that, girls had to play on the boys team if they wanted to play hockey since they didn't have an option. This reminds me of how far women's sports have really come since then. Although I still struggle with women's sports in terms of the differences in rules from men's sports (I get really heated about it, actually), I have always been proud to be an athlete. I still shock people when I tell them I played hockey for 15 years. I always think to myself, why is that so hard to believe?

The olympics are not only a place for women athletes to shine as purely athletes, but for them to represent themselves as women athletes; to be proud of the accomplishments they have made. By now, I think that women have made their marks as proud women athletes and we can all move on from that and just call all male and female athletes, athletes and not athletes separated by gender. It does not surprise me that women are still objectified in the olympics - with sexism ever present. Woman gymnasts still wear glittery makeup and bows in their hair, making themselves "presentable" for the judges even though the amount of makeup does not affect their athletic abilities/performance in any way. I believe sports in general are becoming more equal, but there will always be commentary and rules that are subjected to women specifically and are simply not fair and are sexist.

What's Wrong blog post and DQ

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I thought the part of this article that discusses the media praising athletes for being mothers was interesting. I watched and read a lot about the 2012 Olympics but I don't recall hearing comments like Jackson mentioned. However, based on the info from the article, I tend to disagree with her argument that they shouldn't be praised for being a mother.
Olympians need to be in fantastic physical shape and they train constantly. Having to take time off from training while pregnant, as well as getting back into shape after having a baby would be incredibly hard. It would take even more effort and dedication than the extreme amount that non-mother Olympians put in. I for sure think that it is note-worthy and should be recognized.

DQ: Do you think that female athletes are sexualized more than male athletes? Isn't mens beach volleyball talked about in the same way as womens beach volleyball?

The Erotic Gaze in the NFL Draft DQ

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Why do you think that African-American players/draftees are positioned as the objects of the desiring gaze,unlike the other races?

The Erotic Gaze in the NFL DA

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Erotic Gaze in the NFL Draft Blog & DQ

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I also found this article to be surprising, even though I watch football I do not follow the draft process or really know what goes into it. Even though I can definitely see the dehumanizing effect this process has on the draftees, I think the idea of a homoerotic subtext seems a little extreme. This could also be that I simply do not take part in this process or watch/keep up with it. I agree that these draftees are seen as commodities in this way, and are in the position to be judged, though I also don't think I completely follow the idea that there is a sense of "white dominance operating strategically" in this whole process. The overall idea of this article is interesting and opens the door for an interesting discussion on the commodification aspect and how the draft process allows for bodies to be bought and made a spectacle out of (which I think it quite sad given the lifelong injuries that many players sustain after being a part of the organization).

DQ: How would this idea be different if the league was still dominated by white players? What would the author say in that case?

Final Blog on Female Olympians

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This article broached on a lot of examples of how women are sexualized and viewed as "girls" etc. They mention the phenomenon of how much of the volleyball is watched because of the skimpy outfits, which from my own personal experience has some validity in terms of the male audience. Friends of mine and myself I will admit have stated that it is in part enjoyable to watch because of the lewdness of the outfits. I have no shame in it, I find them attractive, however... that being said I think sexualizing and emphasizing those things as characteristics of female Olympians is wrong. I have a ton of respect for female athletes, especially at that level. One thing that the article broached but didn't go into detail on was how some women such as the William's sisters are viewed as savage, whether this is racial or not it hints at some of their more "masculine" traits, implying that being strong and athletic are such. One example of this that I wanted to present is Missy Franklin, the amazingly talented Olympic swimmer. I have heard many people even announcers comment on her body shape and how she isn't as attractive as she could be and I'm sitting back thinking, that much talent is worth so much more than having a "nice rack."

I found this article to be really interesting because it highlights the fact that no matter what a woman accomplishes, her value is usually based on her physical attributes. Women in sports are often critiqued based on their appearance rather than their athletic performance. Men in sports are almost never talked about in this same way. When Gabby Douglas won two gold medals for the U.S Women's Olympic team there was a huge controversy about her hair. Her appearance overshadowed the amazing accomplishment she had made. American society looks at women and judges them based on one particular thing, as if appearance is the most important thing for all women. A woman could become the United States' first female president and still be critiqued for her hair and clothes. The obsession with the way we feel women should look is getting out of hand, especially when it becomes a bigger deal than say winning a gold medal at the olympics. Women and men are not perceived equally and many believe that women do not even belong in sports. Until this changes women in sports will be seen as girls who are in man's field; they will not get the respect they deserve for their amazing abilities. They will continue to be judged on their outfits, make up and hair rather than their athletic feats.


DQ: Why do you think that society has a hard time accepting women in sports without judging them based on appearance? Do you think this will change?

After reading this article about how the media covered the women in the Olympics during the 2012 games, I am not surprised with how they are being portrayed. When the author talks about how a commentator asked, "If there was any diva moments yet?" made me think that many people view women who are in sports as catty competitors who like to start drama with the other female athletes. When comments like these are thrown out there even if its for humor, it makes it seem that women are not taking their respective sport seriously. The author also talks about how various women athletes were called girls instead of women. That shows a lack of respect, and it is sexist because you dont see reporters calling male athletes boys. They are always referred to as men. What I noticed too during the games, was the sexualized view of the women athletes especially the volleyball players and the gymnasts (who were 18 and under). When watching the volleyball games most the comments I would hear would be how the women looked in their bikinis and they would always tell the women after the games how good they looked and asked how they stayed so fit. Instead of focusing on their playing skills they were focusing on their looks. That goes for the gymnasts too, I remember there was all this backlash for Gabby Douglas and her hair appearance, and how it wasn't pretty enough to be featured on advertisements. I think the media coverage is way more worse for the women athletes than for the males. Women are either be sexualized for their looks and bodies or being criticized for having a masculine build, (i.e. Serena Williams) There is no winning scenario for the women, there is no way of keeping the media happy. I think one of the reasons why the media covers the women athletes this way is because it will sell to the audience. Women consumers will want to know what diva moment a certain female athlete is having and will look at their great physical appearance as inspiration to them. While the men consumers will have the sexed up images of the women athletes to fawn over. The article talks about how there have been strides to change this coverage, however I'm not sure if it will ever fully go away.

Media Coverage of Women Olympians: Discussion Question

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"...aren't we supposed to praise Olympians for their athletic accomplishments?..."

Good question. It appears that the answer is no. According to Jackson, the media and our culture would have us believe that what we are to praise female athletes for is their physical appearance and beauty. Arguing from Jackson's perspective, what would you identify as the potential source of such objectification? Is it, as Jackson states, a need to make them seem less powerful? Or is it something else?

The Erotic Gaze in the NFL Draft: Blog Entry

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During the first semester of my senior year, I took a class called "Drama in the Media" and we had an entire section dedicated to the erotic male gaze in sports broadcasting. Specifically we discussed the male camaraderie surrounding the practice of the erotic male gaze. There's a cultural acceptability surrounding the practice of analyzing, discussing, obsessing over, and admiring male strength. Even back in the days of the gladiators there was a certain respect for respecting a man's physique, even if it was in an objectifying sexualizing manner. I've heard it a million times when my guy friends are watching some sporting event: "I mean, no homo, but that guy is built." Oates discusses the media's completely irrelevant comments about things entirely unrelated to a player's athletic ability, but I would argue that these comments, like the ones my friends make, are somewhat related to athletic ability because physical fitness is part of these athlete's job description.

Sports media Blog

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This idea of the erotic male gaze in sports broadcasting I have never thought about, until this section kind of forced me to look at it. As an athlete Im around male football players about 1/3 of my day and see the importance they put on being drafted. They literally work their entire lives for that small moment of the NFL draft. They hone their bodies to be the physical specimen that they need and are expected to be. So seeing it from the players perspective as well as from the articles perspective puts me in an interesting position. I know they don't see it as erotic male gaze, but it really is. They put their bodies out there for others to analyze and discuss, kind of like a female model struting down the runway. It's their job and they don't care as long as they reach their goal of becoming a professional athlete. I think that it's the media's issue with making this event sexualized. They are athletes and they have these bodies for a specific reason: to perform on the field at the highest level possible. It's simple, but like usual it becomes complicated and erotic for no reason but sport.

