Archive by Author

My final thoughts

4 Mar

This class has opened my eyes to the ways media influences society. I can’t watch movies, television shows or commercials without thinking about who was the lead role and why they were casted. I think we need to broaden the ideas for the media itself because without us doing something about it, it is going to continue on the same road. I also think about how the women and men are portrayed and it’s just how we discussed in class, women are sexual, child like and men are strong and independent. I feel like there is always some form of this in almost any type of program or movie.

I thought is was very interesting that the media tells us what race is and what is expected of them. And how most roles aren’t made for non-white and that non-whites have to fit the white narrative. So this doesn’t really express diversity if you think about it. You have to be a certain way in order to fit the role. Until we learned about mediated constructions I never really realized that there are so many races and cultures that are missing from movies, television and commercials. But now I realize that it is true, because as I think about all the television and movies I watch, I don’t really remember there being different races incorporated into them.

I can’t help but to say that it is hard not to stereotype people when you see them or meet them. I guess it is just part of social cognitive theory and Bandura’s social learning theory. We learn things through the media as visuals. So if we watch the media and learn things by watching then we can get a sense of how people act and what their behaviors might be like. But what you see might not always be true of that type of person. We just live in a world of uncertainty so we try to figure people out before we meet them and might have a general sense of what they might be like so we can lower our anxiety, kind of like anxiety and uncertainty management theory.

My category I chose to write my blogs on was class identity. I have always been interested in watching how people live and how they spend their money, so I thought it would be a good category to choose. I learned a lot more about class identity when I analyzed a different topic each week. I was able to point out things that I never noticed before and also a new perspective. In reality I don’t think we are all that different from rich to poor. We are all human and most of us live according to social norms but we might just live doing things a little differently depending on how many resources we are available to.

I really enjoyed doing the prosocial presentations in class. I loved our topic because I think Demi Lovato is such a strong person and with the issues she has had to tackle while being forced in the media. I have also been interested in body image for some time. Ever since high school, when we learned about eating disorders, they have been so interesting for me to learn about. I am not exactly sure why but I know it’s a huge issue in today’s society that it is hard for me not to pay attention to.

I have to say that I since I have grown up watching certain shows, such as One Tree Hill, I feel like I know who they are. So I can relate to the involvement theory. I get affected emotionally when certain things happen and it feels like they are real to me, as funny as that sounds lol. But I am so engaged and attached to the show that I don’t want it to be the last season.

I know that I am going to take a lot of what I learned in class with me. It is so relatable that it would be hard to forget all that we have learned and discussed in these past 8 weeks. It has definitely had an impact on me and a new perspective on media, race and gender. We just all need to make an effort to change the way media views people and move those marginalized groups into movies and television.

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Bridesmaids

3 Mar

Summary:

Bridesmaids is a comedy and basically the female version of The Hangover. It is about a group of bridesmaids who try to make Lillian have the best time up to her wedding. But it’s not all pleasant, the road to matrimony is quite rough. Nothing goes as planned and all the girls have different personalities, which sometimes clash. Annie is the maid of honor and her life has always been off track, but she still wants to make everything perfect for her best friend, even though she has no money to spend she lies about it. Everything ends up being a disaster and Lillian and Annie get into a fight through all this drama of jealousy and pressure. Although in the end Lillian and Annie have a talk to resolve and apologize for all that has led up to the wedding and it ends on a happy note.

Analysis:

Lillian’s sister-in-law, Helen, is a very wealthy and beautiful woman; you can tell by how she dresses,how she speaks and her manners. Throughout the movie she has always done one better than Annie. She uses her money to make everything so spectacular and pristine. Annie hates this and is jealous of how perfect Helen is and how she does everything right. Annie just doesn’t want to lose her best friend. She tries to organize a trip to Vegas for Lillian’s bachelorette party they end up having to come home because of Annie drunken behavior on the plane. It wasn’t Annie fault because Helen had given her a sleeping pill which didn’t mix well with the alcohol. A lot of situations in this movie Annie is obviously totally broke but still spending money in order to be the best maid of honor. This makes me think of society and how people act like they have money but really don’t. They try to play it off this way because they don’t want to be embarrassed about it. Especially when there is another girl who actually has money. It feels like you are always being compared to them and feeling insecure about not really owning up to the truth. I also think that Helen tries to use her money to show off to Lillian that she can step up and take the place of Annie’s maid of honor position. This is what I find interesting; Annie who basically has no money because she lives with her mom and can’t afford anything, but Annie has the highest rank at the wedding because she is the maid of honor. She has superiority over Helen in this situation and this is what Helen is jealous of. I found this very interesting.

