October 2012 Archives

Sexism in the Media

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In class watching the video on how the media is unfair towards women in politics i found it ridiculous hearing some of the comments that people had to say knowing that they were on t.v. I could not believe that people would say that stuff when they knew they were going to be broadcast nationwide. Howver this is a really tough issue to deal with because i feel like the more people analyze some of these things the more those stereotypes can be perpetuated. It is hard to draw the line between necessary analysis and overdoing it. For example the picture that they showed of Sarah Palins legs and two of her supporters in the crowd looking at her. They drew huge sexist implications from this picture, which i do not disagree with but before seeing this analyzation i would nave have even thought twice about this. So the tough question remains, what steps need to be taken for maore political equality? What exactly needs to be done for this to happen? These are questions that i certainly dont have answers for and but i thin really need to be looked at in society.

Blog #8

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Today, the notion of postfeminism has become one of the debated topics in the lexicon of feminist cultural analysis. Postfeminism is best understood as a distinctive sensibility, made up of a number of interrelated themes. Rosalind Gil, who is the co-editor of The Gender Technology Relation, specified these interrelated themes in to eight categories. These include the notion that feminity is a bodily property; the shift from objectification to subjectification; an emphasis upon self-surveillance, monitoring and self-discipline; a focus on individualism, choice and empowerment; the dominance of a makeover paradigm and a resurgence of ideas about natural sexual difference. These days, postfeminism is used as a transformation of feminism and media culture over time. While I read her article, I awarded differences between feminism and post-feminism. Post feminism do not want women only focus on their feminine. However they just want get liberation from the androcentric world. and equal treatment.

blog post on "the gaze"

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I thought our discussion on "the gaze" was very interesting. Movies and television have used it countless times for years in order to paint a picture of how to visualize the subject in a scene. I think you can see it over and over in Rocky. They constantly show him in shirts that are muscle bearing and he's constantly working out and showing an extreme amount of masculinity. And unfortunately we see this with women in media too. This can be seen in "Jersey Shore" countless times, where the women in the show are often seen as ditzy objects for men. There are many scenes of snooki where she is reliant on having a male, whether its for a night or for a week. Together the girls are often seen getting ready for the night, showing that this is important in today's society, that women need to spend hours to attract males. More often than not, both sexes are portrayed in a way to further the stereotypes we have set in our society.

Please post your comments to Douglas and Levine below. Use the following questions to guide your reading.
1. What, for Douglas, is "Enlightened sexism"?
2. What are some examples of this phenomenon of "enlightened sexism"?
3. What do you think are the consequences of it?

4. How does Levine characterize postfeminism?
5. How does Buffy the Vampire Slayer participate in the discourses of postfeminism and in the shaping and reshaping of feminism and femininity at present? How does her discussion of Third Wave feminism fit into this? What about anti-feminism?
6. What, for Levine, can Buffy tell us about the meanings of feminism and femininity at present? What does Levine think about this? What do you think about this?
7. Do you see these discourses operating in other shows?

Transgender Look

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I had no idea about what this about before I read this article, but then I started to get interest in reading this article more and more when it brought up the transgender look in the movie, 'Boys Don't Cry.' I haven't seen this movie before, but after reading this article, it forced me to watch 'Boys Don't Cry.' This movie is about Brandon Teena, a transgendered teen who preferred life in a male identity until it was discovered he was born biologically female. After watched this movie, I realized that I was into this movie and made me to think of myself that how I view it now after this article. In the movie, the director showed Teena as a very masculine character to represent of the male gaze to the audiences. However, somehow, at the end of the movie, he changed it to feminine look, which made people to change the view of the entire character... from masculine, strong to feminine. I think the director of this movie aimed to change the audiences' view of transgender like Teena in this movie, because the transgender characters were not portrayed in the movie recently and the transgender issues could be very sensitive to some particular group, so the director tried to keep medium the view of transgender.. I believe the reason why we should understand both transgender gaze and male gaze is to realize that the way we are shown messages in media could affect the way we interact with people and view them.

Boys Don't Cry

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After the presentation about the transgender gaze I wanted to find out more about the movie Boys Don't Cry. I saw the movie a long time ago, and I guess I didn't really have that transgender gaze. I knew Hilary Swank was playing a boy so it didn't shock me when the moment came out she was a boy.The movie is based upon true events and the murder of the transgender male is depicted in the movie. I feel like the movie does depict stereotypes from the media and people. When the murder happened, most people probably couldn't handle something like transgender. They were confused and scared of something different from what they know. Fear in people creates anger and that lead to the senseless killing and rape. This is such a hard issue and people need to better understand things like gay, lesbian, and transgender. Today I think people are more aware of these issues in society. I think like a lot of things, time is an important factor when dealing with something new. Back thirty years ago, people just pushed new issues under the rug and today people are more secular with new things. That's why I think when it comes to social issues, today's people will make vast improvements with issues like gay, race, and transgender. This country will allow all types of people to exist and have the ability to grow and prosper.

Please post your discussion questions to Rosalind Gill's "Postfeminist Media Culture" and Rebecca Brasfield's "Rereading Sex and the City" here and using the following questions as a guide:

1. What, according to Rosalind Gill, are the characteristics of postfeminism?

2. What are some media examples in which you see these themes operating?

3. What, in your view, are the consequences of the way these themes appear in media today? Do you feel that you experience their consequences? How so?

4. What does Brasfield mean by "hegemonic feminist narratives"?

5. What are some examples of such narratives at work in Sex and the City?

6. What are some other examples of media in which you see these narratives operating?

7. What, in your opinion, are the consequences of the operation of these narratives in media today? Do you feel that you experience their consequences? How so?

Blog Post 10/25

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This week we had an interesting discussion about "the gaze." This at first was somewhat confusing to me but as we began to discuss it in class it became a lot clearer to me. The "gaze" is a technique that is seen very commonly in movies and television. The use of gaze is used often times to objectify a man or woman. In class we talked about it more specifically to women being seen as the victim or objects but really I think it can go both ways. There are a couple examples that I can think of were both are relevant. If you have ever seen the show Couples Therapy then you are fully aware of Courtney Stodden, the 17 year old who is married to a 52- year old man. The cameras always catch her in ways that objectify her but a part from that she represents herself in a way that longs for that sexual attention. She sells herself to that image. An example where men are the ones being objectified would be the most recent movie I watched, The Lucky One. In this movie Zac Efron is often shown in a way that highlights his strength buy highlighting muscle definition using camera or lighting. I believe the concept of "the gaze" is not just for women but both male and female.

The Gaze

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The concept of the 'gaze' came into play this week and presented a very interesting concept that I had noticed but never really thought of before. Sexual attraction clearly plays a significant role in the storytelling of many movies, and the gaze is one tactic that is implemented by movie studios in order to establish the notion of sexual prowess to a demographic that may or may not be sexually attracted to an individual on their own. From a cultural aspect, we decided that the gaze as examined in class set the stage for men being put in a position of power and objectifying women. While this is an understandable conclusion, I think we should also take into account the message that the gaze is trying to convey within a media itself. At least one of the movie clips we watched in class used the gaze to establish the woman being checked out as the one in a position of power. She was clearly being examined for her sexual attractiveness, but she was using it to her own advantage, improving the likelihood of her getting what it is she wants. If we are discussing a 'position of power' perspective on the use of the gaze, there is clearly some back and forth going on. The gaze has also been used to view men as sexual objects in films as well. Certain camera and lighting techniques are used to establish the male as object of sexual attraction, which can be seen in virtually every romantic comedy of all time, any movie Ryan Gosling is in, and music videos by Nicki Minaj.

Blog Post, Week 8

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This week I would like to focus on the importance of "the gaze" by discussing its ability to assert power of not only the victim of the gaze, but also with those considered to be intra-sexual rivals. As we previously discussed, it often becomes quite evident to movie viewers that women are commonly objectified and fragmented by men, which serves to create a power hierarchy that seats men directly at top. In some cases, we have shows like Sex and the City that feature a powerful woman who objectifies and fragments men. This role reversal is facilitated by the hyper-sexual Samantha, who refuses to belong in an established relationship and goes after younger, more desirable men. In both cases of objectification and fragmentation, the gazer or the person responsible for viewing the other sex from a power stance is also asserting a sense of dominance over intra-sexual rivals. In this sense, their dominance helps them to appear as though they are above the law and can take whatever resources they desire, which as a result deters other potential mates from sweeping in and stealing something they feel is rightfully theirs. Does anyone else feel that objectification and fragmentation in this sense fosters an assertion that the gazer is powerful against the object of their gaze as well as others who may be interested in gazing? If yes, can you think of any media examples that show this occurrence?

Blog 10/25

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When I chose Monday for my day to present I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had to read through the article several times, and also Mulvey's reading to get a good grasp on it. The concept of the gaze is super interesting to me. I like that I chose a topic that had a lot to do with cinema. It was also a very new topic to me so reading up on the subject and also the author Judith (Jack) Halberstam. I also watched a lot of both Boys Don't Cry and The Crying Game. Very eye opening. The concept of the gaze was previously brought up in a course Media Production, the one mentioned in class. I also agreed with the idea of angles in filming. The woman standing up had the power in the dialogue, having the camera literally look down upon the giddy man. After reading up on Judith/Jack it was clear how her views of the gaze differed from Mulvey's.

Blog Post #7

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Mulvey's analysis about film helps me to understand movie and its angle of the camera shot more. Mulvey's concept tells that movie provide people pleasure and this pleasure is one of the provided by movies is voyeurism. Sigmund FREU who is, the founder of modern psychology claim voyeurism is the pleasure of human beings to gaze other. He also insist this pleasure is one of the element which consist of sexual desire. I think this claim is very interesting. Actually, when I watching the movie the angle of gaze is not angle that I see in real, but it is more close to the angle when people gaze to object. Even though I love watch movie, I never think about that. In her statement, one important point is the object showed is female being gazed and the male gaze them. In film, when male person disappears out of the screen, the scene is most extreme erotic scene. In short, when only women in the camera shot is most tension. For this reason, many movies insert the shot like voyeuristically view for increasing men's interest.
I don't know this psychological production skill is good or not. In capitalism, all tools looks like able to use for money even though it is hot stuff, stimulate the peripheral nerves.

