Butcsh, Bettie - Week 6

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I found the class discussions and screening especially useful in understanding readings from Bettie and Butcsh this week. The concepts of intersectionality, essentialism, and ideological hegemony are the big take-away points for me. I find that I encounter essentialist and ideologically hegemonic points of view in many facets of life, be it personal, academic, or professional. While we are in a time where we are expected to have a broad and global perspective, and work in integrated, interdisciplinary fields there are still some heavy unspoken norms present - no matter where you look, and not just in the media.

Although how these concepts can be applied to media literacy can be crucial because we must consider that any media text has the potential to reach a very large population, especially network television. Television shows like Roseanne are not intended for only working class or middle and upper class audiences. Because they are designed to appeal to a broad audience base these shows have an even greater potential to reinforce problematic views in the class structure. I think it is here that the concept of intersectionality is useful in understanding how the images of race, class, and gender can be perceived by diverse audiences.

A white, male working class individual is likely to have a different reading of the show than a black, male, working class individual, and so on. While I do agree with Bettie that Roseanne breaks from the established trope of the working class family in television to extent, I still feel the program is problematic because it relies on negative portrayals of race, class, and gender demographics that are experienced by many. Whether we are laughing at ourselves, or laughing at others.

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I agree with you in your last section. I thought it was interesting how we showed Rosanne as an example of a breakthrough, but it was obviously not the exact representation of a middle class family. There were still many things that put down that class of America. I thought our discussion about the "white trash" term was interesting, because I really had never looked that deeply into the term. I've never really taken the time to understand the racial meanings behind it. Middle class families who watch this may be offended, or just laugh at themselves. Neither are good. Lower class families would be offended because they don't even get to have half of the things that Rosanne's family has, and the upper class just laugh because it's funny.

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This page contains a single entry by John published on February 28, 2013 12:37 PM.

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