December 2011 Archives

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My huge interest and what I would call myself a fan of would be Twilight. This topic is something that I at first was not into. I thought it was stupid and too teeny bopper (as my mom would say). My boyfriends sister finally persuaded me to give it a try. Within two weeks I had all four of the books read. I bought tickets for the midnight showing of the 3rd edition Eclipse. With all of this, I still would not call myself a twihard or feel as if I am a diehard twilight fan. I go shopping and see girls in Edward, Bella, and Jacob t-shirts. I have not decided whether I am team Edward or team Jacob. I think those aspects are what bring out the true and through and through fans. I would consider myself a bandwagon twilight fan who jumped on after everyone else said it was books and movies worth my time.

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i think a great example of convergence is in the halo video games they are a series of teen rated sifi first person shooter games. the games had great success when they where first released and continued to have a strong flowing thought out the next three games. after the second game came out halo 2 they also began to releas books and a comical cartoon called red vs. blue that was a play on how the vs. multiplayer and on line game play was a red teem ageist a blue. the corporations used converging media to create an even larger fan basis by making books and also making cartoons and other parifanila to bring awareness to other fans that may not have originally played the game but in the end because of ether liking the books or cartoon would eventually play. giving the fans the best interactive experience posible. i think they had great success in geting a large and very loyal fan goop and are continuing to further the franchise by making more games and more products for people.

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To me the ultimate convergence culture comes from the wide world of sports. I myself am largely consumed by this culture. You cannot sit in a classroom full of students and not have at least one of them wearing something to do with some sports' team. I personally wear sports-related clothing I would guess around eighty percent of the time (yes i am aware that is sad). The culture has only expanded over time. It used to be represented by simple things such as collecting of baseball cards and such but the market and the fan base has grown at an exponential rate overtime and only seems to be continuing. Now you can purchase pictures, posters, bed quilts, pillow cases, trash cans, chairs, and all sorts of different household items to represent your favorite teams. You see it on the news every now and then where someones entire house will have only things that represent a specific team that they love. The market has cashed in on this trend as most stores contain some type of sports clothing or memorabilia that pertains to some part of their costumer base. Sports fan cover all of the different bases of fans as well. While, there are the casual fans, which in this day and age are becoming the minority as so many people are becoming consumed with the world of sports and turning into the loyal fans. The people who do not miss a game their team plays and live and die with the result. They post on chat rooms, read multiple blogs, and consistently watch ESPN, a channel designed to air anything and everything that pertains to sports. Sports in general is a prime example of convergence culture, and with its ever-growing popularity, I only expect to grow with time.

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I think a great example of convergence culture is the show, Tru Blood. Tru Blood is a popular HBO show that is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris. I myself started out as a fan of the books and then started watching the series, which I like as well. Basically, it is about vampires and humans coexisting. There are other supernatural things featured as well. Tru Blood is not for kids and is rated MA for mature audiences. It has a lot of nudity, sex scenes and other very graphic content. Despite the MA rating, Tru Blood has a huge fan base.
These Trubies, as they are called, are very loyal. I think a great example of corporate convergence strategies are the ways in which Tru Blood is marketed. I believe when they initially aired the show, they already had an established loyal fan base to start from due to the popularity of the books. I think they capitalized on this by offering merchandise and Interactive media for the fans who were excited to get involved with the series in ways you couldn't with the books. For example, they have a Facebook page that offers ways for the fan to interact with the show and each other. They have caption contests as well as a Halloween contest where you send in pictures of yourself or your friends dressing up as Tru Blood characters. Tru Blood is also on Twitter and keeps fans updated about things that are happening or will be happening on the show. There is also a large variety of merchandise available. You can buy T-shirts to the Tru Blood that the vampires drink on the show. There are also blogs available that feature Tru Blood characters blogging while they are in character. I think this creates more of a connection with the characters of the show and I think by building these Interactive social communities, they are creating more of an emotional connection with the show. I think by having access to these different forms of media, the show is creating and maintaining inspirational consumers. Consumers that are so loyal to the brand that they actually drink something that looks like and is supposed to be, blood. These are ways for the consumer to continue the show outside of the hour a week when they get a new episode and expanding the show through social media. These loyal consumers are the ones creating a new community and culture for the show. I think by having a fan base that is so loyal to the show, the merchandise and the characters, the show will be around for a long time.

