Archive by Author

Reflection

3 Dec

This semester I took this class because I needed another elective and by reading the description of the class, it seemed interesting. I never expected for my viewpoints and thoughts to change so drastically. This class opened my thinking and I am now able to think about different situations in a way that I never had or I thought that I would.

I was aware that the media could make you act, think, and feel a certain way. Movies and television shows can change how you would act in a situation after seeing that same situation. Music can change your mood and your feelings depending on what is going on in your life. People turn to these media forms to make them feel better and so that they know they are not alone.

In this class, I learned about the different theories that are behind changing our feelings and our attitudes. It is incredible to me how a 15-week class can change your viewpoints so much. The race and cultures discussions of the class changed my thinking the most. I never paid attention to how underrepresented different races and cultures were in the media. After this class, I am much more aware and pay much more attention to different races and stereotypes in todays movies and television shows.

Although group projects are always tough with everyone having different schedules and we didn’t have much time to complete the project, I really enjoyed coming up with an idea to bring people together. It allowed us to think in a different way and to come up with our own idea about how we would solve the problem of the separation of today’s society. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s ideas and how they viewed different problems and what they would do to fix it.

Overall, I thought this class was tough, but in a good way. It opened my mind and allowed me to think in a way I never had about topics that I was unaware of. There are many problems we face today as a community and it only takes one person to want to start a change to fix one of the many problems.

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Stereotype Threat-Be You

24 Nov

In class we discussed the stereotype threat, which is when ones performance is affected when stereotypes are made salient. Meaning, that once a stereotype is made known, people tend to live up to those stereotypes. Such as, women are not good at math or white men cannot jump. Stereotype threats are harmful to the world because once people start to live up to their supposed stereotype, they start to lose a part of themselves and become like everyone else. Getting past and ignoring stereotypes and being your true self is so important in todays society.

I chose the UN Women organization. “UN Women works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.” The organization work son many things to get equality for women. The one that I will be discussing is, “Countering Gender Discrimination and Negative Gender Stereotypes.”

The article discuses stereotypes and what needs to be done to counter these stereotypes on the community, society, and national levels, as well as the global level. The organization says, “We need to create and enabling environment, specific institutions and systems, and individual champions and role model creation.” The article also talks about policies and measures that would be effective on the country level.

The article discusses that for anything to change, the issue needs to keep being addressed. Norms need to continue to be built and changed so that women are not looked down upon and are able to rise and close the equity gap. We need to continue working on changing the stereotype of women so that at the national level they are translated into policies and programs.

I think that it will take a lot of work and time to close the equity gap because it is something that has always been there. But if the UN Women organization makes the campaign more known and gets more people on board, I absolutely think that this campaign could be effective. Changing stereotypes is difficult, especially because of the stereotype threat and people living up to those stereotypes. But I think that it is something that needs to be done and can be done if enough people back that campaign and it is publicly addressed over and over again.

http://www.unwomen.org/en

Dog is God Spelled Backwards

27 Oct

I chose to look at the television series 7th Heaven. Although everyone in the family is religious, growing up being a minister’s child, I chose to specifically look at Simon Camden, the youngest brother. 7th Heaven is a family show that values their morals, beliefs, church, and their family. They spend time together, eat together, and pray together. Each episode of 7th Heaven focuses on a real life problem and shows how the Camden’s work through the problem as a family.

In the first episode Simon is asking his parents, Eric and Annie, for a dog. As they sit down to the dinner table, before everyone is even seated, Simon continuously asks his parents if he can say grace. When everyone is seated, Simon begins to pray. He thanks God for the meal and then says, “And if there really is a God, can you please send me a dog?” When he is finished, his dad reassures him that there is a God and that maybe when he is older and more mature, he can have a dog. Simon then points out the dog is God spelled backwards. Annie tells him that they will talk more about it after dinner. Later in the episode when Simon is talking to his dad about how responsible he is, he swears that he can take care of a dog. Eric says, “Don’t swear.”

Eric tells Simon that if a dog would wonder into the yard, he could keep it. Simon camps out in the attic to watch the yard for a dog. He prays and prays and there is still no dog. Annie finally gives in and goes to the pound without Eric or Simon knowing. While camping out in the attic, a dog appears in the yard and Simon runs downstairs. Simon runs to the dog, hugs it, and says, “It’s a miracle. There is a God!” Annie tells Simon that she brought the dog home but there is still a God.

