Media and Identity- Reflection

3 Dec

Over the past semester, I have revisited topics that I have already learned about, revisited topics that I am strongly opinionated about, and learned many new things, theories and viewpoints. Being a Media and Identity class, and discussing topics such as race, class, gender, stereotypes, religion etc, I think it was a great thing that we had such a diverse class of students. I know there was a wide array of different religions, several different ethnicity’s, different identities and different races. This being said, we got to experience several different view points, first hand, in class, which was a great learning experience.

One moment in particular that stood out to me a lot this past semester was when we did an in class activity, where we did a survey, circling numbers regarding to things we had or didn’t have growing up. The activity was related to the topic of class and power. If you had a positive number after adding all of your answers together, you were most likely in the middle/ upper class, and were very privileged growing up. This activitiy stood out to me a lot because my results did not fit my stereotype of a white female at all. My results, to the theory of class, should have been around a positive 4 or 5. However, my results were a negative 3. This made me realize that I went against my stereotype. But who else was really gonna believe me? Even if I had told the class about it, some of the students still would have seen me as a rich, white girl, whos parents probably are paying for college. In reality, I’m in a lot of debt due to loans for college because my single mother cant afford my education. My loans are in my name, and I struggle some months just like those who live in poverty. Having $7 to my name after rent, and bumming swipes off of my underclassmen friends.

I think learning more about the theories and topics that we discussed made me happy because I have always been a strong advocate against medias portrayals of people, mostly image and gender identity. Being introduced to class, race and religion in the media though, was a different view point for me, but I learned a lot and actually enjoyed the content. Before taking this course I would have never realized how little native Americans and Latinos were portrayed in our cultures media.  I think it is a shame that all races, religions, classes, etc are not portrayed equally in the media, because our nation is so high on it’s horse about being the “melting pot” yet if you view its media, we are RomCom white folk, white trash, rich whites, or vice-verse, Nerdy Asain’s, violent and rude blacks, etc.

The topics and ideologies discussed in class gave me a new appreciation for the study of media and identity. They forced me to think critically and to see different view points, even when I didn’t agree with them. Being able to practice acceptance of other view points was a great way for me mature my professional self. This class not only taught me about different topics related to media and identity, but it also taught my life lessons. 1.) Different View points are just different, not wrong. 2.) everyone is different, regardless of their race / religion/ skin color. Just because She is black and so is her friend, doesn’t mean they experience blackness the same. 3.) People are made up of intersectionality- meaning they aren’t just a white woman, black woman, asain women. They are a mom, a lawyer, poor, rich, christian, atheist, educated, under educated, etc.

People tend to perpetuate the stereotypes they are given by the media- but what if, as students, we change that together? What if we informed people, gave them the knowledge and the opportunity to learn about media and identity the way we were taught? I wish you the best with your clothing line and I wish that you can truly inspire people through it as well. Keep on teaching on, the world could use a little more culture in their lives.

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