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Reflection

3 Dec

Before taking this course, I have no idea about identity. I haven’t think about some issues such as religion and class before when I watch TV. I even have problem with writing a blog talking about religion because I cannot think about any TV programs show this issue. The issue of religion is always there, until I recognized it. I am really surprised after that day, I notice religion is not a myth topic for me. Every topic we have discussed in class is related to our normal life. I admit this course open my mind and lead me a new way to see things.

Another thing I learned from this course is face to myself. After I heard my classmate’s presentation, I understand different people have different ways to see this world. Everyone is different because of gender, class, race, and religion. We have different experience and hold different point of view. Actually, there is no up or low division. People should be treated equally. As a girl, I am always heard from my parents or grandparents “why am I not a boy.” Because in China, having a boy means the family having offspring, and having a girl is for other family. I really hate this thought and I feel shamed about it. After taking this course, I feel comfortable. Even though in today’s society, women still get unequal treat compare to men. I believe someday, everyone would be treated equal, no matter gender, class, race or religion. Since a lot of people have realized these problems, we could try to change it.

All in all, I truly learn a lot and I enjoy being in this course. I hope in the future, China could talk about these issues openly in class, or in public.

Yiyang Xu.

Really thank you for giving us so great course!

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Scavengers in Hangzhou library

24 Nov

Recently, many newspapers report that Hangzhou library open for scavengers. Hangzhou is my hometown, and I will give a brief details about the situation scavengers in Hangzhou. Scavengers are those people who don’t have incomes or have some incomes but isn’t enough for feed themselves. They pick up litter, such as leftovers, empty bottles, dirty cloths for living, and most of them are homeless people. The most unique situation in China is that people can sell some recycling stuff and get a little cash. (For example, 10 empty bottles for a dime, one pound of paper for a dime) Thus, some homeless people pick empty bottles, papers from trash bin on the street. Scavengers always smell bad and seem dirty because they spend most of time with garbage. Many newspapers report that Hangzhou library open for scavengers, and public give positive attitude for this situation. In the article, it stated that Hangzhou library not only allow scavengers to come in, also allow them to bring their package (empty bottles, dirty paper, those trash for other people). Even though, some of them insist to leave their package outside the door. Furthermore, they will clear their hands every time before touch books even they are not ask for. However, some citizens don’t like to get close to scavengers and want librarians to kick them off. Librarians said that they have the same right to read book as normal people, and if others feel uncomfortable, they could change their seat. “No one can ask scavengers to leave.”

Basic on this situation, it is mostly considering about class. Those scavengers can be explained as “American dream”. Although it happened in China, might be the “Chinese dream”. They want to get freedom to pursue happiness without socio-economic class barriers. They can visit library just like other citizens, and have the same treat to read books or get education. Also, there is protestant work ethic in this situation. They work hard, to collect those recycling stuffs and earn some money. They do not choose to commit crime. They use their hands to earn money for living, so they need our respect. As for rewards they get, they could enjoy visiting library, and have chance to learn for free. Some people who do not like stay with scavengers, they are having classism. They are too much awareness of a class and assign values to people based on economic ranking.

Personally, this action library does is positive. Hangzhou has been the first city to break out class. This city has done a lot of those actions or programs in order to let citizens realize there shouldn’t be a class divide. I think it works. When I see this news article, I notice that in one picture, one scavenger is sitting next to a person, and it seems peace.

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White Collar

27 Oct

Yiyang Xu

White Collar is produced by FOX Television Studios. Mainly, it is talking about Neal Caffrey, a highly intelligent and con artist working as criminal informant for Peter Burke, the FBI Special Agent. White Collar is usually related with art crimes, connected with religious issues. Most art works they mentioned are related with religious, Christian mostly.

Within season 1, episode 3, the story surround with Bible. The Bible is missing and this Bible has special meaning. According to their word, “this is five centuries of history from Naples. The saints prayed over this book.” It turned out the healing Bible.

Just like what we have learned in class, Christian is a dominant ideology. Last semester, I took one class and the professor gave us a survey. It shows that 49 out of 68 students are Christians. It shows that majority of American people believe Christian, even nowadays the church-attendance are decreasing. That cause programs mentions Christian more than other religious. White Collar, as an American produced television programming, is talking about Christian just like other programs. Sometimes, I just think, most people believe Christian because they get from media. Personally, I don’t have any religious belief. However, if someone, ask me to must join in one religious group, I would go by Christian because I heard or watched it more than others.