Simon is portraying the naïve evangelical. He wears his faith on his sleeve and believes that if he just continues to pray that a dog will appear in the yard. Simon prays every chance he gets, before dinner, at church, before bed, and while camping out while watching the yard. Simone does what he is told, helps around the house, and shows that he is responsible. By doing all of these things Simon believes that God will place a dog in the Camden’s yard.

Sister Sister and The Man

15 Oct

I chose the show Sister Sister from ABC and the CW. Sister Sister is a show about twin sisters, Tia and Tamera, who were separated at birth and adopted by two different single parents. The girls reluctantly met while shopping at a department store and Tia and her mother Lisa moved in with Tamera and her father Ray so that the girls could be together. Tia is very smart and focused on school while Tamera is more focused on boys.

I chose an episode from season five where the girls are applying and getting acceptance letters from colleges. The episode starts with Tia running in yelling for everyone to come to the kitchen. Tia was excited to announce that she got a B+ on a test when Tamera runs in yelling that she got accepted to Northwestern. Tia has gotten multiple letters from different colleges, except the one she really wants, Harvard. Tamera’s plan has always been to go to a two-year college near home.

Tamera begins talking to her boyfriend about how she might like to go to a four-year university but she knows she doesn’t have the grade, test scores, or extracurricular activities. She mentions that she used to be a Frontier girl and was only three badges away from the Golden Oaks Award. Tamera’s boyfriend helps her and she goes back to get the award.

All of the main characters are African Americans and there were not many other races in the background. But in this episode, Tamera’s Frontier leader was Caucasian. While Tamera was trying to get the rest of her badges, the leader was the one to decide whether she passed or not. Tamera had to complete her camping, first aid, and building a fire badge. She did not pass camping the first time and the leader was shaking her head no and did not pass her. Tamera then got her badge in first aide and building a fire and later went back to complete her camping badge.

I think that the Caucasian Frontier leader in this episode could represent the female version of The Man from the Portrayals of Whiteness in Black Films reading. She is the leader of the Frontier group and decides whether the girls pass each test and get the badges that lead to different awards, such as the Golden Oaks Award. In the episode she did not have any lines but you can tell from her body language and the way that she acts that she is the boss and the future of the girls badges and awards are up to her.

The BBF in Revenge (Blog 4)

7 Oct

I chose the show Revenge. I started this show on Netflix a year or so ago and have finally caught up to be able to watch the new episodes on Sunday nights. Revenge is about Emily Thorne, formally Amanda Clark, who comes back to get revenge on the family that framed and killed her father, the Grayson’s. While in prison for a crime he did not commit, her father kept journals that were given to Amanda after his death. Amanda returns to where she grew up, buys the house that she grew up in, which just so happens is next to the family she is after, and changes her name to Emily Thorne. Emily creates trouble and drama within the family and with the family and the community by dating and getting engaged to the Grayson’s son Daniel.

With only a few African American characters, the majority of the cast is Caucasian. One African American character that comes to mind is Ashley Davenport, played by Ashley Madekwe. Ashley is Victoria Grayson’s assistant, party planner, and family spokesperson. Ashley is also Emily Thorne’s best friend. The Grayson’s and Emily are of the elite group of Hampton, one that Ashley has always dreamed to be a part of.

I think that this show can relate back to the Deggans article, From Supernegroes to BBF’s. In the article, Deggans talks about different roles of the black best friends (BBF’s). Ashley would be the best friend BBF to Emily and the partner BBF to Victoria. The best friends BBF is the traditional best friend that teaches their white best friend important life lessons. The partner BBF is a work best friend that will help their friend out of any circumstance they might find themselves in. Although Victoria and Ashley do not work together, Ashley works for Victoria and is always helping the Grayson family out of some type of disaster.

Materialistic Things vs. Love -One Tree Hill (Blog #3)

24 Sep

I chose the television show, One Tree Hill. The two main characters, Lucas and Nathan, are half brothers. Karen, Lucas’s mom, had him in high school when her boyfriend, Dan, left her for his college basketball career. Dan met Deb at college orientation and three months they later were pregnant with Nathan. Lucas and Nathan quickly found themselves growing up in the same hometown that got extremely tricky when they got to high school.

Dan owned a car dealership and Deb travels a lot for her organization. Karen owns a small café. Nathan and his parents are of higher class, while Lucas and Karen are struggling in working class. Nathan was the star of the basketball team and Lucas played for fun on the river court. Nathan was popular while Lucas had a small group of friends. Nathan got everything he wanted while Lucas struggled to have running hot water. Their two lifestyles are completely different throughout the first season of the series.