Blog 10/25

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This blog is related to my discussion question about sex and the city. The show talks about different topics that other shows see as "taboo". Many shows now on television are starting to include characters that express a type of lifestyle that is not normally on television. The show sex and the city however includes more then one life style like this. I found it very bold to include these lifestyles. I was also impressed with the way the show was described as handling these characters, I have not watched the show but the episodes explained in the readings showed the characters to be open to the different characters. Many shows that I have seen with character that don't live the "typical" life style are either treated as and outcast or, do not last long on the show. I have never thought about the different ways that characters interact with others of different lifestyle, the shows I watch do not normally include many different lifestyles. While this is a step in a good direction to acceptance for everyone, I feel it also can be bad if the shows are showing and emphasis on one type of lifestyle as ok over others. The ways the shows handle the lifestyles can be a big impact on how people that actually live that lifestyle are looked at by people that watch the show.

Blog, Oct 25

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There were a lot interesting themes we talked about in class this week but the image that stayed in my head the most was gaze. It is interesting thinking about it because I never thought of that since I never thought of myself doing that. But once it gets pointed out, it is easy to see.

For example, one of the key messages was that men look, women are looked at. And when I take some time to think about it, there are a lot of movies that have women characters, even key women characters, but there is something about them that often times makes them seem not as powerful or important, even as main characters. And it all comes down to gaze. Since a lot of women get hyper-sexualized, they become more of an object than a character (in my opinion). Looking at the women inherently takes away their power.

The question here is, how can we combat this? And how is it that women have become the object of the gaze? I know in class a couple of options were given as to how the roles have been reversed in some cases. But it still doesn't change that overall, it is kind of a negative thing for women to be considered as being looked at while men do looking.

Blog 10/25

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Reading "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" was interesting topic for movie fun. Especially, if people just saw a movie simply. When I felt I was fascinated by a romance movie scene, I thought I was just simply fascinated by movie scenes visually, such like appearances of face, body parts, and sometimes internal characters. However, Mulvey defines that as film is reinforced existing patterns of fascination. Spectators see actresses as actors gazing them through camera. According to her, Male is fascinated to see women into their body parts by this processing. I thought that is like an essay reading. When people read essay, good novels are valued how those made readers could read the books through the characters' view. But this point is women are seen as objectively.
One good example I noticed from this article is famous erotic scene from "Basic Instinct." In the movie, Sharon Stone acts mysterious novelist who is suspect of homicide case crosses her legs and return. The scene became pretty famous, and many comedy shows imitated the scene as joke. This is exact evidence that mass media use technique of objectifying women. However, I also think this is one efficient technique to make people persuade easier with prescribed patterns. This is why the "Basic Instinct" scene became really famous, and widely spread out. I cannot decide the opinion about whether this case is morally wrong or not, but I want to be aware of the technique in films for judging. Because. It can cause strict limiting freedom expression also.

Jingyan Jiang-Blog Seven

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Mulvey's idea about male gaze and female being gazed at are quite interesting, and it reminds me the concept that males are to act and females are being commented upon.

But why females' bodies are being targeted in Hollywood films in 40's and 50's? I feel the main reason is the targeted audiences at that time are thought to be male-oriented. Male audiences, who go to theaters after work, even by themselves or with their partners, were looking forward to see something interesting and attractive, which cannot be seen at any other time in public. This is what Mulvey meant by Voyeurism, a psychoanalytic term that means a secret kind of looking that produces illicit pleasure and has sadistic implications. Cinema's setting allows voyeurism because the extreme darkness in the cinema and the contrast with the bright screen. Audiences, especially male audiences, feel save to look at fragmented female bodies in the cinema without being notice by other people that they are focusing on part of female bodies.

Mulvey's idea can still be used in today's cinema settings and advanced technologies. First of all, today's cinema still has the dramatic contrast between dark cinema and bright screen. The second reason is that the advanced technology, such as 3D, give more convenience to audiences to have a secret look and the view is way more vivid, direct and appealing.

Point of View in Film

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A common and useful technique in filmmaking is the point of view shot. The clip we watched in class of from Some Like it Hot, showed Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon's point of view as they were looking at Marilyn Monroe. They were definitely objectifying her and the director, Billy Wilder, effectively communicated that. I thought it was an interesting that we as an audience were kind of forced to do it as well. Since, in order to effectively communicate that the men in the scene were "checking her out", camera framed what specifically they were looking at.

We see this technique in many other films and I was especially happy to see that Mulvey brought up Alfred Hitchcock films in Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. The point of view technique was the cornerstone of Hitchcock's filmmaking process. Dubbed "Master of Suspense", Hitchcock used point of view shots to effectively place the audience members in the position of a man or woman in the scene. Rear Window (1954), relies heavily on this technique because the main character is in a wheelchair and has nothing to do except look out the window at his neighbors. One of his neighbors is a ballerina and spends most mornings dancing in her apartment in her undergarments. Although Hitchcock never frames a particular part of her body (he keeps the camera at a distance to continually remind the audience that the main character is a substantial distance from the people he watches), it is clear to the audience how he is looking at her.

Some Like it Hot and Rear Window are similar in that they both have male main characters so naturally most of the shots are from a male point of view; the difference is definitely the amount of objectification of women in the films. It could be argued that the point of Some Like it Hot is to study what women deal with when they interact with men, and what better way than to put a couple of men literally and figuratively in a woman's shoes. Although I think it was probably Billy Wilder's intention, in order to cater to his male audience, to focus much of his shots around Marilyn Monroe's body, which was in bad taste in my opinion.

Media Gaze

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I found the topic of media gaze very interesting, it was a topic that i was not familiar with but is definitely something that did exist especially in older movies. When we watched the clip and i was looking for the gaze it was pretty clear that it was there. I thought it was very interesting how clear the gaze was and who was in a position of power. As i was thinking about gaze i thought that perhaps one reason why i did not notice gaze before is because the gaze is usually from a white male perspective and that is the perspective that i see things from. One thing i also thought of was that the direction of the gaze is most likely going to be from the perspective of the main character which in older movies in usually a white male. I think that the gaze could, but does not necessarily change if the main character is someone other than a white male. Media gaze is very interesting and i will look for it in the future now because i think that it is a very important and i didnt really ever notice it before.

A few sides of the Male Gaze

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After reading and discussing our articles that dealt with gaze, I wanted to devote my blog post to the value of the male gaze component and what impact it has on a film's intensions--by intensions, I mean of what the men want from the women. I want to start with how the male gaze looks at how men tend to objectify women on screen. This isn't always the case, but often times the cameras and cinematography seem to accommodate to the male perspective in a sexual way. This was evident in the clip we watched in class from Some Like it Hot. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis were staring at Marilyn Monroe's legs when she was about to board the train. Granted they were dressed as women at the time, so perhaps the gaze could be interpreted as a form of comparing their legs to hers, but to most it just looked like the men were getting their fix on a nice set of legs. In my opinion, the male gaze takes on a position of power, sometimes an intense one at that. What example comes to mind right away is the scene from Kill Bill when Bill is talking to Uma Thurman about superheroes; he basically corners Thurman with his words and his gazes--like a predator. Uma is sitting on the couch and Bill is always depicted from a higher, superior ground looking down on Thurman. Mulvey's description of the male gaze appears to favor one side, the men; it always seems like men get what they want out of a woman. The tension that rises fuels the excitement of the scene. A successful film will allow you to insert yourself right in the center of the dialogue, regardless if you are the guy or the girl. The gaze allows the viewer to engage with the protagonist or antagonist and understand the message being communicated--you become the character.

Discussion Question

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I found it very interesting that the crying game came up because that is a movie that i have seen before. I thought it was very interesting because the movie i think made the viewer take the side if Dil, the transgender person in the film. It seemed as though it was a different gaze than in some of the other movie examples. Did it seem as if she was sympathized with more than transgender characters in other movies we saw?

Transgender

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I was really intrigued by the ideas of the "transgender gaze." I have personally seen Boys Don't Cry and this gives me a better insight to the idea of transgender gaze. Throughout the whole move Hilary Swank is a guy that is actually a girl and she ends up falling in love with another women. I think the transgender gaze is less in this movie because I knew the premise and the fact that Hilary Swank was playing a boy. My question would be, Do you think Hollywood/media is at fault for creating negative stereotypes towards transgender people. In both the movies, being transgender is a problem and is this the media's fault?

Sex and the City

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I personally have never had and interest in watching ex and the City, I was not interested in that type of show. If I had known how many different types of characters are brought into the show maybe I would have paid more attention. I find it very interesting that the show contains so many topics that other shows don't even think about including in their shows. The way they have the characters interact with the gay, transgender, "pre-ops", even other races, as dominate women surprises me that the show is so popular. These topics are odd to be paired with the topic of feminism. The thing I found most interesting is that they have the women in the show as the "dominate" characters. The type of women they seem to be do not appear to be the type of women that are dominate. When I think of upper class women in the city I think of the stereotypical need a man to live, need money, and just have fun for this type of women to be the dominate character. Why is a show about four women dominating over other people, such a popular show? Why is this appealing to viewers?

The Transgender Gaze

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I found the course readings on Mulvey's, "Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema," to be extremely challenging and rewarding upon completing our class discussion. I thought the ideas behind scopophilia, narcissism, and voyeurism to be poignant examples of how media often reduces the idea of a woman into these fragmented images of a woman's body. We identify women not by their internal qualities, but by what is innately obvious externally. This idea of the woman as body parts is prevalent in many forms of media. Do you feel that prevalence of these images is causing women to appear less gendered in an effort to gain equality or are women using the prevalence of these images to their advantage?

transgendered identity in media and society

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Examining the role of transgendered characters in media provides an interesting insight on how our society views gender roles. I would think it is probably safe to say these individuals are the most prejudiced against in our society, seeing as they are very estranged from popular culture, even within LGBTQ media. They represent such a small portion of our population, which is probably why we have such a 'reveal' aspect towards their presence in films. Even the rights that homosexuals are fighting for become much more complicated when the concept of 'transgendered' comes into play. My question is this: do you think this issue is overlooked because it complicates the idea of sexuality beyond what we are used to thinking? A man who has sex with a man (for example) is an idea that is pretty simple to grasp, but the idea of a sexual identity in between male and female and the sexual practices they may have turns sexuality from an orientation to points on a spectrum.

Dora

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After class on Wednesday I started thinking about the question that came up in class regarding whether or not Dora's main goal was to appeal to the trend of different cultures being exciting to make money. I do think that Dora makes a ton of money for Nickolodean but I also think that they are aware of their social responsibilty with creating a show for pre-school aged kids. I am a dance teacher for ages two through 8. In those classes we try to count in spanish, french and japanese while we hold our stretches. The kids love it! They think its so cool to be able to say something in a different language. We have had some little dancers that have come through the program that are billingual because their parents are immigrants and those kids feel extra special that they already know the language we are speaking when we count. So exposing kids to language even if it is in small doses is beneficial. Another thing that we do in our dance classes is ask the kids to tell us their name and their favorite something. So sometimes kids say their favorite animal. One little girl said that her favorite animal was a Pygme Marmoset! I don't know what that is so I asked her how she knew. I was impressed since she was only 4. She told me that she learned about it on Go Diego Go the show of Dora's cousin and she told me all the facts that she knew about it. The shows aren't mindless commercials trying to get kids to buy their toys they actually teach kids some pretty cool things. They maybe could encorperate more culture but how much about culture can a little preschooler actually understand?

