Please choose one source of media to critique using a gender/social justice lens: television, movies, books, comics, advertisements, magazines, blogs, music videos, children’s versions of any of these media, etc. (if you are unsure if your choice of media fits this criteria, please ask for my approval in advance).
This paper should be 6-8 pages, double-spaced (12-pt font) not including your reference section. You may wish to cite sources outside of the material presented in class (although this is not a requirement). If you use internet sources, you may only cite those that end in .org or .edu (not including wikipedia). Be clear about which media source you chose, and what and how much you consumed in order to write this analysis.
For this assignment, you should choose a media source and apply the concepts discussed in class to critique it (you can use information presented in your textbook, lectures and/or movies shown). Make sure to give enough supporting detail in your analyses and to give specific examples to illustrate your points. Be sure to include and properly cite information from the course material when indicated.
The following is an example of some of the types of questions/approaches you might use while analyzing your chosen media:
Describe the different types of people present in your chosen media source. In answering this question consider such things as the race, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, social class, nationality, and religious affiliation of those represented. What groups were represented? What groups seemed to be missing? Were some groups represented more than others? How typical was what you saw of what you usually read/watch/consume in your media choice? Use specific examples to illustrate your answer. How are women represented and what roles are they playing? Is it similar or different than the males? How? What are the gender messages? How would those change if the roles of men and women (in the media source) were switched? Were there any stereotypes present? Cite specific examples. What might be the effects/consequences of the stereotypes presented on a societal level? Individual and interpersonal level? How might these images relate to the development and maintenance of gender stereotypes? Use theories of objectification and assertions from the Wolf and/or Kilbourne readings to analyze the images of females. What about the “invisible women” discussed in class. Were they represented? What messages did you find with regard to sexual orientation? Were these messages explicit or implicit? Did you find evidence of the male gaze? Use examples. Whose point of view was the story, picture, etc told from? How can you tell? How much interaction is there between males and females in your media source? What were the non-verbal and verbal cues regarding dominance, strength and sexuality?
If you chose to critique children’s media you might answer the following:
Are males and females represented with equal frequency in children’s media? In what roles are females and males likely to be portrayed? What attributes do they share? Is there a difference in terms of which characters play more active or passive roles? What clothing do the characters wear? What role does the physical attractiveness of the characters play? How is attractiveness defined for female characters? For male characters? What are children being taught about the appropriate gender roles for boys? For girls? What conclusions can you draw about gender stereotyping in children’s media based upon your observations? Discuss each of these questions and the implications for children who watch/read these materials. Based upon your observation, what suggestions would you have for parents concerned about exposing their children to gender stereotypes?
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