The article on female olypians is on point. Jackson explains how we discuss female olypians based on their looks and body shape, whereas with men we praise them for their athletic ability. They are there for the same reason, competing at the highest possible leve that they can, but we ruin that by merely talking about their looks. The olympic softball pitcher Jenni Finch is not the most well-known softball player because of her ability, but because she is gorgeous and has a body like a goddess. There was a female tennis player who beat the beautiful Maria Sharapova and was put down becuase she was "ugly" there was little news about her tennis ability, but of her looks. It's interesting how media eliminates the important steps they women take in the sporting area.

NFL Draft blog/DQ

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I watched the 2012 summer Olympics last year. This article talked about how female Olympians have been portrayed in media, mainly focused on their body instead of their performance. There is an example given by the article, Gabby Douglas, the first black woman to win individual Olympic gold in gymnastics, however, media makers and viewers only cared about her messy hair and accused she shouldn't be in the gymnastic commercial as the other gold winners. Did she do something wrong? No, she is the winner of two gold medals in 2012 Olympics but she has been juggled about her outlook by media maker. Nowadays, using physical attraction to get audience's attention is one of the famous strategies for media maker. "This treatment of women athletes, which praises their athleticism and the hard work it takes to hone their bodies, is a huge fresh of breath air compared to how women athletes are styled, sexualized, and posed as if on display in magazines like Sports Illustrated." Sarah J. Jackson (the author of What's Wrong with the Media Coverage of Women Olypians) said.
However, it is not just the U.S to portray women Olympians in sexual way, mostly the entire world. In my country, one of the commentators of gymnastic competition, he is a celebrity dose not has any knowledge about gymnastic. He was kind of annoying because the comments he said had nothing about the gymnastic skills, mostly about the outlook of the athletes. I remember he said something inappropriately during the women all around individual final. He said Victoria Komova (the Russian) was more attractive than Gabby because of her skin and color. That's nothing about gymnastic. However, the next day after the all around final, "A Russian woman lost a gold medal in all around final" topic appeared on the front page on majority newsletter, and the entire page was talking about her training life while they only placed the description about Gabby(the Gold winner) in a small corner.
In my opinion, I don't think is a good idea to put athletes in a sexual way but news only put what audience would like to see. It's more about communication ethic than marketing strategy.

NFL Draft: Blog/DQ

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This article was about the process of the NFL draft as an erotic problem. It is explained that the viewers are often encouraged to experience the bodies of the draftees through the written and spoken descriptions of those bodies. The athletic body is essential to get drafted and it discussed the black athletic dominance is a threat to white masculinity. It is true that so many of the prospects in the draft are black and that has been extremely evaluated. I think that it is unfortunate to come to the point for discussing black male dominance vs white male dominance in football. But time and time again, we are talking about how black males have "taken over" sports like football and basketball. And because they have become so dominate white athletes feel they cannot compete at the same level.


DQ: It is also obvious how football's public image reflects a violent, aggressive aesthetic. How do you think that impacts the "male gaze" that is talked about in the article?

NFL Blog post

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I am not familiar with football drafting practices at all. I hardly watch football, and I have no clue what all the positions are called. I was very surprised and shocked when I read the Oates essay on the NFL college drafting process. It seems so strange to me! I kept asking myself "why??? How did this "tradition" start?? Why??" It's creepy and weird. I've always thought football and the hype around it to be strange, but these drafting practices are nuts. Players are paid tons of money to be glamorized, modern-day gladiators in a sport where they don't kill each other, but risk serious injury and are judged on their physical attractiveness in ways like livestock all for the fans can drool over their power and owners can make money. The part where Oates talks about the issues of psychology and identity really stuck out to me. The top-dog, unstoppable animal attitude "the system" pushes on football players is ridiculous! Society expects players to be animals on the field, to tear each other apart, but then to be docile outside of football. Talk about unreachable expectations! When a player's skill is judged so heavily on personal attributes, how is a player suppose to separate the game from everyday life?
I imagine there is much more to this issue than presented in this short essay, and since I am not very familiar with football as a whole, I can't critique it too heavily. I may have a more negative association with football than before, though.
I do know about the awesome Chris Kluwe, who is really challenging the league's homophobia issues. As a punter, I don't think he is under the same pressures as other football players in other positions are, though.

NFL Draft Post

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I found this article very interesting. Personally, I do not follow sports very much at all, but the men in my family do and I have been exposed to some degree of it through them. And from what I have seen, I can see evidence of the argument that Oates is making. Now that I have read his article, I do agree that male athletes are commodified especially in the NFL. I thought it was also very interesting how race and sexual orientation were brought into the mix and affected who was watching who and how.

Midway through the article, Oates says "Feminist theorists have since developed the concept of the 'male gaze', which does not necessarily infer a male spectator, but rather a particular performance on the part of the model". Basically, this is saying that the "male gaze" is not just men directing media and using the cameras to glance at the women as a man would, but it is in fact the woman presenting herself to the camera in way that would be pleasing to a man. This is definitely a different spin upon this concept which I have studied in other classes as well. However, after reading this I could not help but wonder how this understanding of the male gaze was present in this argument about athletes in the NFL. Do they present themselves in a highly sexual way to the camera because they feel like that's what the audiences want to see? Or is it completely out of their control and the audience's doing?

Sports Media Blog & DQ

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I don't think this article was meant to be comedic, but I burst out laughing a few times. I've never really thought about how homoerotic the whole draft process is, but it's definitely true. I've mostly ever used the draft as an excuse to get drunk and yell at the Vikings for the terrible draft choices they make, but Oates puts a whole different spin on it, and it makes a lot of sense. It seems to me like another way for the "hegemonic powers that be" to marginalize black men. They are substituted into a lesser position through the powerful male gaze. It also seems like another way of categorizing black men as nothing but a form of entertainment - be it their "sculpted" bodies that they article references or their on AND off-the-field antics - or both.

Another obsession that has recently come up in NFL culture is the white wide-receiver. There are a lot of jokes made about this subject at the expense of New England Patriots's fans. Wes Welker (who is now with the Denver Broncos) used to be a star in New England because of his status as an elite, white, wide-receiver, and that position has now been taken over by Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. The wide-receiver position has been largely dominated by black men since the turn of the century, so white receivers (e.g. Welker, Amendola, ex-Gopher Eric Decker) are a very hot commodity that become almost deified by fans and commentators. I think it's a way for white fans, commentators, sports analysts, etc., to prove that their race is still relevant at the position, and within the league in general.

DQ: What do you think the reaction would be if this homo-erotic gaze of the NFL and the NFL draft were ever widely acknowledged? Would the NFL lose a lot of its popularity?

NFL Gaze DQ

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Do male athletes who are aware of the "cattle line" or "meat market" process have another option? This article is definitely one of racism, but is it just as much if not more about economics? These players have a choice not to go through this process at all and boycott, except that there are plenty of people lining up every day to cash in on the high paychecks and glamorous lifestyle.

What stance could female athletes take in order to be less objectified and sexualized in sports? Do you think that every female athlete would take this step or would some choose to remain somewhat sexualized while they perform?

NFL Gaze Blog

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These articles were interesting to me having been a high school varsity athlete, and also having since completely abandoning all competitive sports. I used to watch a lot of "Sports Center", occasional games live, and play one or two sports regularly throughout the year. However, one day it just clicked for me: I didn't care anymore. I had no interest in physical prowess, be it physical strength, speed, or ability. Much of what is talked about in the NFL article gets to this point, but talks more about the underlying commoditization of the players. I am split in my thinking as to whether or not I think this is OK. At first, my thoughts immediately go to "slave" and the history of exploiting black people and their bodies for entertainment, sport or both. However, I am also a believer that every single player there is not only willing to be doing what he is doing-- no one is holding a gun to his head, ironically this is the type of environment that many of them are leaving-- he is more than happy to receive a paycheck to play a game that he not only likes, but is praised for being good at. I would admittedly be playing professional baseball if someone was willing to give me a couple million to do it. Exploitation? Yeah, my large home, nice car, travel abilities and model girlfriend would probably make up for it. But in terms of the growing racism and 'gaze' that is being forced on these young men? They are not going to fight the system and win, so I at least hope they have an exit strategy and plan financially, considering the average lifespan of any pro-career is about 5 years or so.