Dora

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I think the approach that nickelodeon is attempting can be a good thing, they may be first and others will start to follow. I believe it is important for everyone to learn about other cultures. Having cartoons that include other cultures traditions is a fun and interactive way to teach children about others. Dora not only teaches about different traditions but also includes the teaching of a second language. With many america being made of many different cultures it is important to teach children that. Dora however is focusing on the Latina culture, and I feel that it would be even more of a benefit to include other cultures.
I do feel that some focus on learning is a great benefit. The show being set up like a computer game is a great way to teach kids now, with children as young as 9 having smart phones, it is a sound that they recognize. I hope that other companies start to follow in this example as well as continue to incorporate other ethnic groups into their programs.

blog

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I felt as though a lot of the examples we discussed in class were up for debate. I completely agree with the concepts, that many times race and gender, notably feminism are used in a derogatory way or used for profit. I disagreed with most in the class that felt as though there was too much made out of the disney examples. I feel there is a lot of underlined racism throughout disney movies, you just have to dig deep enough. I think my example of aladdin and lion king, how Simba and Aladdin are both more caucasian based, while Jafar and Scar are both more oriental or african. I really feel as though most of Disney movies pre 2000's have some kind of hidden element of racism, even if it's not intentional. Let's remember that we live in a society classified by race and gender and social structures, so sometimes we may say something or portray something that is racist when that is not our intention, we just are accustomed to it.

What's your FLAVA?

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I remember seeing the "Flava Dolls" Commercials on Nickelodeon when they first were a hit. I initially laughed at the idea, thinking it was kind of ridiculous, but the more I think about it the more I am apalled at the way they are degrading diversity and different ethnicities. The dolls are very generic and the only way you can tell that they made of different races is the shade of their skin. The dolls features are made so that you can't decipher exactly their ethnic background. Isn't that a slap in the face to those who are proud of their ethnic backgrounds? The same thing kind of applies to Dora Explorer. Nickelodeon producers are doing as little as possible in regards to displaying the latino culture, just enough to get by so they don't get backlash for not supporting a diverse background of ethnicities.

Blog 10/18

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I thought the montage of Walt Disney was a racist was a little much. I like the comment that someone made that often the characters are all the same race, whether its the protagonist or the villain. I didn't agree with the section of that clip about black people. They said black people like to sing and dance after playing a clip of monkeys with low voices singing and dancing...I think the person that put that together was racist themselves for connecting those two. The Jim Crow bird was pretty racist though. I kept thinking about how racism that used to be inferential is now overt, simply because of the passing time. It's kind of like the words "gay" and "retarded." In the past, I guess around the same time as these Disney films were made, gay a synonym for happy, and it wasn't politically incorrect to label someone as retarded, rather than mentally handicapped. The documentary thing that we watched on the news targeting black men and the whole Africanzed Bee story. I thought that was ridiculous. I could find clips together and string them in a row that say "Caucasian Male, Caucasian male, Caucasian male..." Like the Disney clips we watched, and my monkey example, its all about presentation. On the other hand, the last clip with that woman and Obama talked about how there is more violence and news stories in the inner city areas. I agreed with Obama when he simply said "so what?" He talked about how labeling that demographic puts a limit on their aspirations as opposed to incouraging them to get good grades. Very interesting week

alicia keys video

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The Alicia Keys video we watched in class left a very different impression on me than it did on Thea Lim. First, I do not think we have the same expectations for what this music video should portray. For me, the video serves as a thinly layered example of an easy to tell story about the strength of relationships even when faced with adversity. I don't think she is trying to make a comment simply about race relations as much as she is trying to convey the lack of acceptance from the families that comes along with many relationships through the example of race. It is essentially a 'wrong side of the tracks' story that had to be portrayed without using any words and physical representation (as in race) was the easiest way to do that. For Thea Lim, who focuses on race relations in media on a daily basis, she clearly would have done things differently. That is because she has a very different motivation that that of Alicia Keys and her production company. Where Thea Lim's main focus would be to accurately portray race and make a statement about the way things should be, Alicia Keys and company had the main focus of remaining simplistic in order to make money. Racial issues are always difficult to discuss in class, because they are as important as any individual makes them for themselves. For me, I think my upbringing has allowed me to evaluate people beyond race and I don't see it as significant, but I know others have very deep wounds that are opened whenever race is brought up.

Alicia Keys

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In class on weds we got into some very interesting discussion involving whether or not Alicia Keys music video had undertones of racism. I really enjoyed seeing different perspectives and i was really glad that someone brought up that maybe this music video was just being over analyzed. I think this about a lot of things, i think that if you analyze anything closely enough you can find problems with it. Sometimes i would just like to know what people who criticize a music video for bing racist what they want. What do they want a 4 minute music video to do? Provide a complete and perfect racial history of the United States.
That being said i did find it interesting to see some of the points that were brought up about the video having undertones of racism. I would be curious to know why they portrayed the white guy as just being a good guy and the black guy not allowing his sister to see the nice white guy just because he was white. I think that this was an interesting choice by the directors of this video and it would be interesting to see if they actually had any purpose behind this or if they just were trying to make an interesting video that people would enjoy watching.

Mixed Race Mess:Alicia Keys, 'Unthinkable'

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After I watched the Alicia Key's video, 'Unthinkable' and I believe that Thea Lim made some important points in her article. In the video, Alicia Keys is in a relationship with a white guy and it demonstrates the social stigma with interracial dating throughout the decades, over past and present. Although she loves her white boyfriend, all of her friends and family members are opposing to her love. (Interracial relationship) In the video, her black friends are upset about Chad Michael Murray stares at Alicia key. This scene that Lim pointed out that black people are the ones that were mad about the interracial relationship. Also the director of the video emphasized that interracial relationship wasn't accepted by or to say the other word, 'racism' still existed even today. (Showed both past and present of couples). I really do not understand what the director of video and Alicia Keys wanted to say through the music video. Does she really want to end racism? Or she generates racism more? If she wanted to end racism, I think she portrayed wrongly because I only thought that black people have more negative view of interracial relationship compare to other ethnicity after I watched this video.
Moreover, as Lim pointed out in her article, 'Date someone because you like them inside and out, not because you think that dating our will end racism when you have little beige babies.' I'm kind of agreeing with her statement because dating with different race would not 'end racism' but I believe that they are attempting to 'end racism'. If I love someone who has different ethnicity with me, I think I should let it go. Concerning to break up relationship with someone, just because of ethnicity issue, I think its very silly things. I think the video portrayed wrongly because I think there would be someone recognize that black people are very oppose to interracial relationship, and would hesitate to have interracial dating with black people in the future...(media power).

Blog Post #6

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Alicia Keys' music video I watched during last class was really interesting music video. Before I studies media literacy, I didn't know this video is about discrimination. The discrimination in Un-thinkable music video let me know the discrimination is not by national system and group, but by individual and family unit. As you watched, African American discriminates against white person in this music video. Generally speaking, the concept of discrimination is whites discriminate against blacks or the strong discriminate against the weak.
However the blacks had vested rights, which means women in video. But the vested rights can be interpreted as their culture and ideology. This video tells us the discrimination is not always by the strong. When people have a strong sense of belonging about their group, they might discriminate against others. After all, people whom relatively weak than others become a victim of discrimination, and the power becomes an attacker. What's interesting is this video contained material of view of women in this video. Alicia seems to just accept the decision men's even though she loves one man. She looks serious in terms of decision about relationship between her and him. However she is not live an independent life but just feel frustrated. On the other hand, men focus on achievement, which is saving one women. There is the power game in the process. It looks tell us women's identification is acceptor, and passive person.

Jingyan Jiang-Blog Six

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I do agree with Hall's idea that media's the main sphere is to produce and transform ideologies. The American Dream can be an obvious example. As the beginning age of television shows, the idea of you can come to the United States as nobody, and later become somebody through hard-working has been created. This idea is still alive, and media take big part of circulating this ideology again and again.

Ideologies, that once being created, is not easy to move them away because it's so hard to create a new one, so media retake and recycle different ideologies again and again. By doing so, they can spend less time, less energy, less thinking, and especially less money into creating a new ideology.

Hall's idea that the gender issue being used in different media, and the profit each shows or programs generated from using this issue is phenomenal. The ideology of "freedom" is often times used by media producers as well since it is so easy to use and so easy to achieve a successful result.

The formula for develop ideology is not new to those media producer at all. As Hall points out that " ideologies combined different elements into a set or chain of meanings"; "ideologies are not the product o individual consciousness or intention"; and "ideologies create truths for different subject matters". The last point is really obvious in different setting by saying that, for example " female is always the one taken care of family, husband and kids". But why is this responsibility natural to female? By normalizing cases and situations seem to be the most effective method to use in order to create ideologies.

Dora the Explorer

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In Sarah Banet-Weiser's work, What's Your Flava?, she investigates the motives behind creating a show like Dora the Explorer on Nickelodeon. She writes that Dora, "utilizes Latino "themes" as part of the program but in a safe way so as not to alienate Nickelodeon's predominantly white, middle-class cable audience." I agree that Nickelodeon could have made the show more accurate in its depiction of Latino culture and gender inequality. I think the show tries add to a more diverse line-up of educational programming in response to growing demand for it. I think of the TV shows I watched when I was a child and none of them promoted diversity or education, they were just for entertainment. Dora is a step in the right direction as far as preschool programming goes. I think the show is mundane and could be more creative and it could definitely be more educational, but the show is for preschoolers. I'm not sure they would comprehend the cultural and gender messages if the messages were there. What we need to remember is that Dora the Explorer is for children, young children, and they like it.

Lim's Article

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I found this Wednesday's reading particularly interesting. Lim's reading about Alicia Keys' music video really raised a lot of good points, especially the ones facilitated through the class discussion. I must admit that as a white female, I found it difficult to speak in front of the class and feel as though I accurately depicted some of the issues that surround racism. That being said, I do have a few opinions about the article. The first is that I appreciate the argument that Lim was making, but I felt that the informal nature in which she did so made her argument seem almost uneducated. The second is that I agree with what Pat had to say during the discussion: It seems as though she was reaching pretty deep on some point that she was making. And, finally, I would like to touch on the idea of how consumerism and racism are tied together, especially through these two articles from Wednesday. My takeaway from reading the two of them is how our society has such sensitivity to racism, but we continue to consume it. The generic ways in which the Flava dolls are marketed as some sort of inner-city, hip hop, race-less (but yet all races) is another way in which we continue to perpetuate disregard for race. Even further, this product is for our youth. From the earliest of ages, we are teaching them that race is negated and unimportant, yet we are extremely sensitive to other aspects. There seems to be a disconnect between what we are teaching and what we are practicing.