The healing Bible, White Collar shows, has power in people who believe it. “In 1588, the plague passed through Naples, father Camillus carried the book into disease stricken ships in the harbor. Not a single person who touched the Bible died. 20 years later, a blind girl regained her sight when she rescued the book from a fire.” This healing Bible is magic so caused people who wanted to steal it and committed the crime, and the story began with. Although I don’t have religious, I admit that there is magic for people with religious. Once a person has religious, his ideology totally believes it. No matter what stuff the religious provides, he will believe. In this case, they believe the Bible can heal everything, so the person steal it and want to use it to heal his dog. I saw one person’s blog is “dog is god spelled backwards”, and I think that might be little trick word games that directors played in here.

Firstly, I think it is hard to find programs with religious. Then, I found out that there are too many programs with religious issues, almost every program. Religious is one of most important ideologies. Religious gives people a way to believe and a direction to follow.

Black-ish

15 Oct

Black-ish is kind of new television series produced by ABC. Mainly, it is talking about African-American family life. In this whole show, I could nearly see a main White character. This African-American family is called Dre’s. The father, mother, and their four children are all African-American people, and they are upper-middle-class people. They live in a big house. Dre said their lives are like “American dream” at the first episode.

At the beginning of this show, there is a very funny part. A Hollywood Tours Car comes and the White woman guider described them as “mythical and majestic black family.” This series really talks a lot race issues. Dre said something about “Black guys go to R&B and dance.”

For this family, they are just like any White family shows on television. They have money and house, they are happy. Sometimes, they will meet some culture problems but they can deal with. They seem positive.

For the main character, Dre, he is an advertising executive. The interesting thing is in this ad company, most African Americans are working for a low position in this company, such as gatekeeper, cleaner, delivery guy. And the family mentioned Obama as the first black president when he got promotion. In my opinion, although the producers and directors want to challenge traditional opinion about race issues, it still in this television. All of colleagues Dre works with, those high position people are White people. And his children went to school with all rich white people. Dre tried to keep them as “Black” instead of “White.”

The date shows on class that African-American being in primetime for 14% – 17% and population is 13%. The White people’s primetime is 73% – 80% and population is 69%. Black-ish shows a story around Black family, so the black characters show take majority of time. However, the number of black character is still less than white characters. White characters in this show, as byplays, still get majority of number. Without this family’s color and context, this family’s life style is close to White rich people. So, I can tell the life style is more depended on class instead of race.

Yiyang Xu

Unforgettable

8 Oct

“Unforgettable” is a TV serious produced by CBS. Race issues is not the main idea that these television shows stated, but according to each case characters solved, some race problems appearing through context.

Episode 10 in Season 3 is talking about bomb in New York City and the first thought in main characters’ mind was that this bomb cased by Muslim people. After 911, American people aware of terrorism. Due to race problem, the Middle East countries were tagged with “terrorism.” Till the end of this episode, one Muslim person did put bomb, but the reason is not terrorism. In modern life, people are easily to put tag because of race because of media. For example, in “Unforgettable”, a lot of people were being categorical. Asian people, such as Chinese and Korean are smart and could make the advanced technology invention. Mexican people are always deal with drugs or want to stay in U.S. illegal.

Race issue is related with culture, however, in my opinion, every person should be treated as individual.

Yiyang Xu

Gossip Girl

25 Sep

Yiyang Xu

Gossip Girl is talking about American teens’ life in New York City. Serena, Blair, Chuck, and Nate are from Upper East Side. Dan and Jenny is middle class. They all go to the same school. This show is appearing the story based on the upper class and middle class. I want to talk more about Dan and Jenny, the brother and sister from middle class in this show.

Dan is the gossip girl. In his situation, we could see “American Dream.” He wants to be gossip girl because he wants to see what’s the upper class living situation. He wants to get the freedom to pursue happiness without economic class barriers. He dates Serena and Blair, the queen girls from upper class, to express that economic is not the barriers.