In regards to the other article, I have noticed for years that women athletics are primarily used for erotic purposes, especially concerning camera angles, outfits, and anything that will highlight these women and their bodies, as opposed to their prowess. Unfortunately, this article seems to think that it isn't just in some sports, but is creeping its way up the ladder to the highest and most esteemed level, being the Olympics. I definitely think this is an issue, but do have a slight problem with the article taking such offense with commentators calling the female athletes "girls." If this specific term wasn't used by women I know, I might feel differently, but it is, constantly and with pride. This reminded me a little of footage I've seen of your stereotypical neo-feminists who are called ladies and they quickly fire back "it's women, thank you!" It's one thing if it is used in a derogatory manner, but it really depends on context or repetition.This of course was a smaller issue in a well-researched article about a real problem with no easy solution.

Extra Credit

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Sex and the city, one of the famous tv shows in the world. As an audience, I see there is a lot of feminism cultures are portrayed in this TV series. Women's power (especially the four protagonists) has been gained as white and middle-class men in social structure.
In one of my course reading, Rereading Sex and the city "exposing the hegemonic feminist narrative, indicated how hegemonic feminism is portrayed in media. According to the reading, hegemonic feminism could be described as white, middle class women unwilling to be treated like second-class citizens in various aspects, such as in education, boardroom, career, or even in bed. Women's identity is determined by their views of masculinity in sex and the city. Sex is the major component to ensure women's power. Having sex with different types of men (race is not matter) is one of theof a women showing their feminism to men; that's a conquest.
However, someone thought the sexism in Sex and The City has screwed the ideal feminism. Julie Leopold, the author of Sex and the City screws with feminism, claimed the Candace Bushnell's view (the author of Sex and The City) of women's identity is mainly determined by sex is inappropriate. The sexual contents of the story have ventured too far from feminism. Julie boldly indicated Sex and The City is porn and has impacted public's view of feminism badly. She said, "And its own version of feminism has trickled down through the psyches in women of all ages, extolling the values of cutting-edge fashion, female friendship and a good f*** every now and again." Indeed, Sex and The city impressed most female viewers because their gender is portrayed in a higher level social status (The four protagonists are lawyer, writer, PR firm owner, and art gallery dealer) with high income. They are intelligent and outstanding while the men surrounding them are trolls and buffoons, mommy's boys and neurotics. Julie also talked about hegemonic feminist here; white, well-educated women who are economically. However, Julie said Sex and The City has created an unrealistic image of modern women, and it also has created a bag image of feminist. Most of the four protagonist's' conversation are about men, there is something more important than that in the world. Sex and The City has portrayed feminist as a prostitute. Although they are successful women in the story, most of the things they do are related to sexual activity. There is an episode that they are talking about cheating on their partner. Julie brought a really good question for viewers; is using body to conquer men the best way to enact feminism? This is not a true/false question but it does give me a chance to think about what real feminism is.
Rebecca Brasfield and Julie Leopold both wrote an analysis paper about the feminism of Sex and The City. The one Rebecca wrote is a study of how racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, heterosexism, homosexuality are related to feminism in Sex and The City. Julie was more focusing on the audience's view of feminism while watching Sex and The City.

Extra Credit

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'Tokenism' vs 'Diversity'
by James Taranto

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323374504578219460430602572

This article is about how political parties use tokenism to make people feel a certain way. Taranto is specifically talking about Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina. There have been criticisms of the republican party for putting African Americans on the ballot just to give voters the impression that they are protecting "back interests," thus making they are tokenizing these politicians. Taranto argues that tokenism is merely one way of looking at diversity. Taranto says in his article, "'Tokenism' and 'diversity' are synonyms. Both refer to the practice of advancing individuals in a way that preferentially takes account of their race for symbolic reasons." He says that if you agree with the people doing it, you call it diversity and if you disagree then you call it tokenism.
This article shared a lot of the same concepts as the Dana Cloud article, "Hegemony or Concordance?: The Rhetoric of Tokenism in "Oprah" Winfrey's Rags-to-Riches Biography." Cloud talks about tokenism as giving attention to a small number of people from a minority group to give the appearance of equality. She argues that tokenism is unfair to underrepresented groups and that is misleading to spectators. Taranto takes a different stance on the issue. His article was kind of hard to follow. Taranto jumps from topic to topic without really explaining things so I may not have gotten all of his arguments 100% right.
From what I did understand, I thought the article brought up some interesting points. In order to be successful in politics, you need to have enough people to vote for you. Conservatives are trying to reach a group of people that typically doesn't vote in their favor. Granted, they could be changing their political view or how they vote on things that would benefit many minorities, which would be a more honest approach, but that's just not how politics works. Having a black senator (hopefully) makes people think that republicans are more sympathetic toward minority interests. It is especially note worthy that Tim Scott is from South Carolina, a southern state. I'm sure this is part of the reason why the issue has been getting attention.
I find it ironic that democrats are judging republicans for doing this when they, and the country as a whole used Obama as a token of equality. When we were discussing tokenism in class, somebody brought up the example of Obama after he was elected as president. We talked about how people think that racism and racial inequality is obsolete because we have an African American president, which just isn't the case.
I agree with Taranto that terms like diverse and tokenism could be one in the same. It all depends on the situation and context that it's used in. But it seems that Taranto doesn't see it as an issue. I think that tokenism is a way to avoid dealing with major issues head on. It ignores that racism still exists and gives people an excuse to keep living in the statuesque. People can claim that we are "diverse" and that we have "come so far" all they want, but the reality is we are using tokens to fool the world, and maybe even ourselves of a non-reality.

Extra Credit - NSA Surveillance Analysis

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J.D. Hamann
Comm 3263W - Fall 2013
Extra Credit Analysis

In a statement released December 5, 2013, Microsoft announced it would be joining the battle against the government and its surveillance procedures. Executive vice president Brad Smith stated pointedly "Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures -- and in our view, legal processes and protections -- in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data" (Gross). This firmly placed Microsoft in the ranks of advocates for privacy. With recent allegations that the National Security Administration (NSA) has been stealing private user data from companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook, it is becoming increasingly clear that the battle to protect the privacy of United States citizens will be fought by corporations and will be waged on the technological front. This is happening for three main reasons: inaction by the court system, the ability of corporations to fight against NSA spying, and benefits to corporations in fighting against these invasions of privacy.
First, the judicial system is failing in its constitutional role to provide a check to the power wielded by the legislature and the executive branch. It is alarming enough that many congressmen and women may have voted to renew the Patriot Act without reviewing what it actually constituted (Mead). It should then be considered downright shocking that the courts are not sending this invasion of civil liberties to the Supreme Court to issue a ruling. Walter Russell Mead says "Let's hope both the courts and Congress think these issues through." Unfortunately, hoping won't do much to make the federal government give the Patriot Act some serious reconsideration.
One thing that can, however, have some tangible effects in the fight for privacy is the collective action of technology-based data companies, like Microsoft and Yahoo. Microsoft's announcement for increased data encryption came on the heels of Yahoo's promise to do the same thing. With the NSA allegedly tapping in secretly to data being streamed across the country, these companies can take action to prevent this data from ever being read. If the data is encoded during transit, the NSA can only steal garbled and useless information. The battle for privacy will be fought by corporations because they possess the proper weapons to fight. By transitioning to a policy of encrypting all data sent, Microsoft and Yahoo are making moves against the NSA.
Corporations are motivated to take sides against the NSA for one main reason: money. "Yahoo has been struggling to boost its revenue for years, making it even more important for the company to reassure its 800 million users worldwide about the sanctity of their personal information" (Liedtke). With allegations that these corporations had been voluntarily providing the NSA with information, they feel the need to make strong statements, both vocally and in taking action. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said "I want to reiterate what we have said in the past: Yahoo has never given access to our data centres to the NSA or to any other government agency" (Liedtke). The perception that users' private data would be made available to the NSA would likely drive down the amount of traffic to the websites. This would adversely affect ad sales and overall revenue for the company. For this reason, branding the company as a privacy-advocate is key to its financial success.
With government revisitation of the legality of the NSA's surveillance measures sluggish, if not downright dormant, the representative for the privacy of the American public in the battle against NSA spying will be the corporations in possession of the desired information. The courts' movements to investigate are practically invisible. Individual citizens don't have the power to protect themselves. Only corporations like Microsoft and Yahoo, who have both the financial and technological capabilities to physically protect the information as well as the proper motivation to do so, are in the position to oppose the NSA. For the foreseeable future this is where the war will be waged.