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I think my enormous interest in sports,particularly soccer, is what I would like to discuss.I am a big fan of Man Chester United Football Club in London,the United Kingdom.I like the sports so much so that I have bought jerseys from the club with the name of one the best players I admired on the jersey as a fan.Although he now plays soccer in Spain,I still admire him.His name is Christiano Rolnaldo.As an inspirational consumer, I encourage other fans of the club who might be disappointed when we are defeated by another club through text messages from my cellphone and on facebook.I sometime give excuses for the club when we lose games whether it's in the English Premier League(EPL),the Carling Cub,or in the European Soccer Champions League(ESCL) that despite everything else,we will have a comeback when we "put on house in order".This fan culture has been extended to my daughter who also watches the soccer games with me.I have no reason why she has become a fan,but all I know is that she's always cheering for Man Chester United in the red jerseys and shouts "the red devils" whenever they are playing whether or not I am in watching the games.

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One huge cult following our society has faced in the last decade that holds a large amount of culture convergence in the Lord of the Rings trilogy films. These films have spawned a whole new culture and branch of business that rely on commodities in order to survive. These films have allowed fans to delve much deeper than just simply watching the films. One can not only just watch these films in the theatre or their home, but they can buy them, buy the soundtracks, buy posters, and even buy clothing and memorabilia of the films likes swords and "the ring".
The commodity of the business is necessary for the films to achieve the status they have attained. Without the commoditization they would not be nearly as successful. The films allow the viewer not only to just watch them, but also to create emotional ties with them. They are made in such a way that causes the viewer to relate to a certain character and then that character is marketed outside the film by use of product selling.
Like many other famous films, the Lord of the Rings series were first books before turned into films. As with many other instances, people start to read the books after the film's release. After the Lord of the Rings was released there were many special editions of the book out in stores for people to buy. This promotion gave people an extra incentive and interest to delve deeper into the Lord of the Rings fan culture. Once things like this start to happen is when the films turn into more than just a form of entertainment; they turn into a business for the film studio and everyone else involved. I think it's kind of depressing these days how many blockbusters form into a business and eventually a whole new culture. It really shows how much media controls us and what we are "supposed" to like and dislike.
In the recent years the Lord of the Rings movies buzz has dies down, but with the filming of The Hobbit, a prequel to the trilogy, I think this will spark a whole new like to the Lord of the Rings culture. It's going to add new fans to the culture which I think will make it even bigger than before.

Immediately I thought of Facebook when trying to come up with an idea for this blog post. Facebook has become a strange alternate reality for millions of people, and is a virtual community that has seeped into almost every aspect of real (tangible) life. This is perpetuated by the convergence of Facebook and other types of media. Media such as Mac advertisements and products, and even further, their applications and synchronization with Facebook. The convergence of these two types of media has in part created new uses for a "cell phone". I don't even feel comfortable calling them that anymore because only half the time they're being used for their original purpose. But that has changed as well- the purpose of the device. I am a total dupe to this- I own an iPhone, I am addicted to Facebook, and I use many of the applications created FOR iPhones to be used on Facebook. For example, I use the app Instagram constantly, updating my "friends" with photos of crap going on in my life that probably isn't even that interesting but hey, I can make the pictures look cool. Therefore my facebook is cool...? Because people "like" my pictures. Oh and Instagram has a "like" option too, which started on Facebook but has bled into every media outlet as a means for fans to express which and what kinds of media they like and dislike (i.e. youtube's thumbs up/down).
Taglines to sell Apple products often relate to "updating" your Facebook or Twitter account from your phone, or tablet, etc. Almost every news, magazine, video website.. or most websites in general now, have an icon or link you can click to embed that website's content on your Facebook page--usually labeled "sharing". Also, instead of creating an account with many websites- if you are logged on facebook, it will allow you to synchronize accounts... this makes using that site simpler and faster but it is extremely beneficial to them because you are giving them complete access to all of your information. The use of Facebook for any other form of media promotion is clutch in reaching target audiences, partly because of this "sharing" option--similar to the idea in the reader piece Buying Into American Idol, gossip fueling convergence... we "share" videos, talk about other media we are consuming, etc. Thus fueling the convergence of these media outlets because it is successful- we have the "incentive to share knowledge" and bring attention to media we enjoy so that others may enjoy it also.

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I have been watching the Oprah Winfrey Show my entire life. Literally, I do not have any idea when I started watching her show. The daycare lady I went to as a young child watched her religiously and I would frequently watch it with her, and my love grew from there. My family still tells stories of me as a four year old who would say things like "You are not my biological sister", using things I learned from Oprah even then. I have been an avid watcher my entire life, written reports on her, buying her 25th anniversary collection, and implementing her advise into my life on a regular basis. I have laughed and cried with her and consider her to be an extremely influential person in my life.There were some summers where my sisters and I would plan our entire day around being home in time for Oprah. I am without a doubt a loyal- long term committed consumer. Oprah has a way of connecting to people because of her humble roots and vibrant personality. Her carreer has been incredible in the creation of "inspirational custormers" , who take anything she has to say or endorses and get behind it. She has promoted thousands of products with her "Oprah's Favorite Things" episodes, book club, and very successful magazine. Oprah has created an empire with an enormous and religious fan following that. She has created a brand community, in that anything she endorses is destined to sell millions. Her book club alone has 2million members, along with countless more viewers who are non-members. Time Magazine says the club It's the greatest force in publishing today, with the power to raise authors from the dead (Leo Tolstoy) or crucify them on the national stage (James Frey). Oprah has unparalleled power of persuasion, she has built an empire of followers and can now use their loyalty as a branding technique to push her own projects as well as help other companies sell their products.

