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Final Exam Prompts

April 18, 2009

Comm 2010
Final Exam
Please respond to ONE of the following questions. 3-5 pages (3 FUL pages, NOT 2.5) Due on April 29, at 1 PM in CS721. Standard MLA format. Remember, the question you want to answer is WHY. Why are these things important? Keep questioning the answers you are providing, making sure you are giving full and clear explanation.
Remember, if you take your paper to the writing lab, I will not dock you for spelling/grammar issues. If you would like, I will read drafts of papers up until 4/24 @ 5PM (I will be able to meet with you at any time on Monday, 4/27 to discuss changes).
Question 1:
After reading “No Logo” what are your thoughts on the relationship between consumerism and media? In what ways do media contribute to things like “branding” and the “co-opting of cool”? Is your identity shaped by the media? Why do you think so, or why not? What benefits/detriments come from a society whose ideals are shaped by popular media? What is the effect on the democracy?
Question 2:
In what ways can some of the tools of web 2.0 fuel our democracy? Does the appropriation of the media by individuals have an effect on what we see in mainstream media? Why or why not? Can individuals make changes in society at large by utilizing the tools in media made possible by innovations in technology? What are some examples? What are some possible detriments?
Question 3:
Using any group project as a starting point (your own, included) in what ways do gender/race/class relate to our society and representations in the media? Are outcomes positive, negative, or neutral? What changes can be made in media to create more accurate representations?

Final Exam Information

April 18, 2009

So, I am actually interested in the final exam questions. I really liked the last prompt because of the projects that we had. I think there was a lot of useful information that could be used to write a good response. Anyway, i am not even sure if we needed to blog again today, but I thought I would anyway. Oh and for those who didn’t get the final exam information, I am posting that here too. I am sure you can contact Erin and she will get it too you, but it will be available here as well. Good luck everyone.

Media Fast

April 15, 2009

Sorry I missed my blog this Friday. I know one really looks at this, other than our teacher, but I figured I would do a post so that someone might be able to comment by tomorrow night. I missed the blog because my wife was in the hospital this weekend because of a surgery. She is doing fine thankfully and already home. Anyway, I wanted to talk about the media fast. This was a lot more difficult than I thought. I don’t use a lot of media. I don’t have internet access in my home, and I don’t have time to use the internet when I am in school. When I am at work, I am busy as well. I thought it interesting that even though I eliminate a lot of media through not using the internet, I still used the tv and radio and such. I am a big radio fan, not English radio though. I found it interesting how much we depend on the media for information and how much we are forced to use it now. Even if we don’t want to, there are many cases in which we are forced to use a specific medium to communicate. During finals, especially with all the projects that I have due, I can see part of why it was so hard to not use media during the media fast. good luck on finals everyone

Presentations

April 4, 2009

I think the presentations were pretty intersting this week. I had heard of Title IX, but never new that it was so encompassing. I was one of those who had heard the negative comments from the journalists that didn’t understand it. I thought it was really informative.
I did also enjoy the presenation on media portrayal of women across the world. It was interesting to see how different cultures had such different values and ideas on what is considered beautiful. I noticed that unfortunately women are treated as not enough, and that seemed to be pretty universal. Many of them were told they were not good enough because they had to be an object, or needed makeup and so forth. I thought that sad that it seems to be fairly universal how there are so many degrading and damaging media messages towards women. Many also towards young girls.

Presentations

March 28, 2009

I thought that it was interesting this week with the projects, presentations that we had. It was kind of interesting to see how the kids had different views than I thought they would. Some were pretty funny though. When the kids were asked if they played with Barbies, I knew that the boys would say “no,” because you just don’t play with dolls as a boy. I know that when I was a kid, I didn’t play with Barbies. I do remember that I would play with my action figures and my sisters would play with their Barbies. Sometimes we would play together, but I never played with the Barbies. I was surprised though, most of them were a lot more open than I thought they would be.
With the Black Face presentation it was interesting to see that even some of the black actors had to paint their faces black to play the part of a black man or woman. That just seemed so weird to me. The idea that someone who already fits the part physically, would have to change their physical appearance to how the producers want just doesn’t fit in my head.

