Banet-Weiser, 'What's Your Flava?" & Lim, "Mixed Race Mess: Alicia Keys and Unthinkable Interracial Dating"

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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?

13 Comments

On page 222 Banet- Weiser makes the statement that Nickelodeon claimes its nework is commiting to diversity by having a show like Dora the Explorer, when really all it is doing is finding "an identity as an empowered consumer -citizen." I find the same to be true with Disney movies as well. They have movies like Mulan, Pocahontas, Princes and the Frog, that highlight different races which may seem to show their support for diversity, but really how much of it is really just for profits? Why does this even matter to us what their reason is behind it? What are some other shows, movies, or networks that you can think of that do the same thing?

In 'Mixed Race Mess: Alicia Keys and Unthinkable Interracial Dating', author Thea Lim essentially states that Alicia Keys is a racist because of the way her video director portrayed an interracial relationship over decades in a music video. She states that the video implies black people are more intolerant of race because it shows a group of black men attacking Chad Michael Murray because of his relationship with Keys. Thea Lim suggests that Alicia Keys is either ignorant of American history or is trying to make black people look less accepting of interracial relationships. Do you think either of these is true? Could there have been any other possible meanings behind this portrayal in a three minute music video? Do you think Alicia Keys is racist? Why does the author make such bold statements in this analysis of current racial representations?

On page 214, author writes “Nickelodeon, like other contemporary media companies, uses newly shaped economic models and an ethnically nonspecific, “transracial” style increasingly diverse and segmented audiences without alienating specific group.” Do you think these characters does not have any specific racial representation like Dora, and they can appeal the media belief clearly to consumers?

In Banet-Weiser's, "What's your Flava," the author mentions that the two identity categories: race representing "lava" and girl power serve next to each other in the media environment as a means of ambiguity rather than specificity that serve towards empowering post feminism. Consequently, these ideologies appear to be undoing the powerful acts of feminism, because in a way, by advertising Mattel's dolls as a "flava of choices" seems to be objectifying women in a sexual manner, appealing their dolls to younger girls at home, making them feel like they have to conform their adolescence into dressing like this urbanized sexual doll, and if you are a certain race, you have to look like this to be "in." My question is how are adolescent girls affected socially to be forced to conform to such a superficial stereotype. Additionally how have these television programs, like Nickelodeon, been able to endorse commercials and advertisements like these and still been able to fit the traditional stereotype of being an advocator of diversity for kids everywhere?

In Banet-Weiser's, "What's your Flava," the author talks about the weaving of the Puerto Rican Life style and legend into the cartoon "Dora the Explorer". The show includes religious events around the holidays and now the inclusion of siblings, Dora is shown taking care of her twin siblings, and while this have proven to help create new thematic ideas for the and add more elements to the post feminist framing, my initial reaction is how do children see Dora now that she is a sister, not only that but taking care of her siblings, does this promote sibling interaction or that siblings should help teach and take care of their siblings. While Nickelodeon has the shows, "Dora the Explorer" and "Go Diego Go", a show about Dora's cousin Diego, these shows only incorporate latin traditions and speaking spanish, could this alone become problematic for children to only identify with english and spanish speaking people. Nickelodeon did say that a chinese child was able to relate to Dora because she spoke a different language like she did, would Nickelodeon be better off to start incorporating more ethnic groups? If so how would they choose what groups to start with?

I watched Alicia Keys video, ‘unthinkable’, and impressed underlying message through the video. In the video, she is in a relationship with a white guy, and it showed the social stigma with interracial dating throughout the decades. (Over past and present) Although she loves her boyfriend, her family and friends oppose to their relationship. The video showed black people are regarding interracial dating is unacceptable behavior than white people…Was it really the director of this video wanted to portray to people? Is the meaning conveyed correctly through the video? Do you think Alicia Keys is racist? And do you believe that racism would help to be end if you do interracial dating?