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Many books series are very good examples of fan culture and convergence culture. For example, The inheritance cycle is a popular fantasy book series about dragons, most commonly known for the first book Eragon. The first book was made into a movie, but like most movies made after books, did a poor job of encompassing the magical details that are present in the book, and because of this as well as massive amounts of fan disapproval, there were no more movies made of the other books. Fans certainly play a large part in this series. The series has two official websites, one for information about the author, the books, upcoming tours, videos and games, and the other website is specifically for fans. I am a huge fan of this series and started reading the books when I was in high school. Originally, the inheritance cycle was suppose to be a 3 book series, or the inheritance trilogy, however when the author released the 3rd book, he concluded at the end announcing there would have to be a fourth book. This started uproar by fans wanting to know every possible detail about the fourth book, which is where the convergence culture comes into play. The website designated for fans had multiple forums for members to post their thoughts and ideas about the last book. The site even included a place for fans to blog about how they thought the last book would end. One of the best examples in my opinion of convergence culture is how the website hosted a contest for fans to submit suggestions for the title of the final book, and the winner's would actually be used for the title. Paolini, the author of the series, started writing the first book Eragon when he was 15, and it wasn't published until 2003, the final book was recently published in November of 2011, (which I haven't began reading yet due to school, because once I start reading the 800+ page book, i can pretty much say goodbye to my social life for approximately 4 days). I cant help but wonder if Paolini incorporated fan ideas into his series, because the website literally had hundreds of forums and blog post of different peoples ideas of how the book should end. I wonder this because Paolini spent so much time on the first and second book, it seems almost impossible for him to complete a 3rd and 4th book in the matter of a few years. Either way, the website embodies fan culture, as well as convergence culture, through its vast number of activities for fans, ranging from games to contests to a variety of forums questioning fans appeal to different aspects of the books and what they expect in the future from the author.

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... I feel like such a nerd.

First of all, I apologize because I'm going to say something we somewhat talked about in class because I can go far deeper within it. I'm going to talk about my own experience with fan culture when it comes to Anime/Manga. In the fan culture, a person who is known as Anime fan is known as Otaku (just like how you call Star Trek fans as Trekies). Otakus also have a bad stereotype around them and they're either known as crazy or a creepier (unfortunately). And Anime/Manga has a large range of genre and different types of magazines, publishing companies, and anime companies.
Branding does happen in Anime but it's something you have to find (branding doesn't happen that often from what I've experienced) and America does censor it in fear of getting sued. In Code Geass (which is a super popular anime), one of the characters loves eating pizza. So in the original Japanese version of Code Geass, you can see many Pizza Hut boxes. Pizza Hut did a promotion for Code Geass and they sold a limited time custom Code Geass box along with a code for downloadable wallpaper, and an entry for a contest where the prize is a pizza box and script signed by the creators of Code Geass. If you're a loyal fan of Code Geass (like me) most likely you would become a pizza hut loyal or create a love mark.
Code Geass also has a lot of products along with it such as 4 different series (books) of different character's perspectives, there are plushies, cell phone charms, cosplay, posters, fanart, fancomic (doujinshi), figuring, video games, CDs, contact lens (to match the main character's eyes), etc. I even submit to buying the whole series and a huge poster of Code Geass even though I don't go out to buy dvds that often. I still have a grab of me (unfortunately along with my wallet). In Japan they sold about 900,000 copies of the dvds and one of the best selling dvds in Japan as well.
Code Geass's fanculture is big and filled with emotions. The fans even started a petition on making a 3rd season after the series ended. Because of the petition, the developers of Code Geass decided to make a 3rd season and it is still in process.

Convergence culture and fan culture has really made a big impact on different media texts over the last decade. The idea of having fans control what's on these media texts brings a whole new criteria and resource. As mentioned in Jenkin's article by Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, "emotion is an unlimited resource" (Jenkins, 70).

