Katz, "Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity" & Aaron, "Towards Queer Television Theory"

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Please post your discussion questions on Katz, "Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity" and Aaron, "Towards Queer Television Theory: Bigger Pictures Sans the Sweet Queer After" below. Use the following questions to guide your reading:

1. Katz begins his essay by pointing out the historical absence of attention to masculinity--and more specifically, class-conscious attention to masculinity--within discussions and debates surrounding gender in mass media, though recently this has begun to shift. What, according to Katz, are the consequences of this inattention? Why does he believe masculinity needs to be addressed?
2. What, in your view, are some areas in which masculinity ought to be addressed? How might this be done?
3. What does Katz understand as "hegemonic masculinity"?
4. What are some of the symbols that circulation around this concept in advertising? What are the cultural narratives in which hegemonic masculinity operates? Where do you see some of these narratives operating in your own experience with media?
5. What are some examples of images of hegemonic masculinity?
6. What do you think are the consequences of the circulation of these images?

7. Michele Aaron suggests three avenues that queer theorizing of television and film could take in the future: the "queer and now"; the "sweet queer-after"; the "queer re:." How do you understand each of these three possible direction? What do you see as the possibilities and limitations of each? Why does Aaron see the third of these paths as having the most political possibility at present?
8. Later in the piece, she suggests a fourth, the extraterrestrial. How do you understand this term? What do you think is its usefulness?
9. How does Aaron view the concept "queer"? How does this differ from terms like "homosexuality" in terms of its critical and political use-value?
10. For Aaron, why is it important to analyze "queer texts"?
11. Finally, how does Six Feet Under operate as an object for queer theorizing, for Aaron?
12. What does she see as the possibilities of its queerness? What do you think about this?
13. How, for Aaron, is queerness a frame for understanding not only the text--that is, the content of a television show or movie--but also viewing practices? What do you think about her suggestions for understanding viewing practices within this frame?

5 Comments

I look forward to our discussion in class on Monday to really unpack what these authors are writing and also for some clarification on their pieces. At the end of Michele Aaron's excerpt from her book she quotes Nicholas Abercrombie, "There is no serious evidence that zapping and grazing are particularly common, although every viewer may well perform these unnatural acts from time to time." What did Abercrombie mean by "zapping" and "grazing?"

I thought there were many interesting parts to the Katz article. The first thing that i thought of once he started talking about violent advertising was once again the Dr Pepper 10 ad. It seems that this ad keeps resurfacing and applys to many different areas of this class. My question surrounding this would be what needs to change for advertisers to stop targeting men in a violent way? Arent men in some way just wired to be attracted to violence and physicality? The next part that i found very interesting was the part about eminem and his "bad boy act" as he puts it. Eminem really brings up the issue that Katz spoke about which was invisible white privilege. Eminem however had his race work against him early in his career because rap is a predominantly black type of music. I would be curious to know if Katz would argue that his race helped him or hindered him?

A lot of these pieces I feel are misleading. They are presented in a very scholarly fashion in an attempt to try and hide that they are finding things to support their argument. In so many of these pieces we read, there is one side to the argument and biased and charged language. Which is fine we still learn things but not as much as we could from some of these people.
Anyhow, Katz uses Eminem as a large part of his argument. As vannx031 mentioned, Eminem was completely out of his element going into the rap scene. He was a white man. When anyone is selling a product they will do what works. I kind of want to equate it to President Obama. So many people criticize him based on how "white" he acts, but really he acts "Presidential," but no one makes comments on how white Presidents act presidential. Would Katz see this side of the argument? Maybe Eminem justs acts like a rapper

I think that the article by Katz displays what advertisers play on to attract the attention of males. I think alot of the points brought up were stating the obvious. Males historically are more violent she has statistics to back that up. I am sure there are alot of biological reasons for it. I don't think that we can fault advertisers for realizing this using it as a way to reach customers. I do think as a result it trains males to think that maleness means violence but I don't think that it trains adult males I think that it could train little boys. The men I know don't go out and beat someone up after seeing a Jason Statham movie. A little boy might go out and hit their friend after watching ninja turtles. What is an appropriate way to represent masculinity in advertising and movies?

Katz stated that White males are less often being assosiated with crime or negative news, even though in reality they make up the majority of such cases. And advertisments create a more white-male-fantasy ground, in which white males are always the key players. To me, it's so obvious that when I watch Cop, always black males/teenages being targeted at. But, this is hardly a truth. The media are controled by international conglomerates, and their productions focus only on positive side of white male is so easy to understand, since most of them have the power to shop. But to what end?

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on November 2, 2012 12:15 PM.

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