References

Gross, Doug. "Microsoft Fights Back against NSA 'snooping'"CNN. Cable News Network, 05 Dec. 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Liedtke, Michael. "Yahoo Thumbs Nose at NSA, Widens Encryption of Users' Communications. "Www.vancouversun.com. Vancouver Sun, 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Mead, Walter Russell. "Judicial Oversight Over The NSA. "Via Meadia. The American Interest, 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 06 Dec. 2013

Extra Credit

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I read an article online called "Political economy of Reali-TV" (1997), written by Chad Raphael. The article discusses the rise of reality television, or what he refers to as "Reali-TV," and the reasons Reali-TV became popular among television producers in the late 1980s. The article starts out by going through the economical advantages of reality television, or its political economy, and then wraps up by examining the way "crime-time" television shows like America's Most Wanted take advantage of participatory culture from its audience and use it as a means of surveillance. I don't think that Raphael did the best job of connecting the ideas, but they are both present nonetheless.

Raphael says that Real-TV came to the forefront because hour-long dramas were becoming increasingly expensive to produce due to above-the-line prices, and a television audience that was becoming more and more fragmented. The fragmented audience meant that advertisers were less likely to finance shows, because they needed more viewership in order to buy their products. The advertiser-driven market, or industry, is something that has been very important in our discussions in class. It is one of the reasons that very few television shows are produced for the working-class. The article touches on that idea very briefly as well. Raphael talks about how - even though it was cheap to produce - the popularity of prime-time Reali-TV was not long lasting because "...Reali-TV was not attracting enough affluent eighteen to thirty-five year olds, appealing more to pre-teens, seniors, and low-income viewers. These demographics forced the networks to sell advertising time on many Reali-TV shows at a discount compared with other programs with similar ratings and shares." Low-income viewers are not the target-market for advertisers which meant that Reali-TV was not a television genre that had much staying power on prime-time television.

The second important concept comes from Raphael's conclusion where he states that participatory culture within crime-time Reali-TV lead to a cost-effective means of surveillance for law enforcement. He says that America's Most Wanted, and other television shows like it promoted active viewership and audience participation. These shows did that by telling the audience to dial hot-lines if they sighted any fugitives that were featured on the show. Raphael goes on to say that this lead to a sort of community surveillance in real life. He quotes the executive producer of America's Most Wanted, who said, "I believe we are witnessing the birth of a new era in citizen involvement. America's Most Wanted has organized some 22 million viewers into the first nationwide neighborhood watch association." In turn, America's Most Wanted invited viewers to become tools of surveillance, or conduits for law enforcement.

This connects to Jenkins's idea of participatory culture in pop-culture, and politics as well, while also drawing on ideas from our surveillance readings. It is political because the active viewers become vessels for law enforcement, in which they become judges of others' guilt. As Raphael says, it democratizes the judicial process, but it does so in a way that keeps the dominant ideology dominant. Viewers only get one side of the story on shows such as America's Most Wanted, so while the viewers technically get to make their own decision about the fugitive's guilt, it's a very one-sided "trial." It would be like a political debate where only one side got to answer the questions, while also continually condemning his or her opponent. As our surveillance article states, surveillance leads to citizens monitoring not only their behavior, but everyone else's as well. When combined with participation with law enforcement, everyone becomes a vessel for the dominant ideology.

http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC41folder/EconomyRealiTV.html

Extra Credit Paper

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I recently came across an article by Lynn Zimmer titled Tokenism and Women in the Workplace: The Limits of Gender-Neutral Theory. It reminded me a lot of a number of concepts and articles that we discussed in class, and in many ways was a combination of some of them. It tackles the practice of tokenism in respect to gender equality specifically, and speaks of the limited value of a gender-neutral society which tokenism brings. I am going to compare her basic argument to the works of both Dana Cloud and Peggy McIntosh.
Obviously, this relates to the article that we read in class specifically on the topic of tokenism, which was Hegemony or Concordance? The Rhetoric of Tokenism on "Oprah" Winfrey's Rags-to-Riches Biography by Dana Cloud. In Cloud's article, she discusses tokenism through the example of Oprah, and how she is often idolized as a woman who came from nothing and worked her way to the top, proving that anyone should be able to do that if they put in enough effort. However, this is not a fair representation of a hard-working, underprivileged person and in this way Oprah is used as a token of success against the odds.
Zimmer offers a very similar critique of tokenism, but instead relates it directly to women in the workplace. She particularly focuses on women who are in "traditionally male occupations" and discusses how their view as a token in this environment is harmful not only to them in the workplace but in society as a whole. She quotes another article by Rosabeth Kanter titled Men and Women of the Corporation, when she says, "Kanter and others have suggested that women's position in male-dominated organizations will improve if their proportion is substantially increased and their token status eliminated"(Zimmer, 64).
Zimmer also argues later in the article that the concept of tokenism is a delicate one, and there has not been nearly enough research done for evidence of improving this kind of tokenism. Because of this, she argues that simply increasing the number of female workers in the office will not automatically resolve the deeper issue of gender inequality. She says, "without evidence... there is no reason to assume that increasing the number of women in an organization will necessarily improve their conditions of employment. It may even be the case that increasing the number of women, without addressing the sexist attitudes imbedded in male-dominated organizations, may exacerbate women's occupational problems" (64). This is what Zimmer is talking about when she mentions the limits of a gender-neutral society, which is brought on by the gender-neutral concept of tokenism. She is saying that equal representation is not the same as overall equality.
I think that Cloud with agree with this conclusion that Zimmer makes, and agree that solving tokenism and inequality takes more than simply representation. However, another author that we discussed in class that I was reminded of when reading this article was Peggy McIntosh. Her short article on White Privilege was all about racial inequality and how white people are often so often blind to the privileges that they have because of their skin color. However, what stuck out to me from her article was when she related white privilege to male privilege. McIntosh says in her article, "I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to women's statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's". Even though Zimmer does not talk about privilege at all in her article, I think she would agree with this argument. This attitude fits in with her point that equality is about more than just equal representation. Beliefs like this, even ones as subconscious as male privilege, play a huge role in how women are treated and seen as a whole in society's eyes. There are differences in perception and attitude between men and women and if we are ever going to conquer this concern, we have to face it head on instead of ignoring the deeper issues by trying to create a gender-neutral society.