The media text that I make a connection with this new kind of convergence/fan culture is through radio stations; specifically 96.3 NOW radio station. I listen to 963 NOW a lot because I'm always driving to school or somewhere, and also my CD player in my car is broken. 963 NOW always advertises that it plays all the hit music from today and right NOW. Also, using fan culture, the radio station let's its listeners control what's playing next, what they should do for next events, etc. You could go vote online, text or call in to hear what you want to listen to and they'll play it on the radio. As do many other radio stations, they may have people call in to interact with them on their opinions about certain news or stories. 963 NOW also holds many contests where you have to call in and be the Nth caller to win a prize. There's always those people you hear on the radio that win and says something like, "OMG, I never win anything or I never get through the phone lines!" That which appeals to the listeners' emotions and makes them feel like they could win also; anyone can win.

In regards to affective economics, there are other certain brands that make a connection with 963 NOW. Taco Bell has many ties to 963 NOW; they make many donations towards the 963 NOW food drive and donate money for prizes. Other businesses that you probably could not miss while listening to 963 NOW are the unforgettable jingles such as 1-800-411-PAIN or 1-800-ASK-GARY.

963 NOW creates a brand community that let their fans become actively involved with the 963 NOW brand and its' daily DJ's that hosts the main talk shows. As I've mentioned earlier, there is the voting system that lets people vote for their favorite music. There are also "Golden Life" parties hosted by 963 NOW and Michelob Golden Light beer. These "Golden Life" parties are very spontaneous and happens whenever and where ever. There are also different DJ's that host at different bars/clubs on the weekends. I know that Tone E. Fly hosts at Oak City every Friday. He sits at front of the bar and just kinda makes comments and plays music. He also interacts with the crowd and meet loyal listeners. Another big time to interact with 963 now is at the State Fair. So loyal listeners could be a part of this brand community by attending these parties and could also buy 963 NOW clothes at the State Fair.

963 NOW also hosts community events or hosts events at high schools or promotes concerts. If you go to one of these events you could see 963 NOW ads everywhere. They also ride in a cool 963 NOW truck which has the big logo on it. 963 NOW pushes to be more than just a radio station, but a community and culture in the Twin Cities.

-Submitted by Chua Xiong

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One very good example of convergence/fan culture is the Harry Potter series. I have read all seven of the books by J.K. Rowling multiple times and I've seen all the movies. There is a huge fan culture associated with the series, and I wouldn't call myself a huge fan so I haven't experienced all of it. Just like the romance novel fans in the article by Janice Radway, there are things fans do and do not like about the movie series. The books are golden, so fans get in an uproar whenever the movies change the plot a little and stray away from the books. For example, I was pretty upset with the last fight scene between Harry and Voldemort in the last movie because it was nothing at all like what happened in the book. Apart from the movies and books, there are a lot of other things associated with the series in the fan culture that I take part in. For example, my friends and I always go to the movies together when they come out (we dressed up as movie characters for the last one), we have Harry Potter marathon nights, take online quizzes to see which "house" we would be in, among other things. My personal favorite is the fan-made production "A Very Potter Musical" and the sequel, which are both on YouTube. Also, the U has a Quidditch team that I was in last year, so I guess I am a HP nerd.

I don't take part in all fan culture things, however. For example, there is a lot of Harry-Potter themed "fan fiction" out there that continues Harry's story after Rowling's books. There is also tons of Harry Potter merchandise like t-shirts, wands, brooms, etc. There is even the "World of Harry Potter" theme park in Orlando, Florida that I've never been to but I would love to visit someday! Now that the books are over, some fans just can't let go. For these people, Rowling wrote a companion book based on a scene in The Deathly Hallows called The Tales of Beedle the Bard (I've read it), and made some kind of HP experience website called Pottermore (I have not read it).

Listing all these things makes me think that Harry Potter has arguably one of the biggest and most dedicated fan cultures in America. Also, I didn't realize before just how much of this fan culture I take part in, so I guess I'm more of a Harry Potter nerd than I thought.

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When thinking about convergence culture and fan culture the first thing that comes to mind is the Twilight series. I have read all four of the books in the series and seen all of the movies that have come out so far. It is very evident that twilight has captured a very wide fan base that is incredibly devoted to the series and all of its productions. After reading the article titled Buying into American Idol, I realized that there are many ways in which convergence culture is produced such as affective economics, brand community, and love marks. Love marks occur when product placement is used strategically to create awareness, love and loyalty towards a brand. One of the biggest and most obvious examples of this from the Twilight series is the use and exploitation of Volvo the automobile company. The books and the movies specifically mention that the Cullens, the main vampire family, drives a Volvo. More specifically, Edward Cullen, who is admired by the majority of female viewers, drives a Volvo. This is placed strategically throughout the books and movies to create desire for the vehicles.

