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Meredith Molony Blog #8: Media and Identity Reflection

2 Dec

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Looking back on the syllabus and reflecting on what I have learned in this class, the sections that stand out to me the most are Gender and Sexuality in the Media, Class in the Media, and Race in the Media.  The section of Gender and Sexuality stands out to me because as a female I had some prior knowledge about how the media depicts women, but this class taught me even more ways of how women are objectified.  I also learned that the term gender display is how we show our gender to other people and that it doesn’t depend on sex.  So for example, males can act feminine or females can act masculine.  My favorite theory from this section is the Intersectionality Theory which explains multiple layers of our identities and the different oppression we experience depending on our layers.  From the section of Class in the Media I learned that there are three different class ideologies and three different types of capital.  The class ideologies are the American dream, rugged individualism, and protestant work ethic.  The three types of capital are economic, cultural, and social.  Before learning this section I didn’t know that class played a role in media.  What I found most interesting in this section was that Hollywood uses sitcoms and humor to mask the bigger problem.  In the section of Race in the Media I learned that framing is how topics are treated by the media and how that leads us to think about them, I also learned that the media tells us what race is and tells us what is expected of a given racial group.  My favorite and most insightful thing that I learned in this section was from when we watched the video Reel Bad Arabs, before watching this I never realized how Hollywood portrays Arabs in such a degrading way.  Overall, this was a very informative class with information that was fun and interesting to learn.  It taught me important information about the media and gave me further knowledge of my identity.

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Blog #7: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

24 Nov

An example of an organization that is using their resources and creativity to counter negativity is “Big Brothers Big Sisters of America”.  This organization is addressing youths’ most basic developmental needs by pairing children with a caring adult.  The children that are paired with these caring adults do everyday activities such as “eating out, playing sports or attending sports events, going to movies, sightseeing, and just hanging out together”.  Researchers found that the children who were paired with a big brother or big sister perform better on school work, cooperate better with their families, and are “46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class, and 33% less likely to hit someone”.  A theory that could be applied to the children who are a part of this organization is the Social Learning Theory (Social Cognitive Theory) which explains that we learn behavior and attitudes from visuals.  Applying the four parts of the theory attention, retention, production, and motivation to what the researchers found about the “littles” can help grasp a better understand as to why the organization is successful.  Attention is that learning requires attention; these “littles” are paying attention to what they are learning from their caring big brother or big sister.  Retention is the ability to remember; the “littles” are remembering what they are doing because they are having fun with and realizing that there is an adult in their lives that care about them.  Production is remembering modeled portrayals and transforming them into action in the real world, because the “littles” are learning and remembering what they are doing with their “bigs” they want to turn it into their real world when their “bigs” aren’t around.  Motivation is encouragement or when behavior replicated is met with validation, the “littles” are learning, remembering, transforming, and replicating their behavior around their “bigs” and their “bigs” behavior.  This is what is steering them away from the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, skipping school or class, and hitting others.  I do think that this strategy is working, not only because the research shows but because it offers a caring, supportive, and honest person that these children can confide in and create a lasting friendship.  I believe that pro-social media overall can help because it offers a positive outlook for people who may feel that there is only the negative side.  It allows people to regain their sense of self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-concept.  big brothers big sisters

Breaking Amish

28 Oct

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From the cable network TLC, I chose the program Breaking Amish.  It is currently running its third season and is about how five young, Amish, and sheltered adults leave their restraining community and move to New York City where they experiment with alcohol, nightlife, relationship drama, and sex-life.  Basically, they are experiencing things and activities that are forbidden by their religion and that could potentially shun them from their families and exiled from their community.  They face the ultimate decision between staying with their religion or face a different future in a world that is new to them.  From this TV series, I watched episode five from season three called “Forgive and Forget”.  In this particular episode, Miriam has to face Matt’s wife and his mother-in-law and tell them the truth about their one-night stand.  Matt apologizes to his wife for his actions and asks if he can make it up to her and take her out on a date.  She spends all day getting her hair and make-up done and deciding what to wear.  Other characters, like Vonda tries out online dating and goes out on a date, and Bates is working on his acting career.  All of the characters try to stick together when they are facing different problems.  Throughout the seasons you see them all talking and interacting with one another.  Almost all of them mention their religion and what their beliefs should be.  They are portrayed as innocent, sheltered, and child-like adults who try their best not to steer away from their initial religious beliefs.  One character in this episode that stands out to me the most is Miriam because she is seen drinking, she was lied to, and had sex with a married man.  The episode flashes back to when Matt and Miriam both informed each other that they were single.  Matt, lied and is actually married to his now pregnant wife.  I feel bad for Miriam because she was lied to; she had full faith in the fact that Matt would be telling her the truth.  She tries to deal with her situation by running off to a bar and drinking so that she can have some “liquid courage” when facing Matt’s wife and mother-in-law.  Applying this to the article Images of Evangelicals in American Film by Rendleman, it confirms that there are different types of religious characters.  All characters in Breaking Amish portray the “hypocrite” by living a completely different life compared to their religion and beliefs.