Extra Credit: Article Analysis

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The article I chose is called, Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw's queer post feminism by, Jane Gerhard. I decided to use this particular article because we have already discussed Sex and The City and feminism in another article for class. Since the class has already discussed many realms of feminism already, I figured this article would be a good fit. I decided to relate this article to two different articles from class, the first one I am going to talk about is, Postfeminist Media Culture by, Rosalind Gill and the second article, Rereading Sex and The City, by Rebecca Brasfield.
A summary of the article, the author focuses on two trends throughout, post-feminism and queerness that is featured heavily in Sex and The City. I am first going to talk about post-feminism featured in the article and how it relates to the Gill article. According Gerhard, "In many ways obvious and subtle, the series, explores the meaning of women's sexuality in the wake of the social and cultural achievements of 2nd wave feminism. For post-feminists like Carrie and her friends...Women, if they so choose can work, talk, and have sex, "like men" while still maintaining all the privileges associated with being an attractive woman." I think this relates to the Gill article because, Gill talks about how women in the media are portrayed as active and desiring sexual objects, who showcase themselves as that way because of their neoliberalism ideology. The women in Sex and The City are able to basically think like a man sexually, yet behave like a woman in the real world, in the sense of the way the dress and represent themselves to the public. The women are not being sexually objective by men; however they are freely conveying themselves as sexual objects, by their own choice and empowerment.
Gerhard also brings up sex relationship between all four women. She states, "these women are shown enjoying intercourse in an array of positions with numerous partners....They love feeling desirable." I think that correlates with Gill because she talks about again women themselves want to be portrayed as desirable sexual objects to men. Also, they also do this as a way to "please themselves." I think how they talk about sex in a manner that's very overt relates to Gill, in the fact they are being individuals who are empowering themselves.
The second trend Gerhard talks about is queerness and how that is represented within Sex and The City, and how it ties in to heterosexuality. In the article Gerhard describes "queerness" as "narratives, images, and plot structures that can be read as queer, whether or not the characters identified themselves as queer" One of the main focal points the author brings up about queerness and heterosexuality, are the friendships between all of the women. Carrie finds satisfaction after a failed relationship with her "committed friendships" between her friends. These female relationships amongst each other are more valued than the heterosexual relationships within the show. "The world of love and ritual the four friends create for them allows for the series exploration of female heterosexuality to go forward without marking the women as homosexuals.
How this relates to the Brasfield article, in regards to queerness and heterosexuality, Brasfield mentions, how the series exploits all non-heterosexual orientations, LGBT are portrayed as marginalize groups. It show reiterates heterosexuality has dominate sexuality, because just how Gerhard says the love the four friends create, is a far as the women having sexual relationship with another. The show hints at a possibility of homosexuality but ultimately, showcasing the women as heterosexuals. Even when Samantha has her "lesbian phase" she ends up dating men soon after and the viewer forgets she was once bisexual. I think Gerhard and Brasfield have completely different viewpoints. Because Gerhard applauds the series for the sexual identity tension possibilities within the sisterhood of the four friends, while Brasfield thinks Sex and The City exploits heterosexuality as the dominant sexuality and merely skims the presence of another dominant sexuality.

DQ and Blog on NFL Erotic Gaze Article

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After reading this article, I do think that sports is one of the sites where men can spectate and judge male bodies in a way where they are not questioned for their reasons of doing so. Interestingly, I find myself thinking back to the essay we read about the angry white male and masculinity. I think watching sports, namely the NFL is a way of comparing themselves to what some may consider to be the ideal attractive male, much like how women compare themselves to models in advertisements. There is a certain machismo that comes with sports which is why some men probably compare themselves more to sports than to men in general advertisements. It is pretty disgusting how the men are presented during the NFL draft pick, under-clothed and talked about like they are commodities. At the same time, part of this treatment (not using the negative terminology, though) are understandable. They are money makers; it is like their job interview. They have to be strong, powerful, and look the part. They are also entertainers that are seen by the public very often- every game day at least. It's not surprising that they take looks into a big part of the draft. Like the NFL manager said, they are being "bought". I suppose in a way they are covering all the grounds to make sure they make a good investment. It's not right, but it's not uncommon in many industries either.

DQ: Do you think marketing football to female audiences is as hard as the article suggests? Seems like (especially in recent years) there has been a lot of progress in marketing the sport to women. If men can find some 'erotic' sense to the game, wouldn't you think women appreciate it too?

Gladwell reading DQ

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can social media have a positive affect on participants? Can it not unite people under once cause? I feel like Gladwell underestimates the usefulness that social media has.

Social media DQ

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Gladwell argues that social media can't replicate the personal relationships which spur activism. Do you agree with the response that social media supplements activism by extension rather than replacing it?

Online Social Change DQ

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A lot of newspapers seem to be pushing people towards digital subscriptions on their smartphones. Do you believe Paul Starr when he says that, "For nearly all newspapers, eliminating the print edition entirely and appearing solely online would be suicidal at this point"? Why or why not? Do you think it's just because current newspapers now have no other choice?

Gladwell DQ

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While I agree with Gladwell's point that "social media can't provide what social change has always required", isn't he overlooking the possibility of uniting people via social networking? Social media cannot create change, but isn't it possible to inspire change by sharing ideas and opinions with people outside of your normal life?

Online Social Change DQ

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Gladwell writes that "With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns". Taking into consideration what we have learned about the participation gap, do you believe that social media sites make it easier for the powerless to voice their opinions?

Online Social Change DQ

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How does the website Reddit support or complicated the arguments of the 4 different authors?

Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers - DQ

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Many writers invest time and energy into articles that are not sponsored or funded and post these to the web. Is it unreasonable to imagine that investigative journalists might put in work without sponsorship from a newspaper?

Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers - BLOG

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I like that Paul Starr admits that part of the reason that old news media was good at informing the public was that there were no entertainment alternatives for a lot of people. The public was sort of forced to soak up news, even if they didn't actively seek it out.

I'm gonna go ahead and make an argument (without proof) that although there is less original investigative content being published, there is an improvement in the way we read and analyze that content. Although stuff like think-pieces have been around forever, in old media there was usually only a handful of authoritative pieces on any subject, and most opinions were formed from those. In the current media environment, almost every event comes with multiple well-articulated pieces that offer multiple viewpoints on the event. Some are low quality but they're usually fun to read.

I think one of the biggest problems with internet media is that it is possible to track clicks, and so click-baiting and content farming is a thing. I kind of like Gawker but I hate Gawker because of this.

Online Change Blog Post and DQ

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I have never thought how social media could impact our life beside entertainment. In the United States, almost everyone has accessed to social media sites. Some people treat it as communication platform for meeting new people. Indeed, the fastest way to spread out messages is using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. More than that, social media has reinvented activism since people can find each other easily than the past. The revolution of Iraq is a great example of how social media being used for activism . People assume old media will be completely replaced by new media in the future. As internet users, people can get information immediately through internet. Government would like to use social media sites to conduct social researches. However,heavy reliance on social media is a risk, either personal use or public use. For example, no one can access to Facebook in China. China's government has been trying to separate their citizen from the major social media platform because they don't want their citizen to share information to someone outside of China. One the advantages of this security is protect human right. However, it also means that we might not have the same level of cultural awareness as the others (it doesn't mean that people who access to Facebook frequently has better knowledge than the one who doesn't, but they have a better opportunity to understand what currently happens around the world since they use the largest social media sites.)

DQ:
Someone said social media has reinvented social activism. Have you ever thought social media could be a weapon of government to resist social activism?

Social Change DQ

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There is a debate in the first two articles about the role and power of social media in grand humanistic change. Is there an element that both of these authors are leaving out? Or is it true that both non-social media AND social media both have the power to change the world, and it's people and their interest level that is the variable?

Old Growth Media Blog/DQ

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I absolutely agree with the author that the disappearing business of print newspaper is sad. I grew up with a father that everyday sits on the coach after work and reads the newspaper front to back, and I know that it is the best way for him to get information. As a society I think that it would be hard for everyone to be ok with the loss of printed newspaper, but my father has even said he has seen the price rise of his newspaper and he is unsure of how long he will be willing to pay for it if the prices continue to rise. With higher costs and lowering interests the future of the newspaper is definitely far from good. Even I enjoy reading the daily on occasion though and would hate to see it disappear from campus.

DQ: How does the technology gap spoken about last class affect the use of online only news reporting?

Besides the fact that my older brother is in fact in jail, and soon to be prison, I enjoyed Orange Is the New Black for reasons beyond that. I thought it gave a different perspective than shows such as CSI or Cops, where the prisoners were portrayed as the evil ones. Lava touched upon how the prison system is corrupt to an extent, which I agree with. I believe that the government, along with many Americans, have the wrong idea about prisoners and the prison system itself.