Another example was when they were in the bridal store getting ready to try on bridesmaid dresses and Lillian trying on her gown. You could tell that the employee was judging them based on her facial reactions. She was mostly judging everyone but Lillian and Helen. You could just get a vibe that she though they couldn’t afford anything in there. In society I feel like when you go shopping to some places the employees won’t bother to come ask you for assistance because they don’t think you can afford anything anyway. But the funny thing is that even though someone might not be dresses in high class fashion doesn’t mean they don’t have money. Or I feel like if someone looks like they are of a lower class, employees might walk over and ask them if they are “finding everything okay?” They might pose this question to make them nervous about stealing something.

Response:

Bridesmaids can show you that friendship is stronger in comparison to a sister-in-law with money. Lillian didn’t really care about all the stuff Helen did for her, she just wanted Annie with her by her side to celebrate it. It does pose this lesson. Whether it was meant to be or not. Even though Annie’s life is destroyed, she has a great personality and still tries to make things better with Lillian and Rhodes. I think Helen has a more timid personality but I think it was that she was jealous of the bond Annie and Lillian shared. I like how during the wedding they put all differences aside and just had a great tie singing to “Hold On”. I now notice and think about class, race and gender when watching movies and shows on television that I never thought about before.

The Notebook (2004)

24 Feb

Summary: “The Notebook” is a true love story about how Noah and Allie met by ready through his notebook. There are times of love, loss, fights and then finally being together again. The story takes place in the present and the past time. Noah tells the story in the present day and they both relive those memories from the past. Because Allie suffers from Alzheimer’s she doesn’t quite remember the past and she doesn’t realize the story is about her and her husband Noah. There is a time through the movie where Allie remember and they spend at least five minutes together dancing and talking before she forgets who he is and her past life. Throughout the movie there is a class distinction between Allie and Noah. Allie is a privileged young lady and her parent have a lot of money. On the other hand Noah’s life is the opposite. He has to work and you can tell by his attire that he is of the working class.

Analysis: At the beginning of the movie Noah and Allie meet at a carnival. Noah is very driven young man and wants to know who this new girl is. Allie doesn’t want to take interest first of all and doesn’t want to bother with some working class boy. But Noah is one who keep initiating speaking to her and such. This situation back in the 1940’s was a time when there was a distinction between lower and middle class, it wasn’t intertwined. By that I mean the lower class and the upperclass being friendly with each other and hanging out. Because why would you bother hanging out with someone who can’t meet your needs?

Another example was when Allie’s mother told her about the love of her life back when she was a young lady. She took Allie to the coal mine and showed her the guy she fell in love with. She just didn’t want Allie to make a mistake and basically through her life away for that. She wanted Allie to have the best in life and her current fiance would do that for her. She was trying to say that there wasn’t anything that Noah could give her that her current fiance would because he wasn’t rich. I think that Allie’s mother really did love her first love and wanted to be with him, but when she met Allie’s father and knew he was of upper class status and who she loved, she knew she would have a better life. I know Allie’s mom had her best interest in mind and it was up to Allie from this point on to make her own decisions. Sometime you have to follow your heart and not follow the money, because money can’t by love. I think Allie’s mother exhibited social cognitive theory through Allie. Because in the end when she drops Allie off at Noah’s she give her his letters and comes to a sense of acceptance. Her prejudice is reduced by the information that Allie has given to her mom about Noah and all the things he had done for her and said.