Here's an issue that I felt that tiptoed around but never really addressed. The political economy of how the flava dolls have impacted the media, or at least the rest of the marketing/media promotion of other dolls or figurines to play with. I'm really thinking about how this particular promo would have been twisted or at least altered had something like flava been aimed at younger boys. It's hard to imagine trying to manipulate GI Joe for instance or something along the lines of masculinity. To me this is a one sided issue regarding the extortion of dolls to the younger female adolescent audience. It has paved the way for Mattel industries with Barbie and other dolls that they launch to try and provoke this particular audience. Look at the commercials--now they have like doll families taking vacations with each other, but like these families are of a widespread of different races. It sort of seems like the foreshadowing of how real life might be. You hang out, party, and take trips with people that you share similar interests with, but within these commercials--it sort of gives of an exclusive factor, almost like you have to be the race that plays or engages with the race of dolls. We will see how this shapes up down the line.

Alicia Keys- What a great lady

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After the examination of the Alicia Keys video, I have come to the conclusion that the video is not racist. The music video portrays the relationship problems of Alicia Keys and a Caucasian male. The family of Alicia Key's character does not like the white man for whatever reason. The lyrics of the song do not properly give reason to believe that the African American family dislikes the white male just because of his race. As a neutral third party examiner I do not have enough information too properly assume why the family does not like the white man. I feel like Alicia Keys did take a bold stand in the fact that the video portrayed the black family disliking the white male rather than the other way around. I feel like it would have been more politically correct for the white family to dislike Alicia Keys. Racism is such a touchy subject and rightfully so, but I feel like sometimes you just have to be positive about it. According to many Communications Theories, it is very hard to persuade people if their mind is set. Alicia Keys does a great job in my opinion of conveying a strong message. Sometimes you just have to the unpopular thing because it is best for you. I could analyze her video on a racial position for,hours but I think she just wants the audience to see that sometimes you need to make a decision for yourself and not for others. I think society is hurt if people buy into deep racial feelings. Alicia Keys wanted to show that even though her family might not approve, she still did what was best for her. I think this is a message we can all use because in the end there will always be problems and only us as individuals can decide what is best.

BW and Lim

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The discussion yesterday inspired me to think about the music video in relation to society and observations Pat made in class. I think the fact that Pat made that some director listened to the music and tried to think about some story he could make into a music video, whether or not it is what they song was really trying to convey. How are we supposed to know that the song was originally written to be a commentary on interracial relationships? The only thing that actually put that idea into my head was the images shown during the video, not the song itself. Which leads to the question of if the analysis Lim did is accurate and even holds any water. I think in some broad sense it does, but not to any amount of specificity.

Which makes me question the Banet-Weiser piece to a certain extent. A lot of times when reading scholarly readings like we do in class, it is important to take it with some amount of salt. I understand we need to analyze and understand some amount of the political economy of a lot of things we view every day (including ads and television), but at what point does something become overanalyzed? Sure, Dora might be a thought-child of a man trying to add more diversity to television programming, or it might be some ploy to gain viewership. Or it might be a little of both, something I don't think Banet-Weiser even thought to point out in her piece (she may have, it was a dense reading and a lot to try and remember). I think she was so fixated on the fact that it might have been some evil scheme that to her, it was the only possible outcome.

That's my take on the pieces we read this week.

Please use the following questions to guide your reading and notes on Mulvey and Halberstam's respective views on the filmic gaze:
1. How does Mulvey view the concept of the gaze in 40s and 50s Hollywood cinema?

2. Can you think of examples in which women's bodies are coded as "to-be-looked-at" by a gaze coded as heterosexual male?

3. Does Mulvey see any possibility in Hollywood film? Or is it all destined to repeat patriarchal fantasies? What do you think of this? Are there alternative readings of these Hollywood films?

4. How does Halberstam's analysis differ from Mulvey's? How does Halberstam view the transgender look?

5. Can you think of examples where this look operates in other movies/media?

6. Does Halberstam see possibility in what she calls the transgender look? What do you think of this argument?

Banet-Weiser, 'What's Your Flava?"

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This week the discussions have been very interesting. I particularly enjoyed Banet- Weiser's piece because I have encountered so much of what she discusses. I believe that producers use children's programming, as their way to achieve a standard of racial and gender diversity. The question is what are their motives? Is it to reach out to specific demographics? Is it to bring people together and expand world- view? Or maybe, just maybe it is none of the above and rather just a scheme to increase company profits. Whatever the reason is it is working. I do have a hitch that these movies and shows are really after the profits. My thought is that they want to expand their name and the only way of doing so is to reach out to everyone; gender and race. Is this just increasing the stereotypes though? When watching the Dora clip in class today, I thought they stereotype Hispanic cultures. I hadn't really ever thought about it until reading Banet- Weiser's piece. But coming from a Hispanic family I am fully aware of the stereotypes placed over my culture and I just found it somewhat comical how Nickelodeon portrayed the Hispanic- American culture. Im not sure if there is a way to do so that wouldn't seem stereotypical and I don't even find it insulting in anyway, but I do think that It will continue to form stereotypes in children starting at a very young age.

How does Banet-Weiser elaborate the definition of postfeminism and how do toys like flavas participate in this ideology?

What is the role of irony in postfeminism?

How does Banet-Weiser define the "postracial" or "urbanized" (213, 216)? What are some media site in which she sees it operating? What kind of ideological work does it do (214-215)?

What is the role of the concept of "empowerment" within this ideology?

What, for Banet-Weiser, is the problem with the prefix "post"?

How does all of this relate to the market? Why is this a problem, for Banet-Weiser?
"... ethnically informed style of politics ,yet it is, in McRobbie's terms,

Banet-Weiser argues that Dora the Explorer is an example of a postracial text for it represents "difference 'taken into account' yet not necessarily acted on. Challenging racist stereotypes by creating a new one fit for the current political and cultural economy, Dora operates as part of a strategy that motivates a commercially defined notion of diversity" (222). What are the consequences when profits, rather than other social aims, drive the representation of diversity? What might be some alternatives?

How does the notion of "postracial" resonate with Lim's essay on Alicia Keys? Do you see this as relevant? How so? Hoe can this help us analyze representations of race in media?

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"skewing the norm," this idea was mentioned in a blog post earlier and I find it very intriguing. Shows like Roseanne pioneered a movement that elicit conversation about what is normal. The discussion at the time of Roseanne was, 'is this really the norm/reality?' Today, followed by the ongoing paradigm shift in mass acceptance, shows like honey boo boo are pushing the limits. Though primarily profit-driven, reality television does a great job of raising the question, just what is normal? the way I see it is a question of the chicken and the egg. which one came first, was it the demand or the supply of such stereotypical widespread notions?!

My discussion question for week of 10/15

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This weekend I went to a festival that had a Texas tourism booth that showed a video about all the fun activities you can do in Texas while on vacation. I sat and watched the video because I wanted to get the free stuff they handed out for watching it. As I watched there were only white people in the video doing all these fun activities. The people facilitating the booth were African American. It all seemed so strange to me but no one else seemed to notice. It made me think of these idealogies that Stuart Hall mentions in his article. This video I felt like fell into the naturalised idealogies. What are some examples of situations that we have whitnessed that represented these idealogies? Did you notice them at the time. This was very apparent to me becuase I had just read the article on Friday and saw the video on Saturday so it was fresh in my brain. I don't know if I would have been as aware normally.

Roseanne

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I found this weeks reading to be very interesting. I am such a visual learner so these past to weeks have been great for me. I enjoy watching the media that we are reading about to full get a grasp of the reading. I think that Betties points were highlighted in the episode that we watched in many ways. We have been talking about the middle class and what the normal family is like. I believe that this family does a good job of portraying a family that the average household family can relate with which makes it easy to watch as a program. However, since the days of Roseanne TV has drastically changed. Shows like Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore offer the extremes of life, which skew the overall idea of what is normal.

Roseanne

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After watching the Roseanne episode I found myself thinking about why I enjoy watching the show. I think the character Roseanne is absolutely awesome. I think she shows a typical working class woman. She supports her family and takes care of them. Even if sometimes she can be a bit sarcastic, she still is a loving mother. Even though I cannot personally relate to the show, I still enjoy watching it. I enjoyed watching Roseanne growing up because it was opposite of other shows. I can remember my sister constantly watching shows like full house and I always enjoyed Roseanne. I like the that Bettie had interviewed people that enjoyed watching the show. I could see where working class people can relate better to a show like Roseanne rather than a show like the Cosby Show. I agree that perhaps the Cosby show doesn't represent the working class because Bill is a doctor and the wife is a lawyer. These are professional jobs unlike Roseanne. I could see where the working class could not relate to those shows. I also noticed that the episode we watched had a lot of female workers. Like Bettie said, "thiryty-five percent of the working class was represented by women." This is because families had to get two jobs to support their family. Overally I enjoy Roseanne because I like the comedy. The sarcastic remarks and slapstick humor. I guess, I just enjoy being entertained and not necessarily need to relate to the characters.

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I really enjoyed our discussion on Wednesday as it was pretty much the basis of my autobiographical paper. I was very surprised to see that I was the only one who defended the show "Roseanne" and how the family operates. It seemed like most of the class swayed in the direction of Roseanne being a negative portrayal of the middle class family and even regarded as reckless. Of course it is my opinion, but I firmly disagree. I feel like people are confusing the comedy with real life. I also feel like people completely bypass the love that is apparent in the family and that the family values are still very solid. At least the ones that matter. Are they reckless with money? Yes, they are, but I think they teach valuable lessons for many out there that think life is all just a bunch of work and money management. I feel like their reckless eating and spending habits are almost saying like "yes, we eat unhealthy and spend what we don't have, but you know what, we have twice as love and affection in our family than the family who makes tons of money and doesn't know what to do with it, because they're always busy. Is the show a little facetious? Yes it undoubtedly is, but I think it goes a long way of trying to show how the real average American family works, while teaching great family lessons on what it really means to live your life rather than do exactly what society tells you and go through the motions. Bit of rant, lo siento.