Janice Radway's article Women Read the Romance discusses the various reasons that a woman would desire to read romance novels. A lot of women that read romance novels admit that they do so because it creates a sense of fantasy and an escape from their reality. After reading the twilight books and seeing how the fan base reacts to the series and has become obsessed with the fantasy that it creates for them, I see that it is not very different from that of the romance novels. Twilight is a fictional story about a romance between a vampire and a human which is obviously very far from reality. I can attest to the fact that the series tends to allow me to escape reality and experience a fantasy by reading or watching. I think that novels such as Twilight are becoming a substitute, a more modern source of fantasy for young women.

Thank you, smart people!

Culture convergence applied to American Ideal and described by Jenkins made me think of fantasy sports as a culture convergent. Although fantasy sports do not really rely as heavily on love marks and product placement such as American Ideal, there are certain similarities. Fantasy sports allow fans of many different levels of sports to become active viewers of sports by factiously picking real players and having head to head match ups with their friends on a day or weekly basis. Depending on how a fantasy sports team's players perform in the real game points are applied to determine the winner of the head to head match up.

Commodification is present within the fantasy sports culture. Prior to every sport's season that allows for fantasy participation such as football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and racing many sports magazines release special fantasy editions. These special fantasy editions give the editors rankings of players and whom they believe to have the best value for the fan's fantasy team. There is also commodification within what website a fantasy league chooses to use for their league. Yahoo may offer up-to-date news about players that will affect one's fantasy team while ESPN.com will offer live up to the minute fantasy scores for one's smartphone. These sites also intertwine products within their sites that apply to the fantasy sport.

An example of a product tie in is Toyota's "Fantasy Football Hall of Fame" that it promotes with Yahoo Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football team owners are encouraged by the promotion to nominate a person from their league to be in Toyota's "fantasy Football Hall of Fame." This is of course a great example of love marks as Jenkins describes in the article "Buying into American Ideal." Along with Toyota on the Yahoo Fantasy Football page is Bud Light. Bud Light's promotion gives fantasy football team owners the ability to talk "smack" to their opposition for the week with texts that will appear when the opponent goes to check out the match up. It's interesting to note that both of these sponsors are already highly involved with advertising during professional sports broadcasts. They already know who their target audience is and that they are likely to play fantasy sports.

The consumers of fantasy sports as well fit the examples of Jenkins analysis of American Ideal. The aspect of actually having some sort of involvement with sports will determine if someone will play fantasy sports. If, one does not watch or like sports and they do not have friends that enjoy sports then they probably will not participate. However, if there is any kind of involvement with sports passive or aggressive then there is a higher chance that they will participate. The zappers described in Jenkins' article could be perceived in the fantasy sports context of team owners whose involvement is very low. The fantasy sports zappers are really only involved with the league due to the social aspect. The casual fantasy sports fan will update their team regularly and more than the zapper. However, their involvement is to the point where it's really viewed as a "silly" game and really just fun. The loyals of fantasy sports update their teams every day and have a sense of competition with the head to head match ups.

Overall, there is quite similar culture convergence with fantasy sports and America Ideal.

last blog prompt ever :(((((((

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Last blog prompt and peer response of the semester!

This week we will be discussing convergence culture and fan culture through specific media texts (American Idol, romance novels).
In your blog post discuss a specific media text you see as illustrative of convergence or fan culture (could overlap). Use specific terms from the readings to discuss your media text. Your example must be new (not discussed in class) and hopefully something you are involved in//consume//already know about.

For example, I would write about My So Called Life and Jenkins' discussion of 'inspirational consumers' who thought the show could do no wrong and also pushed to keep the show alive (leading to MTV re-airing the series over and over for many many years).

This post could certainly be the beginnings of a section 5 paper, too! Let me know and I will give you extra feedback on your idea!

Make-up blog!

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I posted this as a response. Technology illiterate = me.


I chose Option 2: Media Reform Organization Analysis

2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on

I chose to focus on a media reform organization called About-Face. About-Face is a media reform organization that focuses specifically on the self-esteem in young women. The program helps decipher and decode media texts and uses those to help educate young women on the harmful effects of media. They strive to show young women that they should love themselves for who they are and to not be suckered into thinking that the women portrayed in media are "average". I am pairing About-Face with the show Dr. 90210. I will touch lightly on other reality shows that are similar but my main focus will be on Dr. 90210.


3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)
I chose this text and organization because I have a sister who is the prime age to be influenced by media. It concerns me because I have already witnessed how much media impacts her and her friend's views and thoughts on beauty. Being that she is a 12 year old, looks are immensely important to them. I want young women to embrace themselves and to stop comparing themselves to women in media. It breaks my heart hearing my sister and her friends pick themselves apart and compare themselves to the beautiful 'Selena Gomez'.