I understand the points Banet-Weiser is making in this article. And to an extent it makes sense. Using Dora the Explorer as an example to say that feminism is becoming a commodity is an apt example. The dolls I think are an even better example because I think all of those toys like that are crap. This all leads to the idea of "Commodity Feminism." While I understand the idea of it, and that there is evidence of using it as such (like Nickelodeon), why only frame it like that? There is just as much stuff geared toward little boys if you look hard enough (or probably you don't have to look hard at all). I also like kopec020's question about incorporating different ethnic groups. I wish I thought of that one.

In Banet-Weisers article "What's Your Flava" she discusses the idea of race remaining an important issue in terms of representation. Companies try hard to balance races and sexes in commercials, shows, ads, you name it. On page Banet-Weiser mentions this can be seen in certain reality TV. South Park has a character named Token Black, which I think is ripping on everyone in media that has thought "Oh we need a (token) black guy in there to balance it out" This balancing out and politically correctness has lead to many shows. Even networks like BET and Oxygen and events like Black History Month, Women's History month and Gay Pride Parades. With such emphasis on representation and balance, do you think we are headed for, or are witnessing backwards racism?

The examination of the term urbanized is key when thinking of blacks in media. It is defined as a practice occurring within the current representational landscape. I feel like this term can be simplified as the change in media to other cultures, namely black culture. I found it interesting that the Cosby Show is noted as a "pioneer" of black television. Yes, the Cosby's were African American, but did they really define "urban" life? We talked about how the Cosby's don't necessarily define the lower classes and this could be the same for urban life as well. I think many blacks wouldn't be able to identify with the Cosby's and the show is more of an entertainment for whites. My question would be, do you think that a show like the Cosby Show is a stepping stone for blacks to get into media and television? Is that show a good example of easing white people into urban lifestyle? I feel like another example would be the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Did these shows help to create actual urban productions like Boyz in the Hood or even the BET channel?

Early in the article, Banet-Weiser describes these "flavas" dolls, and mentions that their racial qualities are ambiguous. They could pass for any race, and thus is a bit confusing. My question is, Why do you think they use such ambiguity in their products, and is this detrimental to the young girls who buy these dolls?

In Banet-Weiser's, "What's your Flava,"we are faced with the question of whether or not race empowerment is a positive or negative effect in the media. I tend to straddle both sides. I think it's okay for people to want to identify with characters on a TV show and because minorities are underrepresented throughout TV or given a stereotypical role it's important for channels that specifically are produced for a certain minority. On the other hand I think that main stream media needs to start blending the race gaps seen throughout television. By showing interracial relationships, adding gay characters to "straight" shows, and taking out stereotypes will help in the lowering of media discrimination. I'm left to wonder, Are channels like BET, for Blacks, and LOGO for gays, portraying their characters in a non stereotypical way, or are the stereotypes still visible on these channels.

In Banet-Weiser's, "What's your Flava,"we are faced with the question of whether or not race empowerment is a positive or negative effect in the media. I tend to straddle both sides. I think it's okay for people to want to identify with characters on a TV show and because minorities are underrepresented throughout TV or given a stereotypical role it's important for channels that specifically are produced for a certain minority. On the other hand I think that main stream media needs to start blending the race gaps seen throughout television. By showing interracial relationships, adding gay characters to "straight" shows, and taking out stereotypes will help in the lowering of media discrimination. I'm left to wonder, Are channels like BET, for Blacks, and LOGO for gays, portraying their characters in a non stereotypical way, or are the stereotypes still visible on these channels.

In Banet-Weiser's, "What's your Flava", she talks about feminism and race as commodities and means to make a profit. What ways can we see this with today's media? Are shows like Jersey Shore, where they are showing the life of italian based men and women in New Jersey, making money by portraying a group of people like that? Or how about a lot of the black comedies of the mid to late nineties?

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on October 15, 2012 11:03 PM.

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