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February 24, 2007

Society and Media

The readings on Media illustrated the various facts about how gender, classes, races and sexuality come into picture in the daily media and how they portray the lives of people at mass.

Most of the sitcoms discussed in the readings from early 1950s to 2000s now have been seen as being aimed at gender as well as class. Since the media is highly driven by the responce of people whom it is aimed at, depiction of an entertainment series could likely represent a contrast of the normally accepted image of a household or on the other hand, an exaggerated portrayal of a commonly occurring incident. When considering sitcoms based on classes, I felt, it was to some extent normal to depict the gender bias as an extreme case of daily life for the purpose of entertainment. The fact that both men and women had been in the role of a bufoon over the years seems to display the trends of television watching, and the targeted audience.

I think we do need to consider the fact that during the early years of television, it was mainly aimed at the higher income group who could afford to buy the television. Entertainment has been known to come through misconducts and mistakes that are made by someone. However, in order to be enjoyable by a big group of audience, the mistakes had to be made by a group that was not necessarily a part of the audience. This is what I feel to be the reasoning behind the initial class based sitcoms. However, the fact that there have been a few exeptions to the mainstream style of entertainment, should not be overlooked.

Ore has mentioned the fact that the higher class does not get made fun of often. I agree with the fact when it comes to television media. However some of the major leaders and upper class have always been victims of formal comics and newpaper articles as entertainments. Even though television has been a major source of reflection of the contemporary styles of entertainment, I believe some of the other media sources should also be considered. I have been a big fan of Dilbert ever since I first saw the comic strip, and even though it might seem ironic, but the depiction of blunders in upper management in a firm do stand true in many cases.

In spite of the claims and articles on the inability of media to depict a better equality in terms of races, classes, genders and sexuality, it seems impossible to change the mindset of the majority of the people behind the business. Even though there are improvements, they are too gradual to be palpable.

1.) Does media truely depict the request of a generic audience, or has media ended up being aimed at only a few?

2.) Do you think the current onslaught of reality shows seem to be making any progress in terms of how people view the society, different classes, races, gender and sex inclinations?

January 14, 2007

Sample Reading Reaction and Discussion Questions

The articles for today had two seemingly different views of how social inequality is generated. Ore believes that race, class, gender, and sexuality are all separate, but related, socially constructed locations. She argues that various institutions, including family, education, the economy, the state, and the media all play important and distinct roles in created social inequality. Grusky, on the other hand, seems to argue that social inequality is primarily generated through systems of social stratification (or hierarchy) via the economy that place people into a distinct class positions. Race and gender (he doesn’t talk about sexuality in the article) are given an almost secondary status in which they are ascribed characteristics that are strongly related to ones ultimate position in the class position.

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