Allie’s father treated Noah like he was nothing. He told him that he needed to leave Allie and try not to get back into her life. This was when her and her family were moving away from Seabrook because she was just their for the summer. Allie has to leave and each day Allie was gone, Noah wrote a letter saying how much he missed her and loved her. Allie never received the letter because her mother hide them all (later returning them to her). Her dad just knew Noah was worthless and didn’t want Allie to be with him because there was no potential. This scene is filled with a lot of emotion because Allie and Noah are torn apart in such short notice. I think her parents, her dad especially would do anything to keep that Noah away from Allie. I feel like her treating Noah as a peasant and he didn’t even really know him. It is like discrimination and stereotyping. Having preconceived thoughts about what people like him do and how they are. All of these thoughts which were wrong, as the audience can see. In this scene I feel like Noah has low self-esteem because of her fathers actions. I think Allie’s dad exhibits the information gap between the lower and upper class. He thinks that Noah doesn’t have the power, knowledge or advantages as the upper class because he isn’t exposed to as much as he is.

 

Response: I think the “The Notebook” does a great job of showing class identity because there are two sides of class between Allie and Noah. We all learn a lesson in the end that money doesn’t matter and that love is much more important. You have to follow your heart and think for yourself and what you want and don’t let anyone else’s opinions interfere to chance your decision. Through this movie we see the working class as determined individuals who are striving for a better life but it just might take longer. We are all the same individuals but just in different environments. We work, have families, we love and care. The only distinction is money, but once that is out of the equation then were all the same, human.

CW vs. Bravo!

17 Feb

Summary:

This week I watched Pretty Little Liars on the ABC Family on Monday night at 8pm. This weeks episode was surrounded by an event hosted at Rosewood High, similar to a lock-in. Caleb’s computer was taken, while he was sleeping and someone loaded false documents on it as a set up. While Caleb’s computer was being searched by the police, Hanna logs into Caleb’s account and deletes the ‘hefty’ file.  Spencer finds out that Jason is her half brother, who had lived next door to her family for years. Emily gets back on the swim team with the help of Mona and her information on the principal’s illegal spending.  Lucy finds out that Holden has an abdominal aortic aneurism, which can rupture whether he is doing karate or sitting at home. She bails on Ezra so she can watch Holden fight. Good thing because Aria’s dad was at the restaurant her and Ezra planned to go.

The other show I watched was Real Housewives of Orange County which airs on Tuesdays at 9 on Bravo. This past episodes is when Tamra and Gretchen, who have had a ‘cat fight/drama’ past, reconcile and try to become friends by putting everything in the past. Vicki who is Tamra’s bestfriend doesn’t know that her and Gretchen have been hanging out recently. Vicki is hosting a party at her house that she is putting up for sale for one last woo rah. A new housewife on the is Heather. She has it all, she is an actress and her husband’s a plastic surgeon. Alexis, another housewife, wants to have it all and is quite jealous of Heathers life because it is everything she has ever wanted. Tamra who divorced her controlling husband Simon is now in a relationships with her boyfriend Eddie. There is a lot more to sum up but I would be going on for a while!

Application:

During this episode there were many examples of class. Hanna’s father’s step daughter recently enrolled to Rosewood High and she tries to blame Hanna for a nude photo she sent the whole student class. But in fact, Kate was the one who sent it out and she had photoshopped her head on a nude picture. Kate has always been of high class, owning horses,  a equestrian, perfect blonde hair, classy in an evil/bitchy way, and showing her superiority over others. Her presence just makes you hate her. When I think of rich/classy people I think of stuck up, high maintenance, wasteful and careless of others. This is the kind of vibe that I get from Kate. The usual stereotype of high class rich people. Another example would be the relationship between Mia and Emily. Mia has been in rehabilitation for using marijuana and since she got out she has changed. She tried to be strong for Emily but in this past weeks episode she just fell apart. Saying that she wasn’t good enough and  lied about doing drugs again. Worrying that she will be sent back to a treatment center since her mother found it in her room. If you have watched this show, you would be able to understand her class identity as middle class but as far as her own person, she seems to be struggling with herself and her life. Just like with normal middle-class people, they still have those low class struggles with other things besides money.