But who is really happier? Although Nathan has everything he could want materialistically, he is unhappy. He doesn’t get along with his bitter father who pushes all of his hopes and dreams onto Nathan and his mother is barely around. Lucas has a great relationship with his mother and is loved by everyone he meets.

I think that this relates back to the Honey Boo Boo article. Although Lucas and his mother are not on a reality television show and do not play the same disgusting games as Mama June and her family, Lucas and Karen are still struggling. There is an episode where Lucas is taking a shower and the water turns off. Lucas has to finish washing his hair in the kitchen sink with Karen pouring a jug of water over his head. But Lucas and Karen are similar to Mama June and her family because they really do survive on love. Mama June and Karen are both supportive of their children’s choices, responsible parents, and they always have their best interest at heart.

The circumstances are a little different with Lucas and Karen but similar to a certain extent. When Lucas ask his mother why she didn’t accept child support or let Dan help them financially Karen says that he would have felt entitlement and that money isn’t everything. Karen is proving to Lucas that they do not have to show themselves of a certain class; they don’t need the materialistic things in life because they are truly happy and love each other.

“If I Were a Boy” vs. “Cater to You”

15 Sep

At the beginning of Beyoncé’s video, “If I Were a Boy,” the male lead portrays the female character. He is doing all of the “womanly duties,” like making and serving breakfast. While Beyoncé is a police officer, typically referred to as a male’s career, her boyfriend has a desk job. Throughout the video Beyoncé ignores phone calls from her boyfriend, dances with her friend while out with her boyfriend, and then tries to talk her boyfriend like nothing is wrong. Towards the end of the video, the roles are reversed to how the world usually views them with Beyoncé playing the feminine role. The video, “If I Were a Boy,” switches the roles of what it is supposedly like in a relationship.

In the video, Beyoncé uses the line, “If I were a boy…I’d put myself first, and make the rules as I go.” This is the stereotype in relationships where the males can do what they want and the women are waiting for their boyfriend/husband to come home. The last line of the video is “But you’re just a boy.” To me, this means that men don’t understand because they don’t do or go through what women go through in relationships. Women are the faithful ones who wait patiently for their man.

The second video I chose is “Cater to You,” by Destiny’s Child. In the opening of the video the group is in the middle of the desert appearing to be naked. This is common for female videos, for women to be half clothed so they can be sexier to the male eye. This video is the complete opposite of “If I were a Boy.” “Cater to You,” is about the women in the relationship giving everything she can and doing everything she can for her man, because that is what the women does.

A line in the video is, “Let me cater to you, cause baby this is your day. Do anything for my man, baby you blow me away.” The lyrics in the song go on to say all the things she will do for her man. This is the typical relationship where the female will do all things for her man and keep herself up to the women he fell in love with.

Blog #1 by Sarah Cultice

3 Sep

In todays society media is around us all the time. It can change the way we think, act, and perceive reality. Different shows, movies, and readings have different meanings depending on who is watching/reading, how they are interpreting it, and why. Multiple meanings can come from a single word, line, picture, or scene. This class has opened my eyes to different interpretations of movies and symbols.

Honestly, I was not quit convinced after reading Messages Between the Lions. Although I can see and understand where many of the different interpretations and meanings behind characters are coming from, I still believe that it is a children’s movie and it is for entertainment. I think that I do not agree with the sexual, race, and powerful meanings behind the characters because I love Disney. I interned there for four months and I have a biased to what Disney does and stands for. Lion King has always been one of my favorite movies and I believe that it is about growing up and learning from your past.

I really got into looking at a deeper meaning with the in class activity of Shark Tale. Maybe because I haven’t seen the movie before or I don’t have the connection with Shark Tale that I do with The Lion King, but I could identify the deeper meanings and look at the characters in a different way than just for entertainment.

The hegemonic and counter hegemonic codes stuck out to me and how there can be a hidden meaning in a movie that I thought was made simply for entertainment. I especially noticed the counter hegemonic code in how they portrayed Will Smiths character with the gold chain and he could dance.

Just from the few classes of Media and Identity I have had, I have learned different meanings behind characters, which celebrity is playing certain characters, phrases, and pictures. I never thought about the deeper meaning behind certain things until it had been brought to my attention. Although I usually watch movies for entertainment I think that I will think more critically about meanings behind certain movies, shows, articles, etc.