4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)

My concern is that I have so many ways I want to take this paper that I can't pick one direction. I have a bulk of information saved on my computer and I would love to use all of it... however that would create for a 20 page paper. I am also concerned that so many other people used the same organization as me (from what I gathered from peer-reviews). Overall, I enjoy writing papers for this class so I am not extremely concerned about a whole lot!

Post DQs for Tuesday here

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Just two more classes to submit DQs!

Blog Makeup

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Sorry this is late. I wasn't expecting to not have internet access in Chicago this weekend.

I'm making up the article we read towards the beginning of the semester; Girls Gone Anti-Feminist by Susan J. Douglas. After reading through her article I decided that her main point she was trying to prove is that women have come a long way in that past 50 years as far as what is feminist and we don't need to fight as hard because we have already achieved so much. There is still progress to make because women need to now focus on the problem of sexism. Douglas gives many examples in the article of how women we still in the same stereotypical jobs they've been in for decades; teacher, secretary, nurse. It's interesting because Douglas states how women think they are about as equal as men are even though there are barely any women CEO's and women make 75 cents to a man's dollar. She offers many examples from television such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena Princess Warrior. She talks about how these women are put on television to give women an example of a powerful woman. I think the problem with this is these women are not real; they are fantasy figures. If women want other women to look up to on television then they need to be real. The real women that are shown on television are usually always in competition with each other. Such shows as America's Next Top Model and The Bachelor illustrate women in a competition mostly based on looks. This can teach women that the only way to surpass others in success is based on physical looks. Overall I was kind of confused of which side Douglas was on. One paragraph she would be talking about how women do not need to fight for equality anymore and then the next she would mention something about how women need to fight sexism. This could be intentional to keep the reader thinking and let them construct their own point of view about this topic. All together I think she had some really great arguments.

blog respons 12/03

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I used to watch mostly hegemonic TV and other TV and media, but after I got ride of cable tv now most of what I watch I would say is counterhegemonic, although I would still say it is just to heard to not consume a majority of hegemonic media because of billboards and other media that we can try to ignore but truly we are advertised to and see media wherever we go and most of the media we encounter like that is hegemonic unless we go to smaller privately owned stores that have counter hegemonic media. Hegemonic media is like the war propaganda and other types of media that go along with the social values of the ruling class like in magazines and fashion shows, it is the ruling class that can afford the merchandise and can have medical procedures to look as the models do and also how they want to look. Counter hegemonic media is used in the opposite as a rebellious media toward the ruling class and has the values of the working class in them. In the media I consume most of the ideals are try to find a worth to your life and how can the society benefit from it, at least in my TV I watch, in other media I consume it is consumerism how we need different products to help us feel better about our selves like in makeup adds and on the cover of many magazines I see it is how to loose weight or how to have better sex but non of it is really about how we can be content with what we have or how we can help people that have a little more pressing needs.

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Please answer the following questions:
Do you tend to consume more hegemonic or counterhegemonic media? In what ways do you use media in hegemonic and counterhegemonic ways? What ideologies do you see being perpetuated in the media you consume? Give examples for all your answers (at least one per answer).

I think that I tend to consume more counterhegemonic media than hegemonic. After considering some of my favorite shows I may consume a bit of both. For example, one of my favorite shows to watch is Sex and the City which shows four independent women living in New York City in the search of "labels and love". They do not portray the stereotypical woman that needs a man by her side to be happy and successful. The episodes also have hegemonic content as well though, such as how the lady characters are very interested in shopping and fashion as well as dating men like crazy.

Another one of my favorite shows is actually Jersey Shore. This is very hegemonic in the way that the guys have ripped muscles and the girls are very ditzy, dramatic, and emotional. Another one of my favorite shows is The O.C. which I believe to be quite hegemonic because it features a cast of high schoolers that are growing up in Southern California. These kids are part of rich families and fit the typical mold of rich kids by having ellaborate, amazing houses and lives that are filled with huge, fancy parties and nice things.

One media example that I consume that I believe to be quite counter hegemonic is the music I listen to. Lull points out that rap and rock music are examples of counterhegemonic media. They defy society's norms by pushing the limits in what they sing about. I listen to a lot of rap and hip-hop that features obscene ideas such as Rihanna's song "Man Down" which talks about how she shot and killed a man because he sexually violated her. I also listen to country music which is the opposite and talks about nothing but hegemonic ideas. Almost all country music talks about stereotypical ideas such as Brad Paisley's song "Im still a guy". He talks about all the stereotypical ways in which men define themselves as men.

So, after that analysis I see that I tend to consume both hegemonic and counter hegemonic media.