During this episode the word of class is relevant every time. All these women are of very high class, expensive cars, homes, jewelry, handbags, sunglasses and clothes. They go on expensive vacations and seem to do whatever they feel. These ladies are the stereotype of Orange County women. Big boobs and bleach blonde hair. They want it all! Tamra and Vicki are the two I think do the most work. Vicki owns her own insurance company and Tamra is a real estate agent. I think that these ladies are classified as working class, but still very wealthy, but they work hard for their money and put a lot of time and effort into their career. I guess their mentality of working is quite different from the other housewives. There are more important things than shopping and blowing your money. Alexis I would say she is more of a wannabe housewife. She likes to compete with other housewives and I think this is because she is quite jealous. From my understanding Alexis doesn’t have a real job, I guess she just expects things to be done for her.  She is very jealous of Heather because she has everything that she wants. Heather is a very classy housewife, I don’t know any other way to put it. She is a brunette and doesn’t have fake boobs like the rest of them.  If you watch these shows consistently and get to know the characters, you can see that it isn’t all about money. There are family issues, drama with friends and career decisions. I guess I am getting more into the issue of stereotyping which could be under ‘uncategorized’ but it could also be the stereotyping of a class issue. These women may appear on television to have it all and putting on a show but behind the scenes they may be struggling. From the angle I see as a viewer, I don’t think that there would be anyone in this group of housewives to be middle classed.

Response:

In response Pretty Little Liars shows a range of class identities in its episodes. All the characters are from different backgrounds and family troubles, so there is always going to be some differentiation. The class issue doesn’t really affect the 4 friends in a negative way, Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily because they have been around each other enough to know a lot about each other already, such as their attitudes, personalities and things that they have gone through.

In response to the Real Housewives of Orange County, it is evident that this show has an immense view of upper class and wealthy people. Just by viewing their lifestyle, you can make inferences about it. You never hear the cast talking about money and how much something of their costs, but there really isn’t any need to ask? Everyone just seems to have these feelings of jealousy and competition between each other, some more than others. I think this is how the drama comes about.

In some of the two shows, Real Housewives of Orange County definitely encompasses more class identity than Pretty Little Liars, in my opinion. Maybe it is because it is more obvious is RHOOC? And Pretty Little Liars is more directed towards a plot and Real Housewives is more about money and living the good life so that’s why I think it is more noticeable.

Secret Circle

3 Feb

Summary: This week I watched the Secret Circle which airs on Thursday nights at 9 on the CW. It is about a group of witches that have come together to   form their circle so they can limit their powers to just the five of them. There are some older witches who live in the area who are trying to get their powers back by finding the few remaining crystals that were left behind. The overall summary is about Cassie who is trying to find out why she is a witch and has dark magic. She realizes that her father was the bearer of dark magic and she tries to find him to help her. Interfering with her search are witch hunters who try to kill off witches and each time is prevents them from moving a set forward.

Analysis/Application: Cassie is viewed as having more power than the other members of the circle because of the dark magic that has been passed on to her by her father. So in a way she is the hierarchy of the circle. One of the members of the circle is named Faye and she has always been jealous of Cassie having all the power. So she tries a spell with a psychic to take it away from her. She ends up receiving the power but then bad things start to happen to the other members. Faye new there were consequences for her actions but she is so focused on herself that she didn’t care about anyone else at that point. In the end she is forced to return the dark magic back to Cassie because she stole it and also to prevent anything else from happening. Her role as a white, young female is very dominant to the rest of the group. She is the main character which the story revolves around. As we were saying in class that mostly white men get the leading roles, but her we have a white female.  There are others in the circle who are white males, but there must have been a reason for their choice of Cassie. This gives status to Cassie but her character doesn’t thrive in being ‘the one’. She doesn’t care about being more powerful than the rest. The father of Diana (another witch character) and the principle of her school are trying to devise a way to get their powers back. They know that the circle is bound so they just need all the crystals to regain their powers. Diana’s father is a white male who shows his authority and power even without magic. Whatever he says goes. Even though he doesn’t have his magic he still portrays that strong, white man who is superior and tougher than a white woman. Like society says, man is stronger than women in terms of gender but in class it can also be true too. There could always be a women who has more class than a white man, it just depends on the context. Out of the parents, Diana’s dad is seen as the dominant male in the show at this point. The rest of the witches in the circle are much lower on the totem pole. Very similar to how they would be placed in terms of class. At this point they are weak by themselves but if they perform magic with one of the members of the circle they can have power. But still not as much as Cassie.