Blog 10/11

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After our discussion on Wednesday, I have been thinking a lot about what draws Americans in to watch the same types of shows over and over, year after year. If plot lines are barely deviating from show to show, what makes us avid consumers of such monotony? Shows like According to Jim, My Wife and Kids and King of Queens perpetuate the 'no common sense,' often helpless blue collar husband who quite honestly is exactly like the article we read- a buffoon. I asked some of my friends what they thought about these shows, specifically ones where financial hardship and family struggles are shown, and their responses were resoundingly homologous. Every single person I spoke with said that if they are going to sit down to watch television, they want it to be an escape. They want to be able to laugh and not have the show emulate their problems or remind them of things they are struggling with once they leave the sofa. In many ways, I agree with them. I want my TV habits to be an escape. Do you agree or disagree?

Male Buffoons in the Media

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I think that it's kind of interesting to think about all of the sitcoms and television series that feature a male, working class buffoon. I hadn't really drawn any attention to this fact until I took this class. Once you lump them all together and read about them in one article, it really opens your eyes to the stereotype media is portraying of men in America. King of Queens is one of my favorite television shows, but in a sense I appreciated Doug's humor, even though he is portrayed as lazy, fat, and stupid. I feel that because of the hilarity associated with Doug, it blinded me to the other dissatisfying attributes that his character has. This could be said for any of the other men roles displayed in sitcoms. The fact of the matter is, is that these shows are going to thrive, even though they are displaying unfair stereotypes because it's funny! People like to laugh, and forget about their troubles when they sit down and turn on the television. I for one, would be really sad if shows like the King of Queens were taken off the air. It's just unfortunate that America has to be associated and portrayed in such a negative way.

roseanne reflection-pat gibbs

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The episode of the television show 'Roseanne' we watched in class addressed a very interesting dynamic in terms of class and gender issues. As we discussed in class, the reading pushed the idea that class issues in the United States are not 'nonexistent' as we would like to believe, but that it is expressed through other demographic forms such as gender and race. In 'Roseanne', the role of the working class woman is explored in a way that has been embraced by many real life working class women as the most 'realistic' portrayal of life in America on television. Whether or not it is more or less 'real' is not as important as the fact that this demographic has embraced the show as its own. They are an underrepresented group who can find comfort in the fact that they have a television show they can relate to. In the episode of 'Roseanne' that we watched, Roseanne and her husband are facing the dilemma of what to do with a little bit of extra money they come across. Do they catch up with bills or splurge on unnecessary items they have wanted for a while? Ultimately they decide to splurge, essentially taking their mind off of the pressure of paying bills for a while. When we had our discussion in class on our opinions on 'Roseanne' and the impact the show had on the working class, I think many good points were brought up, but it seems a little off to make assumptions without having any opinions of someone who talked about how it affected their opinion of their own working class existence. It just felt as if we were trying to speak for a group we aren't at liberty to speak for.

Roseanne

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I enjoyed the perfume episode of 'Roeaenne' and it made me to understand what Bettie claimed in her article better. In my opinion, I think this drama has great influence viewers to make them to have a stereotype of 'working class' woman.
Today, media has influenced individuals greatly. I believe that media could impact one's lifestyle including their opinion, hobby, and trend so largely. I think the sitcom "Roseanne', is pretty much influencing people to change their view of working class woman. Roseanne is working in full time and striving for making money in sitcom. Even though Rosane wants to buy only one perfume for herself, she needs to keep secret to her family. It is because they need to save money for family and can't use extra cash for everything.. Although they made this episode as a humor, some people would not think its funny at all. Some group of people who do not think they are not working classes, they would have a stereotype of working class and regarding this sitcom is funny, whereas people from working class would feel uncomfortable to watching Rosaene. Therefore, working class as humor through the famous channel on the TV is sometime impact negatively to some group of people.

ROSEANNE

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After reading the article "Roseanne and the changing face of working-class iconography" and watching the full episode of Roseanne", I personally thought that the show kind of reinforce the stereotypical middle-class norm. I am an international student and I do not have experience or any ideas of how white middle class family is like in real life. Therefore, these shows have a huge influence on me to have an idea or create the middle-class norm. The episode we saw in the class showed that how the family struggled with money and how they deal with money. By viewing that one particular episode made me think that this is how the real white-middle class family is like. I am not able to compare the reality and the stereotype that media perpetuate and find the differences. However, TV shows surely helps me to create my own stereotype of white family in the US.

Roseanne

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While watching Roseanne in class it made me think of my family, I was shocked to hear that so few people could relate to the show. Roseanne herself is much like my mother, and my grandmother. Even the family dynamics were much like mine, we did not as children know the financial situation of the family but we all interacted very similar. My family loved to watch shows like Roseanne, that might have made an impact on us. The show itself however I feel shows the situation of some middle class families, but shows humor so that the show is not too real. People do not watch sitcoms to feel bad, they watch them to laugh and have a good time watching TV. The inclusion of the dad being a "typical" white male is just another way to make the audience laugh. My family loved Roseanne and it can still relate to my family. I do understand that the show does show some things that many people can not relate to, and that the dynamics of the family are not typical middle class families. I feel that shows like Roseanne and King of Queens exaggerate the "norms" so that we can laugh and enjoy our time watching TV and can relate without feeling bad about our own lives.

Blog Post #5

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After reading the Peggy McIntosh's article and Julie Bettie thesis I think there are many discrimination in the world. Among much discrimination, the three main discriminations by class, gender and race are looks seriously generally. The class system is looks getting firming. Some people say world is changing more rationally, but I don't agree with it. In 1950s to 1980s, high percent of people employed worked in the production of goods, and there were not man people had job in service. At that time, workers get paid for the work done, and they assured a steady job. It's more steady than today.
However service occupation increased between 1980s and the world changed instability and competitively. For this reason many people seek for stability job. Therefore empower people can make class system firmly. They controlled people to use their anxiety, and employ by the way they want.
There is one sitcom which satire on like above situation. Roseanne almost never explicitly challenges the class system with the exception perhaps of the episode in an individual-interpersonal way through a character's problemartization of her ability to maintain "the impersonal nature of her anger and humor, which are targeted not so much at the people she lives with as at what makes them the way they are."
This story is not a good story, but I was very interested in this happening in the real life including my life.

Jingyan Jiang-Blog Five

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Butsch points out in his article that the creation of white male buffoons is mainly due to the monetary reason behind it. It is hard to believe that this kind of character is still popular in the U.S., a country that has been regarded as the leader of the world, both economically and mentally.
But it seems to be fairly easy to understand that such a creation helps the both production to win and the advertisers to win. The reason for it's success is that it locks the eye balls of female audiences, who is targeted as the purchasing power of a household, and make the most purchasing decisions. Once a female is built as strong and decisive in different dramas, it encourages female in real life to be strong and be wiling to make decisions.
As an outsider, by this I mean as a non-U.S. citizen, I feel those white male buffoons can hardly be appreciated at all. They eat a lot; they exercise to the minimum extent; and they don't appreciate work, all of these make me feel bad about U.S. males. But in reality, I feel lots of white males around me are energetic and enthusiastic. Such a false description of white males is not fair to males in the real time. Those dramas are making use of humor to create a completely un-true story and leading audiences into a totally wrong understanding about males in the society. Again, I don't how to appreciate such dramas at all. So my strategy is trying to avoid such dramas as much as possible. I will just change channel whenever I saw the "King of the Queen".

Jingyan Jiang-Blog Five

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Butsch points out in his article that the creation of white male buffoons is mainly due to the monetary reason behind it. It is hard to believe that this kind of character is still popular in the U.S., a country that has been regarded as the leader of the world, both economically and mentally.
But it seems to be fairly easy to understand that such a creation helps the both production to win and the advertisers to win. The reason for it's success is that it locks the eye balls of female audiences, who is targeted as the purchasing power of a household, and make the most purchasing decisions. Once a female is built as strong and decisive in different dramas, it encourages female in real life to be strong and be wiling to make decisions.
As an outsider, by this I mean as a non-U.S. citizen, I feel those white male buffoons can hardly be appreciated at all. They eat a lot; they exercise to the minimum extent; and they don't appreciate work, all of these make me feel bad about U.S. males. But in reality, I feel lots of white males around me are energetic and enthusiastic. Such a false description of white males is not fair to males in the real time. Those dramas are making use of humor to create a completely un-true story and leading audiences into a totally wrong understanding about males in the society. Again, I don't how to appreciate such dramas at all. So my strategy is trying to avoid such dramas as much as possible. I will just change channel whenever I saw the "King of the Queen".

It is hard to think of a sitcom nowadays that does not feature at least one of its main characters as a goof ball. Could this perhaps be because show producers are trying to manage comic relief among the viewers? In other words, sitcoms will often portray the daily lives of its characters, and often times their lives can be hectic and stressful, sometimes on the point of mental breakdown. You will not only find plots like these in family sitcoms, but it just about all of them. As American citizens, we are a continuously, on the go, hurry up group of people, and a lot of us will work to the point of exhaustion. It is nice to be able to sit down and turn on the television and relax to a show that shows people involved in very similar situations as you are in real life lose control of their stressful lives in the show and consequently act a little (or a lot) nutty. These stressful situations occur in a handful of different contexts. For example, in Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray--well the whole family is actually fairly crazy, because he has to work full time and then come home and deal with his wife Deborah who has had to take care of the kids all day and deal with Ray's overbearing parents across the street. As a result, everyone is always at each other's throat in this series, because they are constantly having to deal with one another. In Seinfeld, as another example, Kramer is a nut, because of his weird eccentricities, but George always seems to be going crazy over something. I mean if we delve into his life, we can see why--half the time he is unemployed, living with his parents, and is a short, fat bald man who cannot commit to a relationship. I really think producers and casting directors conjure up these characters and give them these types of roles, because they are trying to target similar viewers and demonstrate to them how much better their lives are compared to those they are watching on screen. Real world people are able to get a grip on their lives much more easily than these created characters. These shows and goofy characters provide that sought after sense of ease and comic relief that we sometimes miss out on because our own lives are so busy. It is opportunity to examine your own life and make the comparison to the on screen entertainment. In a way these shows sort of generalize similar situations that occur in the real world, and as audience members, we are able to rationalize and relate to these situations. Many of these plots are taken way over the top, but in my opinion, it is done that way on purpose to exemplify how life sometimes works--in unpredictable, crazy ways. Consequently, we crave these wacky characters, because they act in ways that we want to act, but don't because we are able to hold ourselves together. Our inside emotional actions are being displayed on screen vicariously through these goofy characters.