I will bring in my experiences with my brother being in jail currently to my view on Orange. Although I have not had experiences with my brother in prison (different than jail), it is similar to an extent. First of all, when we go visit Casey for a holiday or his birthday 5 hours away, we only get to see him through a video screen much like Skype - even though we are in the same building as him. Also, if I bring him a book for him to read it cannot be directly given to him. I have to mail it through the publisher to the jail library for him to find. In Orange, we often see Chapman visiting her family in person and they are able to buy them things out of the vending machine. That would be amazing to actually be able to hug my brother.

After talking to my brother about the type of people that are in jail with him he says it is predominantly latinos and black. What I also found interesting was that he told me that he was the only prisoner without children. Orange lines up with this in terms of racial diversity.

I often think of what will happen when my brother gets out and it scares me to think of the discriminations he will have to face as a felon and whether or not he will be able to lead a normal and productive life. This is very much a reality for my brother and for many others and I think Orange portrays this well.

Small Change/ Sorry blog and DQ

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From what I gather, Small Change is about how people over attribute the role that social media plays in activism. The article starts by giving an example of how protests spread during the 60s. It talks about the reach of activism in a pre-social media world. One major aspect that Gladwell glosses over (and Mirani touches on) is speed. Sure, a ton of people participated in the protests described in the article, but it took weeks. Info can spread way faster nowadays.
The end of Gladwell's article reminds me of the concepts from the World's Apart article. Gladwell talks about tweets from Iran being in English. This reinforces American perception of a U.S. dominant/ centered world.

DQ: Who is closer to the truth: Gladwell's thought that activism is independent from social media, or Mirani's belief that social media plays a big role in activism? Is it a balance of both? Or Is it circumstantial?

Small Change Blog and DQ

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Social Media is a huge part of my generation. We use social media to connect with our friends, meet new people and find others who share our interests. It is true that social media has "reinvented social activism" because now people can find others to hop on board with their projects so much easier. The Trayvon Martin case is a great example of social media being used for activism. Through facebook, twitter and other social media outlets young people all over the world have found each other and come together to fight against something they believe in. Through these medias they were able to coordinate meetings, rallies and protests. Social media is a great way to get the word out about things because news online travels so quickly, especially with most users logging on each day. It is amazing that there was a time when people could coordinate these kinds of events before social media.

DQ: If you had to coordinate a social rally for a cause today and were not able to use the help of any social media site how would spread the word? Do you think it is still possible to do this today?

Small Change/Sorry, Malcolm Gladwell Blog Post

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While I agree with Gladwell in the sense about how social media activism is really activism at for the most the part. Because countless of times I have seen people reclog or retweet either for legalizing same -sex marriage, especially during the VOTE NO campaign here in Minnesota or other political activism issues. That's all they do, they don't go and volunteer or protest. They use social media has a way to claim they are being activists when in reality they are just supporting the cause and not actively being engaged. I mean I will admit, I change my profile picture to the equal sign in support of gay marriage but did I call myself an activist? No I did not. I look at activism as actively going out and protesting on the streets, volunteering for a certain cause, and petitioning your local government to amend the issue. In my hometown of roughly 4,000 people during the VOTE NO campaign, a local man from my town protested outside the Catholic Church for the legalization of same-sex marriage. He would protest every single day until the election was over and would stand there for hours holding a sign, and had to endure harsh backlash. To me that is activism. He was actively trying to make a difference, and didn't just talk about it on social media.
However with that said I do think social media can do some good when talking about certain social issues. Mirani says in his article that, if activism extends to changing the minds of people, to making populations aware of what their governments are doing in their name, to influencing opinion across the world, then the revolution will be indeed be tweeted. I think if activism can change the minds of people it might get them more involved later on in life, and get them more interested in activism issues. Having social activism on social media, it allows for people to become aware of these problems and actually see what their government is doing. It allows a social media user to gain more knowledge about something that they might not have known beforehand. I know personally I have seen a certain social issues brought to my attention through social media, that I had not known before. Seeing that gives me more knowledge about the issue and makes rethink my stance on certain issues. When it comes to social media I think there are definitely both negative and positive attributions when it comes to activism.

Small Change POST

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I thought that this article was very interesting, because I have not really thought that much about the hand that social media has had in the development of social changes such as revolutions, or especially what it was like before these media platforms existed. I am somewhat familiar with the role that Twitter has played recently in revolutions, but honestly that whole world seems far away from me. I don't feel that I have to deal with revolutions or oppressions in my daily life, whether or not that is really the case.

However, this quote by Gladwell kind of addresses my feelings, however: "The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns". Social media such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed people like me who might be more passive or feel slightly removed from immediate revolutions to still be a part of them and stand up for what they believe in. However, the question is if they really do have a say and create change through social media or if it is a way for us to feel involved without really doing anything. I think that this may change depending on the situation, but it's good to keep in mind that just because you post something on Facebook like "end the war in Iraq" and fifty of your friends like it, it doesn't mean that you are actually doing anything about it.

Gladwell Articles DQ

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DQ: With social media having such a strong relativism in the era of protest we are experiencing, do you think that Gladwell believes that protesters/activists have to be present at a site or together as a group in person to make a difference or do you think he is just generalizing how people think they are activists by clicking buttons online while assuming this doesn't make a difference?

Small Change/Sorry Malcolm

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After reading these two articles I more agree with Mirani than I do with Malcolm. Yes, the efforts put out there on twitter and Facebook might not seem genuine like Malcolm says but it really is all about just getting the word out there, the smallest action could produce the biggest difference. Even though it seems strange that these efforts may be being made by people in other countries speaking different languages but that is a good thing not a bad thing like Malcolm says.. if people are talking about it all around the world the more support those people are receiving. Social media may not be the most powerful or effective way of getting the word out there but it definitely does work! For me personally who dies not watch a lot of TV or keep up with the news very well social media is sometimes my only source to what is going on in the world, so I 100% would side with Mirani saying that these social media networks surely do have the power to spread news.


DQ: I am sure we all have some sort of access to social media in our lives so what are some examples of news going on in the worked today that these sites highlight? What does social media giving us this news say about who is in power of what we consume?

Small Change/Sorry Malcolm

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After reading these two articles I more agree with Mirani than I do with Malcolm. Yes, the efforts put out there on twitter and Facebook might not seem genuine like Malcolm says but it really is all about just getting the word out there, the smallest action could produce the biggest difference. Even though it seems strange that these efforts may be being made by people in other countries speaking different languages but that is a good thing not a bad thing like Malcolm says.. if people are talking about it all around the world the more support those people are receiving. Social media may not be the most powerful or effective way of getting the word out there but it definitely does work! For me personally who dies not watch a lot of TV or keep up with the news very well social media is sometimes my only source to what is going on in the world, so I 100% would side with Mirani saying that these social media networks surely do have the power to spread news.


DQ: I am sure we all have some sort of access to social media in our lives so what are some examples of news going on in the worked today that these sites highlight? What does social media giving us this news say about who is in power of what we consume?

Small Change: DQ

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Is social media taking over the way we communicate, collaborate, coördinate, and the way we give voice to concerns? The article states that activism challenges the status quo--that attacks deeply rooted problems. What makes people capable of this kind of activism?

Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

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Gladwell talks about a "lazy activism" when it comes to activism and social media. He claims people are not motivated in activism but merely participating by "liking" or sharing a certain post about activism. It reminds of the Kony campaign, where people would change their profile pics and share the info about Kony and that was it for activism for them. My question is has there been a successful activism campaign by using social media? Or is social media not a place where activism can be successful?

Gladwell is making the distinct argument that current social media activism is not nearly as high-risk or strategic as traditional social activism. Gladwell argues that social networks are great at increasing participation, but not motivation, as supporters would believe.