Response: There are many situations in the course of the show that can indicate class whether is with wealth or power. Each character can have a certain classification when they are compared to each other. As the show builds up there are new characters and ones that don’t come back but they all have a certain attitude that makes them better than someone else. There is a lot of ordering around in the show especially when it comes to the ‘bad guys’. As you see in movies, there are those weaklings that are ordered by their boss and someone who takes control and orders them around. This show is all about power and dominance, which as characteristics of class identity.

Seventeen, Glamour and Wellbella

27 Jan

Summary: The three magazines I chose for this blog assignment were Seventeen, Glamour and Wellbella. These magazines are centered around a female audience with the age range being middle school through college +. Glamour magazine offers style tips, guy’s confessions, beauty tricks and celebrity articles. Seventeen magazine basically offers the same thing, although I think it targets a younger girls audience because it talk about high school, flirting and cute boys. Not as in depth as Glamour. Wellbella is a fitness magazine which tells you secrets to losing weight, workouts, products to buy and nutrition. It is a magazine for any female and some celebrities are also featured in it.

Seventeen Magazine

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The ads in this magazine are all girl focused. The ads range from Neutrogena cleansers, tampon ads, perfume, clothing brands, and make up. In all these ads they have the prettiest and thinnest women being photographed to sell the product. So in one of the Covergirl ads, Taylor Swift is the model, so this states that if you buy this product, your makeup will look as good as Taylor’s. When magazines pick the model they want for an ad, they choose on who would sell the product the best and influence that girl reading it to want to buy it. Girls around the world look up to a lot of models and actresses and want to be like them. So when they see one of them in an ad, they are more likely to buy the product. Women are always looking for ways to better their body, face, and personality to make them more attractive. I still read this magazine and I am 22 and I still use some of the advice, trends and exercises available to me to improve myself. I don’t think the age matter because if it still is interesting to you and enjoying then you can read it. 

Glamour Magazine

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“The End of the Affair?”

20 Jan

Summary: I watched Gossip Girl’s episode “The End of the Affair?” that is broadcasted on The CW on Monday nights at 8:00p.m. In this episode Blair confesses the reason why she can no longer be with Chuck. Through much anticipation and hope that somehow they will be together, she is still following through on marrying Louis. No one can figure out what Blair is trying to hide from everyone. She is caught sneaking out with Dan Humphrey so everyone suspects they are having an affair. But to find out that Dan is supporting her by going to church with Blair to help her through this difficult time. Nate discovers that the limo Blair and Chuck were in was for himself instead. Someone wanted him to crash, so Nate is digging up the truth of that night.

Analysis: As with every other episode of Gossip Girl, class is something that you can see in almost every scene. When Blair goes to the fitting to try on her wedding dress, Vera Wang walks in and talks to Blair about getting a new dress. Vera was catering to the needs of Blair.

The form of transportation for all of these characters are town cars of limos, and Chuck even has his own driver. This is what you see in Hollywood, limos and town cars showing up to red carpet events while they open the car door for the celebrities.

Lily, Serena’s mom, hires a private investigator to find out where Charlie has gone. First of all to hire a private investigator, whom you are close friends with, to find someone in your family is extreme. This would cost a lot of money, this shows that money is just something they have and they can spend it anyway they like.

The article that we had read for class that I could relate Blair to would be the one of the Lion King. Blair would take the place of Mufasa. He play’s the ‘evil’ character and orders his hyenas around. Blair still orders people around whether they chose to listen and if they don’t, there will be consequences put on you. For instance, Blair has three “friends” that would do anything for her just to seek her approval and acceptance into her world. Sounds similar to Mufasa and the three hyena to me.