Blog Post #5

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As this weekly article introduces mass media represents stereotypical feature of working class, many sitcoms and comedy animations showed buffoon husbands and smarter wives in the working-class. For the instance, such like, "Malcolm in the Middle," "The Simpsons," and "Family Guy" show clear stereotypical features.
I think that such emphasized characters are frequently seen in media is due to the social structure makes working class's feature as less complex character groups than wealthier groups. Sociology perspectives organic and mechanical solidarity well explain what I want to explain. According to the Sociologist Émile Durkheim, society has been developed by division of labor. As the process of the division of labor developing, mechanical solidarity group (people who have similar features, such like people who belong to a tribe have same clothes and culture) goes to shift organic solidarity group (people behave differently and individuals have different cultures. Such like people who are living in capitalism countries). The working class people have some organic solidarity features, but their small payment and properties narrow varieties of their experiences. Therefore, working class people tend to grow up in similar culture and environment. In other words, their sorts of occupations tend to be similar, and that structure causes them to show mechanical solidarity's feature. On the other hand, wealthier people's division of labor is much more developed. Most good payment jobs need highly trained people in various fields, and those jobs require professionals of various fields. For example, sociology field has many topics of learning which are held by highly educated researchers.

The Grammar of Race

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I read The Whites of Their Eyes by Stuart Hall today and I was intrigued by his concept of the "grammar of race." In the article he says that the resonance of nineteenth century English literature inspired the appearance of certain base-images of races in some of the movies of the early to mid 20th century. He gives three examples of base-images, (1) the slave-figure which is devoted to his/her master but is yet untrustworthy, (2) the native who appears to have a dual nature in literature either being noble and kind or savage and barbaric, and (3) is the clown/entertainer.

The "native" base-image struck a chord with me when I read his description. I realized that these base-images resonating from 19th century literature are still be depicted as recently as the early 1990s. The film, The Last of the Mohicans (1992) shows the same dual nature of the Native American that was represented in literature in the 19th century. The Last of the Mohicans film is, of course, based on the novel of the same name, which was published in 1826. While the story has a compelling message, the two base-images of natives are represented.

I think this means that media today need to be examined for possible inferential racism especially if it is based on old media where this kind of racism comes from. This kind of ideology is not something that should be revived in new media unless it is being exposed as a negative one.

Roseanne

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I enjoyed the episode of roseanne that we watched in class a lot. I think that it was really good to watch an episode to put the last two readings in perspective for me at least because i have never seen roseanne before. What i enjoyed the most about this was being able to hear other peoples opinions on what the show represented. It was enlightening to see how peoples own experiences and upbringings gave them different impressions of the show. In media studies it is key to see how other people view media differently from yourself that way you can start to see it in other ways as well. If i were just to take this show at face value it would just be a fairly low level comedy. However it was made clear both by the articles as well as in class that there is a lot more to it than that if you choose to look into it. I saw this show overall as fairly harmless, i did not think it was teaching kids to blow their money on things they dont need instead of paying bills. Some people could and did think that though and that is what i find the most interesting, how one thing can be taken completely differently by two different people. This also is a reflection on positionality and how positionality affects how you view media and how media impacts you.

Roseanne and the Working Class Sterotype

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Reading the piece on Roseanne, I had a number of questions. These questions were based on the observations of the text and my understanding of the show and the human condition. Bettie says the Roseanne should be looked at as a "claim to class as a cultural identity" (115 of our course packet). I like this way of analyzing the text that is 'Roseanne.' When I first read it, I was skeptical of the claim and the seriousness of it, but after finishing the piece and watching an episode, I can see how the connection was made.

One question I had for Bettie was on page 117 (of the packet). Bettie refers to an episode where Roseanne gets the neighbors' umbrella stand that cost $200. She makes an observation about the scenario and made it all seem like a fact. I think it is more of an opinion. How does she know exactly what it means? She may be right, but I think it should be presented more as a particular understanding, not the singular understanding.

Another thing that bugged me was people liking it because of the "realness" of the show. Watching this, I can understand that there are certain situations that may reflect real life, but I don't think it is supposed to represent real life. A more appropriate way to interpret it may be that it is a commentary on the state of the (then) present working class life.

The final big thing I noticed and had an issue with was the comment about the family finally being "white trash" (120). I know we discussed this at length in class but I still feel it is an interesting and worthwhile thing to discuss again. Even if there is an implication (explained in the next couple of Bettie's paragraphs) that is not wholly supposed to be negative, when you have the power to show these people, why label them as white trash? I feel that it is an improper use of the power the show could have to try and eliminate such stigmas from cultural norm and assumptions.

Overall, I think it was a well thought out piece and even with my minor gripes and (perhaps) misunderstandings of the text, I still walked away with a new viewpoint on the working class and the show "Roseanne."

Butsch, Rosanne, and the working class

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In class on Wednesday we watched an episode of Rosanne. In this show the family is supposed to represent the working class. I found the show to be very interesting and, when brought to my attention, the show is full of stereotypes of what media represents as the working class. In Butsch's essay he talks about the husbands usually being depicted as white male bafoons. This is a perfect example of that. In the show Rosannes husband is a big goofy guy that seems to be somewhat of a pushover and not really respected or note worthy. Butsch also talks about the lady of the house being an airhead or non-working. In this sense I do not think that Rosanne follows that but I do think that often times in working class families the mom would perhaps be working. These stereotypes are continuously fed through media outlets just like these. I think that we are drawn to shows like this often times for a comedy outlet but also because there is a sense of relativity, maybe for some even comfort. When you watch a show that is representing upper class it is harder to relate their lives seem lavish and extraordinary, but when comparing your life to the working class you can either be like "oh I've been there," or "wow, I'm so glad my family doesn't get excited over $500 dollars." As bad as that may seem I think that is the way the human mind works.

Working class families and Roseanne

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Roseanne was a show that was on at my house but it wasn't one that I religously watched so I can't talk about the episodes from memory.I also don't come from a family like Roseanne's. My dad was the president of a computer company and my mom was a stay at home mom. So I don't identify with their struggles but I always was intrigued by the show. I think that Deborah brought up a good point today in class that it was different and maybe some of its popularity came from just being different not becuase the majority of the audience identified with it. I think it is refreshing to watch something that talks about real life problems unlike other shows that never talk about things like paying the bills. We all have to pay bills whether we are working, middle or upper class. Parents all have to deal with talking about lying and morals with their children. I think that the way that Roseanne brings it up is more relatable for people regardless of class because it seems more real then other shows in fake TV reality. I also thought another point that was brought up that was interesting was that the show portrayed them as careless with money. Does that fuel the stereotype that working class people will always be working class because they can't figure out how to manage their money? Are they victims of class or did they put themselves in the spot that they are in and are self perpetuating it? I again think that the image of them splurging with their money is worthwhile because I've seen my friends do exactly what happened in the show. They get a chunk of money from something like a tax return and try to spread it over things that they need but then splurge with the justification that they desearved it. Then what ussually happens next is they feel guilty about the splurge. I do think that it may touch on the stereotype of working class but I think that its a worthwhile scenario to portray because it does happen and people can identify with it.

For Monday, please:
1. Do a close reading of Hall's "The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologues and the Media" (page 228 in the course packet).
2. Read Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege and Male Privilege" (Moodle)
3. Optional reading: bell hooks's "Eating the Other" (p 57 in the course packet)

As you read, the following should guide your note taking:

1. How does Hall understand ideology (89-90)? Where does it come from? What does it do? How do we inhabit ideology?

2. What does Hall mean when he describes media as "part of the dominant means of ideological production" (90)?

3. What does Hall mean by "overt" racism? What does he mean by "inferential racism"? Can you think of a media example in which each one operates? (91)

4. What are some tropes of inferential racism that Hall mentions? What tropes of inferential racism have you noticed that Hall does not address?

5. What does Hall mean by "the grammar of race" (91-92)? What are some of its elements?

6. Hall describes the recurring figures of this "grammar of race" as deeply ambivalent, a kind of "double vision of the white eye through which they are seen" (92). What does he mean by this? How does this relate to Sun's piece on Lucy Liu or hook's piece on "Eating the Other"?

7. What are some present-day media examples in which inferential racism, in Hall's terms, operates? Are there "grammars of race" that you have observed in media that Hall overlooks?

8. How does McIntosh's essay relate to Hall's? How can McIntosh's analysis inform how we consume and critique media?

Blog 5- Women in the Workplace/Class Dismissed

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I recently read an article titled "Why Women Still Can't Have It All". Our discussion this week on class, especially women in the "working-class", made me relate this article to the concepts. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the author, made a strong suggestion that family values need to be incorporated into the workplace. By placing a higher value on child-care needs over other activities, the employer is recognizing that the "mothers" in the company can be just as successful in the workplace, as the "marathon trainers" in the company. The word mother is part of the feminist value system, traits such as driven, is not a trait that we as a society attribute with the feminist word "mother". What we fail to realize is being a mother involves lots of skill sets that are used in the everyday work world, such as organized, and disciplined. Recognizing that mother, motherhood, and parenting while all apart of the feminist value system should not be looked down upon in the work place, rather it should be embraced. As someone interested in organizational communication in a workplace, I was extremely interested in what Slaughter said about how their has been research done to say that companies that have placed higher values on family and child-care have seen an economic boost, compared to those companies who don't. Somehow there needs to be a coexistence of the feminist word mother and a mother's attributes, with the employer's view of a "successful worker". Mass media is still struggling to show how women can have it all. While Roseanne's intention was to shed light on the true realities of a working-class woman, I felt that the show was depicting a working class mother that cannot have it all. Is the shows message worth the negative consequences that this may have had for women that watched this?

Please post your discussion questions to Bettie below and use the following questions to guide your note-taking:

What does Bettie mean by the "longstanding, ideological representation of the US as a classless society" (126)? Why is this a problem for Bettie?

How do race and gender intersect with Bettie's understanding of working class?

What does Bettie mean by "unmarked" when she discusses the categories of whiteness and maleness (126)? Why does this matter to media studies?

What does she mean by "postindustrial labor" (126)? What changes in the organization of work does Bettie insist that we pay attention to (132-133)? Why is this relevant to media studies?

What does Bettie believe are the biases in class analysis?

How does Bettie view "responsibility" in the representation of working class themes (131)? What, for her, would count as "responsible" representation as you understand it?

What is the ideological functioning of rhetoric of "the family" in debates over class and wages? How do empirical realities complicate this ideology? Why does this matter (132-134)?

How does Bettie understand Roseanne Barr's claim that class is a cultural identity (134-135)?