Think of the recent Vote No campaign that spread across campus. Students were frequently approached by activists asking them to donate their time and voices to support a side. Most of my classmates said they would attempt to avoid signing any volunteer list or offering to help, but would gladly wear a "Vote No" pin or sticker.

What would Gladwell say in response to actions like this? Would he characterize these actions as high-risk, low-risk, strong-tie, or weak-tie? In what other ways do you recall students reacting to the various aspects of the Vote No campaigning on campus?

convergence DQ

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Since there are more and more TV series coming out that have heavy inputs from the public like reality TV or shows like American Idol how do you think this will change television in the future? What is the future of media with convergence culture in mind?

convergence DQ

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Since there are more and more TV series coming out that have heavy inputs from the public like reality TV or shows like American Idol how do you think this will change television in the future? What is the future of media with convergence culture in mind?

convergence DQ

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Since there are more and more TV series coming out that have heavy inputs from the public like reality TV or shows like American Idol how do you think this will change television in the future? What is the future of media with convergence culture in mind?

Convergence Culture DQ

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Do you think that reality tv itself is a form of convergence culture, since "average" people are featured on shows and have the ability to influence other people?

Convergence blog.

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the concept of convergence by Jenkins is pretty cool. Basically media conglomerates get their ideas from the minds of teen fanatics across the nation. The more they please these people, the more these people want; so on and so forth. It brought up for me the article of encoding and decoding. Conglomerates are encoding exactly what the audience wants and the audience is taking it in the dominant style. fairly cool, in my opinion. A good example of convergence culture is Twilight. "twi-hards" were so excited about the series and various amounts of fan pages and sites popped up in the name of Stephanie Meyer's subpar novels, that conglomerates saw the opportunity of a big payoff, just because of the zealous fanbase. Look at the franchise now: its worth millions, people across the world are enamoured of it and it was all because of the fanbase. There are many more franchises that have flourished and come to life becuase of convergence culture and I think that this will become the norm in media making in the future.

Convergence DQ

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Drawing from this reading, personally what do you think of Media Convergence? Do you agree with it and or utilize it in some capacity? Is there one media that you can think of that has really stood out or has change the face of media convergence?

iCulture DQ

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My question is whether or not you think the concept of "iCulture" is reversible? We call this era the age of technology now, but do you think our rapid advancement of technology will continue for centuries to come? If it does, or our fascination with it wanes, will the media's relationship with its audience still be affected by iCulture or do you think we will eventually tire of it? Or will something newer or better come along?

iCulture DQ

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Do you think it should be illegal to use information of user's without their permission or knowing?

Convergence Culture DQ

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Jenkins says it can be a bad thing when people take media into their own hands. How is this true and how could this become worse in the future with the way that media and convergence are progressing?

Discussion Question for convergence culture

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Everyone has their own thought to identify convergence culture. Can you give an example of converting media into digital technology? For instant, nowadays, people like reading book online that's taking an old media (book) into a new technology.

Convergence DQ

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Does any of our newer technologies (DVR, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOGo, etc...) change the way that the media works?

"Worship at the Altar of Convergence" - DQ

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How has streaming video (Netflix) impacted media convergence? Has streaming video affected the types of shows that are produced for TV?

Convergence Articles DQ

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Both articles mention cases where a company sued a person or another company for copyright infringement. Both defendants were parodying the company in question and were using a great example of pop culture and media convergence in their pieces. After a very popular show or piece of media has been around for so long, like a Star Wars, The Simpsons or Sesame Street, do they give up the right to be parodied or "re-purposed"? Why or why not?

In the first article, they talk about the perpetuation of "black boxes". Does the endless cycle of continuing movie-viewing and video game technology necessitate constant consumerism? Why would it not be in a companies best interest to stop investment on continuing the technology of the hardware, rather than discovering new ways to play the game, either through software or add-ons like motion sensing tech?

Convergence Culture and DQ

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Jenkins offers some examples of convergence culture such as The Matrix and Star Wars. One example that really exemplifies convergence culture is the Pokemon franchise. I'm actually writing my final paper about this so I have many examples but I'll include a short condensed example here.

As Jenkins said, "in the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, and every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms". Pokemon "courts consumers" not only in tv, but through video games, music, and the internet. This circulation of media content across these various forms of media relies heavily on the active participation of consumers. In the case of Pokemon, the fans are extremely participatory. There are fan-made online communities which serve as a database for all things Pokemon. Fans have taken to making their own Pokemon designs and sharing it on the internet. The most recent Pokemon video games also encourage players to go on the internet or go to video game stores to meet other players and to acquire exclusive Pokemon. Most fans partake in these activities with eagerness as it increases their overall experience of the game. The Pokemon franchise is a great example of convergence because it tells the story of Pokemon through various media platforms and the fans are taken along for the ride.

DQ:
Is convergence culture a phenomenon that can only occur in countries with a large, open, media system? Could convergence culture occur in a country where the media/internet is highly regulated by the government? Why or why not?

Convergence Articles Blog

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These issues of convergence culture and privacy seem like an odd pairing until you realize what lurks beneath the surface of both. Big companies, and small ones as well for that matter, are able revolutionize the ways that products and services are marketed to people these days. In the age of instant-content and the internet, which has always seemed like a wild-west or undiscovered land, new marketing techniques are able to invade our privacy partly because laws haven't caught up yet, and mostly because people aren't fully aware of the ability these companies have to do so. Even if they did, I contend that most people, especially those who haven't grown up with the internet, wouldn't be able to comprehend either what information is being used, or how and for what purposes. I have studied internet marketing and law in a former class, and I am very glad that I don't participate in a lot of online marketing games or programs-- I include Facebook in this-- because most often the company isn't trying to entertain or engage the consumer, but more so they are just trying to get as much personal information on them for their own tracking purposes. To me this is the most sinister part: what is being used for entertainment purposes is actually a sale or an attempt at a sale, in disguise. But really, that's what entertainment has always been-- especially film and TV in this country-- since its beginning. So to me, I guess this "convergence culture" isn't so much an evolution and combining of entertainment mediums, as it is a convergence and evolution of how people are sold things.

Blog Post On IMonitoring

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This articles section on iMonitoring had me thinking about all the changes social media has made to the way that work and social relationships have changed. As for work relationships the new way sites like Facebook and Twitter provide prospective employers a look into who you are is both sometimes beneficial and bad, it has forced our society to take on a very self-observant lifestyle if they are serious about professional employment. As for that and for the social all aspects of our lives are carefully watched by our peers. Everything we do now, who we call, what photos we like, what we search for, all of that is being observed. Going back to our discussion of the "Panopticon" and the phone tapping it is extremely ironic that people get worked up over that yet are so okay with every other aspect of their lives being watched. We have no privacy in our world anymore unless we choose to shut off our phones and internet connections.

iCulture Blog Post

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Andrejivic discusses the growth of technology and our interaction with it in a way I thought was referencing Foucault's panopticon. With our media technologies today, we have the ability to easily become the overseer in the tower who can watch everyone. Since it is so easy to take on this position (just hop on google and start typing), we know that other people can do the same at any moment. The traditional panopticon the Foucault discusses has become doubled; government or corporate powers can watch and track our behaviors while we watch and track each other. The panopticon we access to look into the people we know is being monitored by corporations and governments for their use. This double watching is pretty scary, in my opinion. I've heard many stories about recent college grads or current students who's job prospects have been ruined because of social media posts. We have to be very careful about what we put online about ourselves, as well as monitor what our friends are posting about us (someone told me about how their daughter's friend posted a picture of her at a party that poorly reflected on the daughter's image). In the iCulture chapter, the monitoring goes beyond our social media accounts. The things we buy or the places we go can be easily accessed by companies or marketers. Our habits are being monitored and, in a way, judged. The terms we search on google are monitored and judgements are made about us based on them (such as the family who had FBI at their door after googling "pressure cooker" and "backpack" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/family-visited-by-joint-t_n_3690806.html ).
I think what make these monitoring and marketing techniques so malicious is the fact that they are disguised to give us citizens/consumers some sort of benefit. Much has been accepted in the name of safety and prevention. We allow and accept the monitoring and tracking of ourselves in hopes of being protected or out of convenience. We fall into customizing marketing traps to make ourselves feel individual and a part of a production process that has terrible realities, which most of us are oblivious to.
I don't think we are stupid; I think we have been manipulated and tricked by a very smart system.