Blog #5: The Real Husbands of Hollywood

16 Oct

The show that features majority non-white characters that I chose is from season one and episode one called Easy Bake Kevin from The Real Husbands of Hollywood.  This show is on BET, but I watched this episode on Netflix.  Almost all of the characters in this show are African American and the other characters that are in the background or occasionally a main character in a certain episode are white.  The main characters do mention their race and other’s race quite a few times.  When the African American characters are interacting with one another they are joking, teasing, shaking hands, and hugging.  When Kevin Hart is interacting with the white characters it is completely different.  A few examples are when he signs a picture of himself and says “stay in school it’s the best choice for you.”, a white balloon artist approaches Kevin and gives him a balloon hat and calls him a little boy, in response Kevin says “get out of here fake Jonah Hill looking.”, and a final example is when Robin Thicke comes to his house he is appalled, won’t shake his hand, makes fun of the way that he looks, and tells him to never come back.  This reality TV show is a comedy in which Kevin Hart displays jealousy of his friends and tries to gain fame.  It also, pokes fun at other similarly named reality shows such as The Real Housewives of Orange County.  This particular episode introduces the main characters and Kevin Hart describes his attitude towards the other characters, takes place at both Kevin Hart’s and Nick Cannon’s house.  Of the main characters Kevin Hart stands out to me the most.  I think having Kevin Hart and his perspective stand out from the rest of the characters is another point of the show.  Considering that Kevin Hart and the rest of the main characters are African American and I am white I do not feel that I can or do connect with him or any of the characters.  Applying this to a section of our class notes, I do think that this show over represents African Americans compared the 13% population.             real-husbands-hollywood-16x9

Blog #4: New Girl

7 Oct

Of these five major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CW I chose the primetime program New Girl that airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. This sitcom revolves around Jess and her offbeat personality. She moves into a loft with three single men in L.A. All of the characters are in their earlier thirties and the show combines comedy and drama as they have to face making decisions about their relationships and careers. Also, this show is aimed at a general audience. One racial group that is represented in this program is black males. There are two black male characters that are in the show, Winston and Coach. From my knowledge, Coach doesn’t appear in all of the episodes and when he does appear he is seems to be very cocky. Winston lives with Jess and two other white male characters. When he is interacting with the other characters he seems to be the outcast and the scapegoat for the other characters in the show. Both Coach and Winston were former basketball athletes. These characters do mention their race and portray certain “black stereotypes”, like being former competitive and cocky basketball athletes. From the racial group, the character that stands out the most to me is Coach when he appears in episodes. Specifically, episode 7 from season 3, he has a very strong athletic attitude. Throughout this episode Coach is calling Winston “shrimp claws”, which is making fun of when Winston was a basketball player and how he couldn’t keep a hold of the ball. In this particular case, I cannot identify with this character or racial group. Based on Dr. Deggans reading, Coach and Winston do confirm certain stereotypes about blacks. Coach and Winston are both there to support the other characters in this show that are all white. Dr. Deggans explained that black characters play best friends to whites and that they stop and drop everything to help and support the white character.

Blog #3- Class System in Modern Family

24 Sep

Of these five major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CW I chose the primetime program Modern Family from ABC. This show is a sitcom that is about three related but different families and it follows the lives of these families that live in suburban Los Angeles and how they each face tribulations and life experiences. The first of the three families is Jay and Gloria Pritchett who have Manny Delgado from Gloria’s previous marriage and Mitchell Pritchett and Claire Dunphy from Jay’s previous marriage. Mitchell Pritchett is partners with Cameron Tucker and their child is Lily Tucker-Pritchett. Claire Dunphy is married to Phil Dunphy and their children are Haley Dunphy, Alex Dunphy, and Luke Dunphy. I would describe these families’ class dynamic as Gloria and Jay as the most powerful because they are the parents and grandparents of the three families. I would say that the second most powerful is Claire and Phil’s family because they are a heterosexual couple. That makes Mitchell and Cameron’s family the third most powerful because they are a homosexual couple. All families are well established, wealthy, and independent. I believe that the families are placed in their powerful positions based on their familial position and sexuality. I think that all of the families’ perspectives are shown equally throughout an episode but that Gloria and Jay’s family the strongest power position. Of all the characters, I think that Jay Pritchett stands out to me the most. This is because he is the male of the most powerful family. He has children of his own and a child from his wife’s previous marriage that all come to him for help and take his advice. From the shows that I have watched I don’t believe that he or his wife have jobs. I believe that he is retired from a very well paying job. He is aware of his place as upper class in the class system and has achieved the ideal American Dream. Applying this show to the Honey Boo Boo article, I think that this show and media are poking fun at homosexual couples. They have characterized Mitchell and Cameron as a “typical gay” by making them overly feminine. They are out casting them by characterizing them into a specific stereotype and placing their family into what I believe is the lowest family of power.

Blog #2: Women In Cosmo Magazine

16 Sep

I will be analyzing Cosmopolitan Magazine. This magazine is directed towards women and I will also be analyzing the way that they are featured in ads and in other picture or articles throughout. In it you will find different topics to read that mostly talk about how women can improve. It has ways for women to learn how to have better sex, get a better butt, and ways to help a relationship with your man. I have noticed that almost all of the topics for women to read are ways that they need to improve their bodies, looks, and ways that these and other tips will help change and improve their relationship with their man or with a man that they want to get.   After watching the “Codes of Gender video” by Sut Jhally and looking at the ads in this magazine I have noticed that almost all of the ads are doing what he said they would. All of the women in the ads are in submissive positions, head tilted, holding and object without power or strength, neck exposed, touching their bodies, and squatting down. In an American Eagle ad with two women, one is turned around looking off into the distance like a daydreamer and the other women has her hair covering part of her face, bent forward, and is laughing uncontrollable. The ads in this magazine are all directed towards women in the ways that Sut Jhally explained, even though they are all directed towards women I think men would like to see them more. Women look at these ads in a different way that men would. We look at the ads interested and wanting to know what they are selling. We do see the women in the ads and like the way that they look with the product, but we do not look at the women in a sexual or submissive way.