Blog Prompt- Sports

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My experience with sports has always been extremely positive. My Dad and his siblings were big into sports when they were in high school, so it is only natural that they would expose my cousins and I into this craziness. When I was younger it was important for me to be involved with a team and have that relationship with my peers. However, I started to have problems with my ankle which required me to have many surgeries. It took me out of sports until about 6th grade by that time it was hard for me to truly be competitive because my ankle was so weak. I was unable to try out for sports in high school because I knew others were so much more advanced than me and with my ankle not being as strong as it should have been, it was pointless. I played in a lot of reck leagues, which I absolutely loved.

Not only was I involved with sports but I also went to many professional and college games. I enjoy the atmosphere and the competitiveness. There are a lot of issues in the world today and to be able to go to those games and be around people who are there to have the same fun as me, is awesome.

Now that I am a Mom I get to experience watching my son grow into a little athlete. There is something magical for me to be able to watch him go from not knowing anything about T-ball or soccer, to making his first hit or goal. I get to see him build self-confidence and truly be proud of himself.

1. What option you chose
I chose Option 2: Media organization analysis.

2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on

I chose to focus on a media reform organization called About-Face. It is a self-esteem program that educates women to learn to think for themselves through decoding harmful media. About-Face helps women learn to love their bodies for what they are, and not want to change them because of the skewed media they take in every single day. The site itself is incredibly easy to explore and I found out that they offer amazing workshops. The thing I loved most about the workshops that they offer is that they are for women ages 13 to 30. That is an incredibly large task with such a large age gap. They are interactive and positive, leaving people empowered.

3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)
I chose this option because helping women with self-esteem issues has always been a dream of mine. I someday hope to open a confidence camp for teens and when I read about this organization, I was immediately drawn in. Growing up, my sister did not have the greatest confidence. She was constantly comparing herself to what she saw from the media and always tried to change herself to match that. It breaks my heart to think that she believes she's not beautiful the way she is. Not all people realize what damaging effects can come from the media. I wish I had known about this media reform organization sooner so I could have shown it to her. It really would have changed her middle school and high school years for the better. As tacky as this sounds, I just really care about people a lot and to see someone not happy with their image is saddening. I know most people have things they want to work on, but it should never make someone as low as it does. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, no matter the size or shape; I love that the About-Face organization pushes this.


4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)

My concerns that I have for my paper vary. Application wise, I struggled with taking pieces of text. I had no problem writing about the organization, but when it came to citing pieces from articles, I didn't know which way to go. I hope I did not miss the point of the assignment as well. I believe I understand what is expected of me, but I am very glad that this is just a draft and that I can make it better in any way possible.

For the final paper I chose option two. I am attempting to display the differences between the mass medias advertising for Black Friday in opposition to Adbusters Buy Nothing Day (BND) and how BND is the better model of reform against the conspicuous consumption that takes place on Black Friday. I chose this idea because of a long lasting bitter feeling that I have always had surrounding Black Friday. The ploys that companies use every year to get people to buy a ton of shit they don't really need has always aggravated me. I shop for the holidays just like a lot of other people, but I go shopping for a specific item. I feel like retailers know this, but attempt (and I would say unfortunately succeed with our society) to get people to come in for that specific item they need, plus, because of crazy deals, get them to leave with hundreds of dollars worth of other crap along with it. I also work for a horrible grocer (Lunds & Byerlys) and the one I work at happens to be a quarter of a mile away from a Target. On November 25th, at 11:00pm, I punched out, walked out to the parking lot and noticed that the line to get into target spanned the entire quarter mile distance from one end of the mall to the other! That ONE Target (out of 1,750) made astronomical amounts of money that night from what I would consider slightly naive people (sorry if anyone reading this waited in line that night).
I am however slightly struggling with making my argument more concrete. Im finding it difficult to support how Adbusters and BND's message is working as the better representation of Black Friday in a more factual and tangible manner than just spitting out my personal bitter attitude and options.