Jenny is a girl who is trying to get involved with upper class girls’ circle. She is aggressive, trying to get attention and do everything she can. In her situation, we could see “Protestant Work Ethic”. She thinks that if she works hard enough, she will get involved with upper class. However, she is not achieved. In my opinion, the reason that she doesn’t get involved is because she cares too much about how to get involved and other people’s judging. She could be part of upper class, although she is middle class. She has talent of fashion, and has same interesting topic with upper class. She does something awkward and wants to establish her appearance or makes her look better. That awkward action is the main reason that she doesn’t get involved, not because of class.

Though Gossip Girl, we could spy what is the living situation in New York City. Also, we could find out class issue in Gossip Girl. Although Gossip Girl is drama, it still proves some creditable example of class issue.

Through Jay Chou, we spy a spot about gender in China. By Yiyang

15 Sep

Jay Chou is the most popular and talent musician in China. His songs are full of Chinese elements and represent Chinese style. Through his music video, we could find out gender issue in China. The first music video is called “Fragrance Of Rice.” It shows a story about a man with his family. He met some problems in office and lost job. So, when he went home, he yelled at his wife and his child. Later, his wife and child left home, and then he went to his mother’s house. He found happy in his life and his wife and child came back in the end. The first thing I relies in this music video is that it seems only the man has job. His wife or his mother might have job also, but this video choose to show the man’s business. Literally, it means that the men will face more stress in work then women. The reason is that during Chinese traditional theory, public believe that women should stay at home, taking care about her husband and their kids. The mother and the wife are both offer the man a meal when he was upset. Women mostly define as people to care, and men are the people need to be cared. So, it is not surprised that in the end, his wife with his child comes back. Women are related with warm and care. In some ways, men seek this kind of warm. In another word, women are satisfying the men’s needs. Another music video “Chinese Flower Pot” is talking about a love story. In the history and in the modern day, the man and the woman fall in love. However, another powerful man controlled the woman. So they cannot be together. In the end of both stories, each of them dies. This music video shows two different situations with gender. In the past, women are weak than in modern day. The good example is that in the past, the woman was kidnapped and she couldn’t fight for. In the modern day, she can run with his lover and fight for a while. Another interesting thing I find out is that Chinese people like to relate with historic memory. In the “Fragrance Of Rice,” the man went to his mother’s house and found his happiness when he was a child. In the “Chinese Flower Pot,” the modern life’s story is related with the history story. In my opinion, go back is more feminine. At the beginning, all human are come from their mothers’ birth. Go back, is also go to the mother and find calm.

Jay Chou – Fragrance Of Rice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IsrKKd5laI&index=1&list=PL460FA9F9A02E9419

Jay Chou – Chinese Flower Pot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqmlO8lp6ZA&index=23&list=PL460FA9F9A02E9419

Blog # 1 Yiyang Xu

3 Sep

    The mass media is the media has the power to do mass communication. That required media to have a large group, hundreds or millions of audiences. So, that means mass media truly have the power to influence perceived reality. The number of audiences for mass media is countless. Audiences, on the other hand, have the power to accept the perceived reality. Obviously, only people who like the perceived reality that mass media provide, they would choose to keep being audience; otherwise, they would just switch it or shut it down. My point is that mass media is a purveyor of ideology, but it only offers perceived reality to audience who will accept.

       The Lion King is a popular movie. I remember when I was young I watched it with my family and we all love it. It is surprised me when I saw Black and White, racism problem in article Message Between Lions. I might be too young when I saw this movie so I didn’t even realize that. For most children, I think, they won’t think so far, gender, class, and race during watching The Lion King. People who point those out must notice those problems before watching The Lion King. Different people watch The Lion King, and notice differently. In another word, mass media offers perceived reality to audience who will accept. If students was not divided into race- and gender- groups, and ask simply ask reviews, they won’t mention race and gender a lot.

       Same situation with Crash. The director and producer of Crash might not mean to put race and gender issues into Crash. Once audiences hold the opinion about race and gender, they will find something between the contexts. So, the question is where this opinion first came out. In my opinion, we get this opinion firstly via communication, but not only mass media. Possibly, we know there is a race issue from another people or television programs. Crash, for example, didn’t mean to relate with race issue. However, in some point, it give one exactly race as a specific character. To make audience easily to recognized different characters, director and producer will mark opposite views of different characters, so that cause race different and opposite gender. In that way, media offer the purveyor of ideology and somehow influence people.