What are the arguments that Roseanne makes about class and gender identity, or, how are class and gender performed on Roseanne? (135-136)? How does Bettie view these arguments/performances as enacting a cultural politics (137)? What do you think of this argument? Are there ways in which we can see shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" as also enacting a cultural politics that challenges dominant meanings?
How is class racialized, according to Bettie? How does she unpack Roseanne's phrase "poor white trash" (139-140)? What does she mean, in this context, by "unmarked," naturalized, visible and invisible?

How does Bettie address the question of polysemy on pages 141-142? What is at stake in the multiple meanings viewers can decode in Roseanne?

In your view, what are the possibilities and limitations of shows like Roseanne? What other shows might we analyze in the manner put forth by Bettie?

blog #4

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I really enjoyed watching "Do the Right thing" in class. I think there are many gripping scenes where they show many stereotypes that are still true in today's society. I think the scene of the white guy with the Celtics Larry Bird jersey bumping into the guy with the Lakers Magic Johnson jersey was a great scene, because of the reality of that scene. During the 80's when Larry Bird was leading the celtics and Magic was leading the Lakers both to multiple championships, race was always an underlining tone when their legacies were discussed. Larry Bird was the hard-working gritty team player that embodied all of what Celtics basketball was, and Magic was the flashy show-boating talent who along with his teammates had no respect and ran up the score. And during a time where racism was much more prevalent than it is today, it was often seen as Larry was the hero for the white race and Magic was the hero for the black race.

Ralph, Fred, Archie and Homer

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I thought this article was extremely poignant in the way it explained advertising's role in perpetuating stereotypes and imagery of consumption. I thought it was quite shocking that a majority of television fails to show the working class. The discussion of characters as affluent, powerful purchasers resonated well with me. In addition to the discussed comparisons between executives and blue collar workers, can you think of any other stereotypes that are reinforced by advertising's handle on content production?

Do the right thing

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The movie "Do the right thing" that I watched in class was l looked bored. One African American woman was dancing, in the beginning of the film and I expected this movie is like abusive movie or 8 mile. However the content of this film was not that I expected. This film showed us racial discrimination with reality. Some scenes in this movie looked like happen in realistic world in the way that it was interesting. The most important reason that I like this movie is that this movie shows directly our emotions, ideas, and conflict in the relationship with diversity society to be more specific in the Brooklyn. What's interesting is that the director appealed in the film one of the African American, and he expressed the happenings objectively.In the very begging in the film, one men abuse Korean hard, and I felt bad. But after that scene one abuse all races such as Italian, and Jews and African American. It makes me feel better. I watched the movie named "American history X". Those movies, "Do The Right Thing" and "American history X" stories are similar each other, but one difference is that the movie "Do The Right Thing" tried to keep asking for the social problem and don't lose the theme of movie. This movie taught me what else do I need to live in the world under the Martin Luther King and Malcolm X's wisdom. Spike Lee who is this movie's director called one of the conscience.

Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys a community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't even call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence.
- Malcolm X

The silenced majority

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I think that this article and the presentation that Kassie did on it brought up great questions. When I watched the Honey Boo Boo clip I felt bad that those people are what we use to represent the working class. I think that they are a spectacle and they have a show becuase they are weird in the way they interact with each other and the way that they raise their kids. I also wondered what do they think about themselves. Does the family on Honey Boo Boo think that they are middle class? Or do they consider themselves working class?
I do think that shows like that fuel stereotypes but not so much as a representation of the working class as it represented what I think of as Southern. Another example that fuels this stereotype is the teen mom show on MTV. Alot of those girls have southern accents so you start to associate teen moms as a part of the southern American culture. Is that fair? No, but it is being broadcast to us in different ways and some people may never go to the south to find out what its really like.

Blog #4

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I really enjoyed watching the movie "Do the Right Thing" in class. After reading the articles it was nice to actually watch what they were talking about, just like Pat mentioned. Some of the scenes that I rad and played out in my head were portrayed differently on film, especially Samuel L. Jackson saying "that's the truth ruth." I thought the most thought-provoking part of the movie was the last scene we watched with the white guy bumping into the black guy and the following scuffle. At first, the white guy was to blame because he definitely should have apologized. However, the black guy and his buddies behind him made it into something bigger. The friends were saying things like "Yeah he talked about your mama too..." - just stoking the fire. Knowing who Spike Lee is, like someone mentioned in class, it was interesting to see the two race roles of this scene played out.

Also, on Wednesday night after class I watched Family Guy and they did a cut-away/flashback to how white people act in Spike Lee's movies. It was the scene from the pizza place. Ive seen that episode of Family Guy several times and it was funny to actually know what they were talking about...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uivexUUwmig

Hammernik, Blog, 10/4

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As many of you know, the first round of debates for the Presidential election took place yesterday. I'm assuming that most of you, like me, are involved in some sort of social networking site like Facebook or Twitter and were able to see what many of our friends thought about the various aspects of the debate. Much to my surprise, many of my friends were commenting more on the capabilities of the moderator as opposed to the actual candidates. The debate aired on PBS and many of the comments that I read voiced concern over the moderator's obvious preference towards one candidate. Did anyone else who watched the debate feel similarly? Do you feel that the moderator effectively acknowledged his positionally and worked to combat it in his delivery?

Do the right thing video

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While watching the video, I was more interested in the way that the characters interacted with each other. I have many friends from all over the world. I grew up in England and am a military brat. families on the military base are from all over and are every ethnicity. I also live with three international students. From Korea, India, and Hong Kong. Many for my friends are not white. The way they showed the character interacting really was interesting for me who did not grow up in a white suburb but still did not have this type of interaction with other ethnic groups. The movie was something I would like to learn more about how people view their own ethnic groups and the different demographics that come with different ethnic groups.

Do the Right Thing

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When the movie, 'Do the Right Thing', started, I couldn't help but notice that an old movie that could deliver something about racial issues to the viewers. However, I realized that this movie contained social aspect that we are confronted with nowadays.
One of the scene that I impressed, a rich, non-black man was driving and he wanted to pass through the street that some black kids were playing in. a lot of kids were playing with the fire hydrant on the street and they seemed very happy and cool, even made me fresh by watching the scene. The rich man shouted at those kids and warning them that he would get mad if his car wet. When he talked to kids, he didn't have any respect to those kids because he judged them as a lower class people, which irritated me. This man's behavior made them to spraying water all over his car as a punishment. Then, he was angry and called the cab, but even cab didn't help him. So the rich guy had to clean his car by himself for his disreputable behavior.
Today, some people still may judge others as lower class or underestimate people by physical appearance, or might be someone's stereotypes.. This scene helped me that if someone harassing or ignoring others like a rich man in this movie would lead bad end.

Blog Post: 10/4

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In Chung Feng Sun's article, we can see that each race have stereotypical roles in mass media (fictional products). I took a course which taught about organizing pop culture last semester. In the lecture, I learned ethnicity was one of a most clear appearance for viewers, so giving a role (stereotypical character) is one of a most effective way to persuade people. In this article, Lucy Liu broke the "Chinese dole" stereotype, but what I think is difference. As I wrote above, stereotype is a factor that provides viewers better comprehensions. Therefore, Liu's new character was just modified for today's common sense. In other word, it is new stereotypical character what new era portrays.
Such mass media portrayals help TV programs and movie's plot make much easier. When I watched "Iron Chef" (Cooking competition program,) a Vietnamese chef who cooked French was criticized that he had good skill for cooking but he did not have soul. In the season, he tried to express his soul with his cooking, and his solution was making his memorial Vietnam style. And judge praise his cooking, and the season ended with his victory.
Do you think lack of soul can be satisfied with the chef's identity? No!! I believe soul is abstract things, but it is much more emotional thing as passion. It is also difficult to define whether the guy lacks his soul or not. Stereotype is may be organized from society's responses, but stereotypes from mass media are also manipulated images for making stories interesting.

Do the Right Thing

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I found the neighborhood dynamics in Do The Right Thing to be very interesting. Everyone interacts with each other with some level of respect but it is very clear that there is a lot of tension underneath the surface. I thought that there were a couple very good examples of the tension, the first being when the guy gets kicked out of the pizzeria for complaining that there were no black men on the wall of fame. The owner of the shop reacts very harshly to this and needs to be somewhat restrained by his sons before kicking him out. So even though these two characters interact fairly normally until this point anger boils up very easily out of something thats really not that big of an issue. The next scene that revealed tension was when the man drove by the uncapped fire hydrant and got sprayed after very specifically telling the men by the hydrant not to spray him. This was another good example of how conflict rose up out of nothing. The man did not have to be so rude when he was telling the men not to spray him, and on the flip side they did not have to spray him. This could have been easily avoided by both parties and yet once again conflict rises out of something that did not really have to happen. The last example was when the owner of the brownstone house scuffed the guys jordans. Because of this relatively small offense a crowd gathers around the two and are seemingly encouraging a fight. In every one of these situations it was always between a white and black man so we can see racial tensions boiling to the top waiting to explode. I really hope that we do have time to finish this movie next week.

Do the Right Thing - Film Response

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"Do the Right Thing" was a very controversial film. At the time of its release in 1989, there were some people who didn't like it, who were bothered or confused by it, but I think they were either missing the point, or didn't realize that they were supposed to be bothered and confused by it. I think Spike Lee was trying to comment on the issue of race relations as he saw it, a very bothersome and confusing issue. He wrote and directed and acted in scenes that exposed racism from all sides. I saw racism coming from whites, blacks, Asians, and Latinos. The film portrays the issue as being one big mess and I think he's right.

Of course with every movie there needs to be some dramatic license in order to drive the point home. People who are upset about that are completely missing the point. Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, said, "Anyone who walks into this film expecting answers is a dreamer or a fool. But anyone who leaves the movie with more intolerance than they walked in with wasn't paying attention" (rogerebert.com). I think what Spike Lee wants us to do is identify with one or all of the characters. The film is a window into what is wrong with race and class situations as Spike Lee sees them. I think we, as an audience, need to accept that and get as much out of this film as we can.

The film also comments on the issue of class separation in the US. There is a scene where a rich Cadillac-driving man tries to drive down a street that some kids are playing in. They have loosened the bolt on a fire hydrant and they are trying to cool off from the hot day. The man at the kids from his car that he will be mad if any water hits his car. It is clear that he does not have any respect for people he considers to be "lower class". The kids respond to this mistreatment by spraying water all over his car and the man is soaked. This scene tips the blame in the direction of the rich man, and in a situation like that it would be his fault.

Taken in context, this film was made in 1989 and was probably written earlier than that, but I think the film is still relevant even today. America has made great progress since the beginning of the civil rights movement, but I think there is still progress to make, especially in the way that the middle and upper classes treat the lower class.