Growing up I was always playing sports. I played soccer in high school, gymnastics and basketball in elementary school, and I also played baseball until I was 11. I ran cross -country and track in middle school/ early high school. I always wanted to be a dancer because it always seemed fun, however I never started taking dance classes or trying out because it seemed like the dancers were always popular and pretty. When I first starting playing tee-ball when I was maybe 4 or 5(?) the teams were always a mix of boys and girls. I don't know at what age, but there comes a time when the girls start to play softball and the boys continue to play baseball. I continued to play baseball with the boys until I was 11 years old. It was always funny because people would ask why I wanted to play with the boys and not the girls, but I never really saw it that way. I just liked the game, and I was the fastest on my team so I liked being good at something I guess. Another way my experience has been impacted by media representations has to do with gender again, although this is not a personal experience- In high school, our school's football team had a female kicker. I always remember people talking about the female kicker trying to prove a point by playing with the boys, because people questioned whether she was good enough. I have seen other stories like this in the news, where a usually male dominated sport includes a female athlete as well. This is a brings up the question of gender in sports, and whether or not we should keep the stereotypical boys' sports separate from the girls' sports or if if we should mix both genders in sports. I think because of the physicality in a sport such as football, women's bodies generally are not made to withstand being tackled by a 250- pound player. I really don't know that much about football, but these are some ideas that can be influenced by media representations. In gymnastics, I remember always wanted the newest leotards. I feel like it was always an unspoken competition of who had the best leotard and had nothing to do with the person's talent. My neighbor, my good friend growing up, was also in gymnastics but he was made fun of for being a gymnast, even though he was really good and won a lot of competitions. People said it was girly when it actually took a lot of practice and training, and boys competitions had a lot to do with strength (a sign of masculinity as we discussed during this section). These are some of my experiences, or of people that I knew, related to sports. I have always enjoyed watching sports and actually became a huge basketball fan once I attended the University of Kansas (basketball is a HUGE deal there). I like the fan culture and cheering on your team. In recent class discussions, I can definitely notice more now the influence of branding and advertising when it comes to sports, selling tickets, merchandise, etc and see how it can become a part of political economy and all about making money.

Prompt Redo
For this week, I want you to explain what you are writing about for your final paper.
Some things to touch on:
1. What option you chose
I chose the section option. In picking the counter hegemonic media that essentially offers a light in the media we see every day.

2. What specific texts and/or organization you are focusing on
I will be focusing on rap music specifically looking at Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco. I will be looking at their rap through a political economy look, a look at their social standing, and a look at their lyrics. I think overall I will have the arching concept of what makes a good rapper? The answer will still be left unclear sense it is a subjective topic, but I will do my best to make objective.

3. Why you chose your texts, etc. (personal interest, interest from class, etc.)
There is a lot of talk about rap music being so bad but the good in rap music is often over looked. Also rap music always gets a bad rap (I'm so punny), but honestly when people think of rap music they often judge only by the shit on the radio and that only graces the surface. Also I am picking this because I absolutely love Kanye West, and I have yet to write about him.

4. What questions and concerns you have for the final paper (struggling with theory, application, confidence in your text choices, etc.)
One of my major problems is keeping it in the line of option two. Finding the answer to what makes a good rapper isn't exactly the same as finding counter hegemonic media. Also I want to have good support with our class reading which I am having a little trouble trying to define.

5. Anything else you want to add!
After a little research for my paper didn't realize how much money these people make. Poor Lupe Fiasco only makes 8 million year, he has got it rough.

In Susan J. Douglas's article "Girls Gone Anti-Feminist" she argues that the media is falsely representing women as in power and equal to men in both social, economic and political aspects. Douglas supports her argument with evidence from a variety of television shows and movies, and their depiction of female characters. From the representation of female characters in the media as in power, and a lot of times more influential than male characters, women now believe that they can take back their sexuality. Douglas uses the term enlightened sexism to represent her argument, stating that it is "the response, deliberate or not, to the perceived threat of a new gender regime". Because American society now holds equal standards for women and men, we can now bring back stereotypes of women and girls as ultra-feminine beings because feminism has taken us so far, argues Douglas.

Not only that, but Douglas also points out in her article that women are ultimately making the decision to hyper sexualize themselves because feminism is now perceived as a bad thing. Feminism is now represented in society as old, and something that we have obviously overcome, as shown in many media texts. Douglas says that because women "have it all" they should now spend their time "being hot, pleasing men, competing with other women, and shopping". After reading this article, I feel this is very representative of how the media advertises to women. Douglas uses countless examples in her article of female characters in power, such as Elle Woods in Legally blonde, who is suppose to represent female power. The problem with her status however, is that it is contradicted through her achievement in law school through feminine knowledge, that of knowing the consequences of showering after a perm. Thinking about Douglas's argument in relation to many other media texts that represent female power, yet advertise countless products to enhance beauty.

Another point Douglas makes is how the represenation of women has changed peoples views on feminism. Because women have come so far, it is now bad thing to be feminist, who are now stereotyped as "man-hating, child-loathing, hairy, shrill, humorless and deliberately unattractive lesbians", which thus "prohibits women from having any fun". The author makes a very strong argument, and I think could very effectively incorporate the video who run the world (girls) by Beyonce because of the message it portrays. The music video encompasses all aspects of Douglas's argument, the message that is trying to be sent is that women are in charge and essentially "run the world", yet the dance moves, setting and wardrobe choices completely sexualize women.

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