Becker Blog and DQ

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Before reading this article, I had never thought about this topic from the stance that Becker portrayed. I found this article also very interesting considering that it is only 6 years from when he wrote it, and there are already major changes throughout the country including here in Minnesota. He goes into detail about many groups and their views on politics and ideals. In the 90's it was a time of a neoliberal era where being socially liberal and financially conservative were becoming the popular position. He goes on to talk a group that he names the "Slumpy" class. Throughout the whole article he mentions this class and how their frame of mind was a big reason why many ideas in the American culture and media were changing. Throughout the 90's we saw an increase in gay television and media, and up until this point I did not really understand why. Basically as Becker explains it was because of the competition for the quality audience. The network audiences were diminishing so the companies were resorting to niche marketing. This targeted the upscale, 18-49 demographic hard. The reason they thought this specific niche would work is because this demographic, the Slumpy class, wanted to be more hip. They celebrated diversity and the free market while also supporting multiculturalism and political correctness. Increasing the gay material on television was an easy in for this class of people to show their open-mindedness. Thus, the edgy more risky shows became more popular and there was a multiculturalism shift.
Being straight, white, middle-class, or a male was seen to be boring and dull. This is interesting to me because many of the people who were in this Slumpy class fit in these categories, but they wanted to be different. It was no longer how they could fit in, but rather how they could stand out. As a result we saw a big jump in the amount of gay material we saw not only on television and advertising, but in education programs and companies.
Something towards the end of the article, that I wish Becker would have expanded more on was how to the Slumpies it was easier to take on and embrace the gay culture rather than to deal with the issue of racism. With the increase of gay material we saw an increase in the invisibility of black characters on television. I understand that issue is a hard thing to accomplish, but it has been an issue in our country for a much longer time so it was started to analyze why they didn't embrace that.
DQ: Why do you think it was easier to embrace the gay community rather than deal with the issue of racism that has been so prevalent in our country for so long?
Do you think the Slumpies are hypocrites for keeping most of their same ideals, but picking up a few new ones just to be different?

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This page contains a single entry by weis0673 published on November 11, 2012 4:04 PM.

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