The commercials seemed the same everytime the commercial went to break. Commercials that showed previews for other shows that aired on the same network. There were also commercials for “The Women in Black”. There was also a commercial about donating to help neglected and abused pets. Most of the commercials didn’t involve class identity, if they did, it wasn’t very prominent. I think the commercials targeted an audience of teens to mid twenties to get their interest and attention. No one likes to see animals and pets abused, these commercials are always tear jerkers. But it can make an impact for this age class to adopt a pet or rescue one. For the movie preview, a lot of teens are into scary movies and with Daniel Radcliffe having the starring role, a lot of teens will be interested in it. He was known for his role in Harry Potter so he has a lot of fans.

Response: I think that Gossip Girl does a great job on class identity. It captures the appeal of their live and how a lot of viewers and fans watching the show look up to these characters and their lives. The average, middle-class American always wants something better than what they have. They want to be on top, the hierarchy. This is why our country is so individualistic, we are always looking out for our own self. We are a very competitive and greedy country. Gossip Girl portrays a lot of jealousy and revenge because of this. For example, Blair and Serena are bff’s but jealousy can get in the way, which causes drama, which turns into revenge. Blair was always jealous of how her mom wanted Serena to model at her fashion show and Blair wasn’t even asked.

The commercials each weak are very similar, always showing clips of shows on what is going to happen next week, previews for movies, sappy animal abuse commercials and Ford commercials for cars. I think these commercials are always consistent and they target a specific audience to promote and increase viewers and their satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

The Upper East Side of Manhattan

14 Jan

Group: Class Identity

Summary: The primetime television show I chose for this blog is Gossip Girl. The name of the show clearly explains itself. The shows setting takes place in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City. It revolves around the lives of several young, wealthy and privileged teens live. The show starts off with a Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) who it seen as the “It” girl. She has had many bad and regretful situations in her life. Her best friend, rival, is Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) who is grown into a privileged family. She is a spoiled ‘queen bee’ who, basically, runs and ruins people’s lives if you don’t live up to her orders or standards. If you have ever seen the movie ‘Mean Girls’ then picture this but even worst. Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) plays the bad boy. The one who has the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of every situation and has many connections to do anything he wants. He is a definitely a player, until he realizes later that Blair is the one for him. Chucks best friend Nate Archibald (Chase Crawford) is Blair’s ex-boyfriend. He is a more down-to-earth type of guy who wants to make something of himself and usually does the right thing, like a normal teen guy. Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) plays a Brooklyn boy who wants to be a writer, and eventually does. His book sums up the story of all these characters, their lies, secrets, truths, scandals, gossip, plus more. The lives of all these teens are  linked in one way or another.  It is a life of wealth, fashion, sex, test of relationships, class, status, power, retaliation and family.

Analysis/Application: I think that Blair Waldorf is the aspect of reality that we would define as more real because you can tell how she actually feels in any, whether she is hiding it or not. There are times when she is happy for someone, but really she is jealous. There are times when she is mad, but she is really upset. This has happened in many situations with Chuck Bass. I don’t think she wants to show her true feeling all the time because everyone would see her as vulnerable and weak and try to take her power and status away. The audience would interpret this show as privileged, young white males and females who run the Upper East Side. The audience may think that this show represents what live is like as a young, wealthy teen in Upper East Side Manhattan. They can tell that power and money can get your anything, but cannot make you truly happy. The benefit that this servers to would be ages 14-23 because the ages these characters are, are easily relatable to things that could go on for the average teen. This doesn’t just happen in NYC.

Response: I think this show is a really good example of Class Identity. There is not one episode that doesn’t involve class or power. I would like to have a life like these teens, without the drama, lies, secrets, and revenge. But that is probably not possible. Gossip Girl shows you the good and bad the situations that power and wealth come with. For example, Dan Humphrey was a middle-class white boy from Brooklyn that was seen as nothing, until his father married Serena van der Woodsen’s mother, Lily. He then was an upper-class white male being involved in their lifestyle.