The silenced Majority

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I think that he points Barbara Enrenreich made about the stereotypes of working class in the media is very interesting and an important idea for us to rethink about. We're meeting those people who we call the "working class "in everyday lives. When we go out for diners with family and friends, when we ride on the bus or taxies.. etc., they are playing very important role in our society. If those of 60-70 percent of the population of the working classes did not play the role they are playing now, or treated bad because of the stereotypes the media make, we, as a middle class, cannot be ignorant about it. But, do we categorize these people into the stereotypes the media tell? I believe not. I think that people are more knowledgeable about the media as we deal with it everyday, and the influences we get is not so powerful as before when only few medium had dominant power (we have many channels to get information from so many different perspectives). I believe that it is not the media, which only reinforce the stereotypes of working class. We learn about them from our own experiences and shape how we think about them. I really liked the quote she put in the last of the article, because it made me self-reinforced and rethink about my perception about stereotypical ideas about the working class.

Please post your discussion questions on Richard Butsch's "Ralph, Fred, Archie, and Homer" below. Please use the following questions to guide your note-taking as you read:

1) How do class and gender intersect in this essay?

2) What does Butsch mean by ideological hegemony?

3) How does the political economy of media participate in the re-creation of "the white male working-class buffoon," according to Butsch?

4) Why does this matter?

5) What is the role of advertisers in this process?

6) What do you think of this? Do you see other instances of this or similar phenomena?

Do the Right Thing analysis

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I found the film 'Do the Right Thing' to be incredibly interesting. The way Spike Lee depicted the relationship between different individuals and groups within a single neighborhood highlighted some of the ways in which we use racial differences as a defense mechanism to avoid what the real problems are. The connection between race and socioeconomic status came into play when we looked at the situation between the Brownstone owner and Mookie's friend who gets kicked out of the pizza parlor. The concept of 'freedom' is interpreted in completely different ways, stressing the concept of positionality we have discussed in class on multiple occasions. The ideas of 'freedom' and what is the 'right' thing to do are both subject to the interpretation of whoever has to make the decision for themselves. I think the point Spike Lee is trying to make is that one's surroundings make a person who they are and impacts the way they make a given decision. With a movie like that it is difficult to determine what the point the writer was trying to convey really was until we view the ending. While we were discussing the readings in class I found it interesting that the interpretations of Mitchell and Christensen on this movie were seen by my classmates to be sharing evidence to support opposing viewpoints. As I brought up in class, it seems as if one had a favorable view of the movie and one had a negative view of the movie and then the two drew conclusions about Spike Lee as a human being based on that exposure.

Do the Right Thing examining Spike Lee

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After watching part of the movie, Do the Right Thing I found some new respect and a little admiration for Spike Lee as a person. The movie depicted African American life in Brooklyn and all of the problems that the people face. The main character, Mookie, is played by Spike. Just from the part we saw, Spike made his character Mookie act like a good person. Mookie seemed to constantly "Do the Right Thing." This is interesting for me because I feel like Spike Lee usually just doesn't care. I figured Mookie would be a joker or somebody that constantly starts trouble. I thought Spike would mirror Mookie too who Spike is in real life. Which is a controversial director that always has something to say whether it be negative or positive. Spike once said the Senator of Mississippi was a card carrying member of the KKK. He also said Larry Bird was garbage and the only reason why Bird was a prominent basketball player was because of white supremacist media. His controversy and choice of words always kind of bugged me. That's why I found new respect for Spike. He could have created a lot of controversy as the character Mookie.
I really wanna examine the character Mookie. He faces racial problems when he kicks out his black friend from the restaurant. He understands that his friend is wrong and also just doesn't want to loose his job. Mookie also tries to inspire one of the Italian brothers to stick up for himself. I think that Spike Lee wants people to understand and see that sometimes the smallest of things done right, can make the biggest of difference.

Do the Right Thing- A Reflection

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I found the movie Do the Right Thing to be an interesting perspective on racial tensions in our society. Although I've never really experienced the kinds of interactions depicted in the movie, I feel like it is a good thing to examine and think about (as others have obviously done, as per the class reading).

When we watch movies, we try and pick out characters that are the good guys and bad guys. In this movie I found it interesting that there were different perspectives with different main characters. I felt like we had a special relationship with the pizza delivery boy (I forgot his name) since he was the first character we spend time watching and learning about. But even with that it became clear that there are more main characters that play just as central a role. Another thing related to this is that we have a hard time picking out bad guys. Every character had their own flaws.

One of the big things that causes tensions to rise in the movie is that everyone had their own idea of what freedom was (we discussed this in class but I found it very interesting and compelling). Who really has the right idea of freedom? Everyone wants to be "free," but they want to be free in their own sense of the word. It makes me question if the characters in the movie (or real life) can ever really be happy, or even free. Can we be happy being free in someone else's sense of the word? If I use the beginning of the movie when tensions were high as an example of life, I would say everyone won't be happy being someone else's "free."

I also have to say that I don't think this is an accurate portrayal of actual experiences. If anything, I would classify as a hyperbolized compilation of actual experiences. That is to say, I think these are all possible scenarios for a neighborhood to experience, but I think they are all separate examples merged into one exaggerated super conflict. Does this result in a less powerful message? I don't think so. I think sometimes the best lessons are learned in extreme circumstances. So although the story is a little stretched, it is a meaningful watch and even if you didn't like the movie you can get something out of it.

What's the point of working?

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I wanted to write my blog post on Kassie's clip on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo based off of her argument from the Ehrenreich article, "The Silenced Majority." I remember that the majority of the discussion facilitated about the class system here in the United States and what qualifies what a real job is. I watched that same clip over and over and just could not believe that TLC would give family so outrageous and ill mannered a show of their own. In the sense now, this can be considered that family's occupation. I don't know what contract details look like or what they are being paid, but it makes me ask myself what job did they have before life on television. I guess I am being fairly judgmental in this post, but I just don't a family that comes across as being so stereotypical white trash should be rewarded with a job offer like this. It just makes me think of all of my peers who are going to school to become college educated, many of whom have already graduated but are still seeking a full time REAL job. I guess people may wait tables for a living or star on their own show and make that their real job, but it just puts a sour feeling in my stomach to see college grads who have worked 4+ years to earn a degree still struggle to find work and emerge from working class society, when something like a television show is all of a sudden granted to a family because they are simply an outrage to society.

Jingyan Jiang-Blog Four

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ChungFeng Sun says in her article that Ling Woo has broken the "China doll" stereotype of Asian women. But in reality, Lucy Liu is still considered as a pretty "China Doll". She was praised widely though she was only act as a "white fantasy".

There are lots of examples that I saw in different movies that stereotype Asian women as powerless, quiet, no opinion, and sexually appealing to white men in order to get something. The one I remember the most is Bai Ling act as someone (I don't even want to mention the name of the character) in the French film Taxi 3. The character can totally achieve her goal without sexually appealing to the actor, but the film presented the other way.

I don't really care about how Lucy Liu act as a Chinese female since basically she is an American act as a Chinese. The perspective she takes and the way American audiences views her doesn't really hurt me. But Bai Ling's interpretation of a Chinese female and accepted that character piss me off. I was even more surprised after I done a small research on her. She is from a fairly well educated family. Her dad was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later became a music teacher. Her mom was a dancer and a literature teacher in Sichuan University. I assume that she should had some understanding about what message will be delivered when she took such a character. I understand that it's so important for some actress to become famous internationally. But by selling your country's female dignity cannot be tolerated.

Jingyan Jiang-Blog Four

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ChungFeng Sun says in her article that Ling Woo has broken the "China doll" stereotype of Asian women. But in reality, Lucy Liu is still considered as a pretty "China Doll". She was praised widely though she was only act as a "white fantasy".

There are lots of examples that I saw in different movies that stereotype Asian women as powerless, quiet, no opinion, and sexually appealing to white men in order to get something. The one I remember the most is Bai Ling act as someone (I don't even want to mention the name of the character) in the French film Taxi 3. The character can totally achieve her goal without sexually appealing to the actor, but the film presented the other way.

I don't really care about how Lucy Liu act as a Chinese female since basically she is an American act as a Chinese. The perspective she takes and the way American audiences views her doesn't really hurt me. But Bai Ling's interpretation of a Chinese female and accepted that character piss me off. I was even more surprised after I done a small research on her. She is from a fairly well educated family. Her dad was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later became a music teacher. Her mom was a dancer and a literature teacher in Sichuan University. I assume that she should had some understanding about what message will be delivered when she took such a character. I understand that it's so important for some actress to become famous internationally. But by selling your country's female dignity cannot be tolerated.

Mitchell-"Seeing Do the Right Thing"

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Please post your discussion questions on Mitchell's essay here. Mitchell's essay is the third chapter in a debate between himself and another scholar named Christensen on Spike Lee's film, *Do the Right Thing.* In this piece, Mitchell responds to a 1991 article by Christensen, which is responding to an original essay by Mitchell. I have uploaded the other two articles to the Moodle site for your reference. Feel free to respond to any of the three pieces in your discussion questions, but be sure to come to class prepared to discuss the reading on the syllabus.

Blog 3: Media Literacy

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I recently finished reading a book by Neil Postman called, Amusing Ourselves to Death, which unveils some of the basic lessons of media literacy that we have been talking about in class. Postman argues that "definitions of truth are derived, in part, from the character of the media of communication, through which information is conveyed." He summarizes this point by titling chapter two as, "Media as Epistemology." Postman, founder of NYU's Media Ecology program, claimed that our culture's idea of truth had transgressed as we have moved away from the print-oriented eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and into the new, media-driven, twentieth century. Epistemology is important to rhetoric because rhetoric involves communication; therefore, the exchange of knowledge. Amusing Ourselves to Death is of fascinating interest to anyone who studies how media affects our public discourse. According to Postman, television is transforming our culture into one vast arena for show business. In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman demonstrates that television's way of knowing is unwaveringly, and unreceptive to typography's way of knowing. He goes on to try and prove that television's conversations promote incoherence and triviality. In other words, Postman is saying "serious television" is a contradiction in terms. He states that the problem with television is not that it presents us with entertaining subject matter, but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining. He presents a critical point when he says "Television is our culture's principal mode of knowing about itself. Therefore how television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged". Using examples of news, religion, education, and political TV shows, Postman tries to reveal that television only speaks in one persistent voice, the voice of entertainment. Amusing Ourselves to Death is an important book to anyone seeking to understand the ways in which the media shape our lives. I am left to wonder, as television for our current generation is becoming outdated, and we begin to rely on newer technologies to provide us with public discourse, how will this, new medium affect our culture's idea of truth?

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