Convergence Blog & DQ

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The concept of convergence and media change was slightly hard to fully understand for me particularly in this article at times. I think the three main concepts of media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence were key in this article. Media convergence can be seen in many different ways, especially in today's television shows and films as well as brands. The example that stands out to me the most when talking about convergence and media convergence is the Harry Potter brand. Although it started as a wildly successful book series, it is now a record setting movie series as well as the brand having many toys, video games, as well as an interactive website. This also ties in to participatory culture, which as the article puts it "consumers specifically act as participants who interact with each other". The media convergence allows for consumers to be more interactive with these brands and other media.

Discussion Question: What are some possible struggles with media convergence? (For producers, companies, etc).

"Worship at the Altar of Convergence" - BLOG

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Social networking has allowed the possibility for people on the consumer end of media to be producers of content or media or whatever. However, these individuals often don't have the means to profit from what they've produced, and so often times people who have 'gone viral' will link up with corporate entities and from then on their output becomes sponsored. This often feels like a corruption of what made the original media special.

This transitional period of media convergence is messy because of corporate interest in viral media as a great marketing tool conflicting with consumers generally wanting viral media free of corporate influence. It broke my heart when I found out that girl who caught on fire while twerking was a Jimmy Kimmel stunt. Things like this cause consumers to be wary of corporate influence and question the context of what they are seeing. I think media corporations and advertisers are still finding their footing and learning how to interact with convergence. A handful of videos of Terio are credited with saving the app Vine, but people are upset now that he is being celebrated and paraded around.

Convergence blog and DQ

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Whether it is watching shows on television or listening to music on the radio, it all feels like secondary options after my phone or computer. It's not like turning on a television is that hard, but why not do all media activity through one device? Henry Jenkins calls this idea the black box fallacy, but I think the opportunity for such a device is closer than he thinks. I will be the first to admit that I am attached to my iPhone, so I am not going to pretend to be neutral about this so called "fallacy". I get email, stream Netflix, get sports updates, and not to mention get calls on one device. While my TV provider is unable to stream live TV to my phone, I can still listen to live radio, and pay my bills with little to no effort. Since there was no iPhone, XBOX ONE, or smart TV in 2006, I will cut Jenkins some slack about the lack of converged black boxes in his home at the time, but I still disagree with his position.

One of Jenkins' ideas that had never occurred to me before reading his article is collective intelligence. It makes sense that no person can know everything about everything, so we rely on one another to piece together the best picture that we can. Whenever I miss an episode of one of my shows that is not available for streaming, I turn to a friend or family member for the highlights. This conversation usually leads to another one about our favorite moments from other episodes. Jenkins says these types of conversations, "create buzz that is increasingly valued by the media industry" (484).

DQ: When Jenkins is talking about collective intelligence, he says, "Right now, we are mostly using this collective power through our recreational life, but soon we will be deploying those skills for more "serious purposes"(484). What does he means "serious purposes"? How can collective knowledge between individuals impact media convergence? Maybe they can influence aspects of the media, but how does that impact media convergence?

Convergence Culture & Branding: Blog/DQ

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The first article "Worship at the Alter of Convergence" is about the relationship between 3 concepts-- media convergence, participatory culture and collective intelligence. At the beginning of the article it talked about Sesame Street and how various characters were being linked with terrorists. This is a result of media convergence which is the main subject of this article. Media convergence is more than simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences.

And the second article is the "Three Dimensions of iCulture." At the beginning of the article is discusses the Nike campaign and how the consumer has the "freedom to choose and freedom to express who you are." The consumers will feel more connected to the products they buy because they receive "individualized" treatment. The article talked a lot about interactivity. The promise of interactivity is that viewers can be cultural producers as we as consumers-- that furthermore, their participatory consumption can be creative and fulfilling. The second half of the article examined iMonitoring and the cell phone was the main part of the argument. Our cell phones allow us to monitor so many things ourselves like with GPS parents or significant others can track the location of their users and of course social media is huge. We can follow so many people through facebook and twiter right from our finger tips everywhere we go. It also went on to talk about how the surveillance of the public has increased since 9/11/2001. And it discussed how we are constantly being watched from surveillance cameras at major transportation stations/airports/popular buildings/malls/ect.

DQ: To what extent does interactivity as a surveillance technique impact the people closest to you in your life? Does knowing that your significant other or parents can know where you any point in time bother you? How about knowing that everyone is being watched in public as well? Does that bother you or comfort you?

Convergence Culture Blog and DQ

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The "black box" section with the paragraph about gaming consoles immediately struck a chord with me. With the releases just 1 week and 2 weeks ago of the next generation of gaming consoles (Xbox One and PlayStation 4) there has been a barrage of advertisements by the makers, Microsoft and Sony. These ads have had a twofold approach. One side shows a man enjoying the improved graphics, processing speed, great games available, etc. The other side shows a woman using it for voice-activated Netflix, channel-changing, youtube watching, listening to music, etc. Besides coming across as sexist, these ads demonstrate the attempts of console makers to produce the black box which would serve as the penultimate media device.
I agree with the author's argument that media do not disappear, their functions simply change and the technologies disappear. I think gaming console's attempt to become the home user's one-stop shopping place for media is admirable, but is not reasonable. It may partially serve that purpose for some gamers, but even for them I don't see them giving up their computers as primary access points to the internet. And especially for households without a gamer in them, why would anyone purchase a system primarily for Netflix access or DVD/Blu-Ray playing that is much more expensive than what a stand-alone device would be?
Overall, this lack of clarity regarding the direction that media in gaming consoles is going reinforces the author's contentions that convergence is something that is widely misunderstood, even by those within the industry. \

DQ: What does the author mean by "participation"? Who is left out of participation?

Three Dimensions of iCulture Blog and DQ

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The part of this essay I found to be the most interesting is the personalization of products as a form of marketing and consumer research. For example, the way that Nike enables consumers to personalize their shoes, at a substantial cost, while denying a total freedom of speech on what is put on the shoes is laughable.Nike records the ways that people personalize their own shoes, they are taking advantage of the consumer by charging extra for actual free research. I have recently noticed an influx of companies that are letting the consumers come up with flavors for their products (such as Lay's potato chips), very much like how Crest has done that with their toothpaste, as seen in the article. By instilling the idea that the consumer is an individual that needs to be catered to, these types of marketing work for corporations and at a very cheap cost. I participated in a contest for Lay's potato chips and consumers voted on the best flavors. Even though the consumers supposedly voted, there were probably hundreds of thousands that participated in the contest. I wouldn't be surprised if they go ahead and use many of those submissions to make new potato chip flavors without giving credit to the consumers. The article describes these types of tactics are a way of "being watched". I agree; it reminds me of my marketing class during a last semester where we learned corporations have people dig through garbages in certain neighborhoods to see what the consumers like to buy in certain areas. Now with this type of internet democracy of consumers making the choices, these companies do not have to do this anymore because we are instead just giving them these ideas for free and becoming even larger consumers than we were before.

DQ: Do consumers keep going along with these types of democratic-esque ways of consuming because they feel they receive more 'individualized' treatment even though they may feel they are being monitored?

Worship at the Altar of Convergence: Discussion Question

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Keeping with the same theme from my blog entry, there is a push within media companies and in advertising to create an appeal for non-child demographics to purchase gaming consoles for non-gaming purposes (i.e. exercising, watching movies, surfing the internet).

Based on the recent commercials being distributed in anticipation of Black Friday shopping and the holiday season, do you think that these media companies have succeeded in creating a desire for consoles outside the child demographic? What are some of the ways you've seen these companies advertising or painting their product as "not just for kids anymore"?

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