Branding

March 14, 2009

I really found the video that we watched really interesting. When they first started talking about “Cool Hunters” I didn’t understand why they would try to make some odd trend mainstream, just to have it die out later. However, I realized why when the one woman mentioned that they do it so that those same trend setters would start a new trend. Within time, the trends would change, the trend setters stay the trend setters, the cool hunters would still have jobs, those involved in that market would profit and then the cycle repeats itself. I alo understand financially why companies would market to teens. If teens have as much disposable income as the movie claimed, there really is a lot of money to be made in that market. Especially since they are so impressionable. If you can sell it by showing that it (your product) is the coolest, then the teens will buy it. They will do what they have to get the money. Apparently they get a lot of money too.
The last thing I found interesting on the video was that all the trends they talked about, the shows, clothing and music, were all the things that I didn’t like. The people that followed the trends were not the kids that I hung out with in high school. I did try to buy clothing that didn’t have labels or logos on it. Sometimes, when someone would give me a shirt with a logo on it, if it was cloth label sewn on, I would even cut it off. However, there are some things that I do buy the brand because I like the product they sell as well as the status it may bring with it.
I really enjoy the outdoors, camping, fishing, hiking and other things like that. So, when I buy my outdoor gear, I buy brands that I know have high quality. I have gone the route of the cheap brands, and some of them are just that, cheap. I guess the funniest thing though, is I buy nicer brands for my wife than I do for myself. I like that she can look and feel good when she has the brand that has a higher status than other women. I am not sure why, I think it is kind of funny that I do it too.

Race

February 28, 2009

I think the most interesting parts of this week were the video about the hip hop culture and the chapter that we talked about today. I hadn’t ever realized how cookie cutter hip hop videos were. I am not a fan of hip hop music, so I don’t watch the videos, but I can see why they are detrimental. They have all the same themes, and unfortunately they are very damaging.
I also saw a movie tonight called “Racing for Time.” It was a movie about girl in a Texas correctional facility for teenage girls. The main characters were black and Hispanic girls, but there were also a few white girls. The main idea was to show how this man who worked in the correctional facility gets a track team together. He gets the girls to work together. The girls all have their little “gangs” and all of them are by race. All the Hispanics have problems with the blacks and the white and that way. It was interesting to see how the main of idea of showing that the girls were able to overcome their pasts and work together; however, what seemed to happen was a reinforcement of negative stereotypes. It was unfortunate to see how the negative stereotypes that we have talked about in class were shown in these girls’ characters. I was sort of disappointed really. Towards the end the movie got better and didn’t really show just the negative stereotypes.

New Experience

February 21, 2009

This week I had a very interesting experience that made me think of class. I went to the bank to deposit my check and get cash for some bills. The bank was about to close. Just after I arrived, a black man with his wife came in. I only mention that he is black because it relates to the topic. The man was with his wife. They finished with the teller before I did and left the bank. As I got in my car the man came up to me and asked me to do him a favor. He and his wife needed to pay some bills at a pawn shop before it closed; however, they didn’t have a car and wouldn’t be able to get to the pawn shop on time. He asked me if I could give them a ride, so I told them I would. As soon as they got in the car he thanked me and said, “I realize you’re taking a risk, me being black and all.” I thought it was interesting. He has had enough experiences in life that have told him that white people don’t trust black people. I had no reason to not trust him. That is what made me decide to write my paper on media roles of Hispanics. I think that part of what this man learned was from the media and that part was from other negative personal experiences.
Now, I know that there seemed to be no connection between this man and Hispanics. My wife is Mexican. My children will have Mexican blood too. My wife and children will have to deal with the media roles of Hispanics. If the only roles that my children see are criminals, which are the majority of the roles for Hispanics right now, they may start thinking the same as this black man I met the other day. I thought this was kind of an interesting mix of the two books we have started reading so far.

Advertising

February 14, 2009

It was interesting this week to look at the gender advertisements in such a different way. I still didn’t agree with everything that was said on the website or in class, but I can see where someone might think the other things. It was interesting to see how some ads were seen as sexist, or to show that the man was more dominant than the woman. I had never thought about it. I don’t agree that just because people choose to be involved in pornography films or disturbing ads that it makes it alright. Just because one person screwed up or didn’t understand or realize the effects of their decision, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have an effect on others. It is giving them free range to do whatever they want. They are not held responsible for what they do. Unfortunately there is not a way to show that one specific ad negatively affected someone. I think it is the accumulation of many ads over and over.

February 7, 2009

So, this week I became more interested in the “No Logo” book we will be reading. But, with this week’s discussions were interesting. I think it was interesting to think about the binaries. It is true, when we start to think in extremes of black or white, we forget about all the gray area that exists in between. I agree that there are not always such extreme options. In many cases there are a lot of grey options that can be good options. What I hadn’t thought about, was the fact that we tend to favor one over the other when we think this way. Even when maybe option black would be the best option one day and option white the best option another day. If we start giving preference to option black, we develop a prejudice against option white.

Unfortunately for many women it is true that they were either virgins or whores. That really was, and still is, such a double standard for women. Women, especially in high school and college, are told they cannot sleep with guys. They cannot have sex with guys. However, guys are told that in order to be a man, they are to have sex with the women, but the women can’t have sex and the men can’t have sex with one another either. It really makes no sense. 

When it comes to women having equal rights, I think this is a good thing. I find it interesting that not everyone is aware of what has gone on to get to where we are today, not that it is a perfect system, but better than before. One video on youtube that I found kind of funny was a few guys going around an all girls’ school to have the girls sign a petition to end women’s suffrage. It was interesting to see how many girls wanted to end it. It is kind of a dumb video, but at the same time sad to see how it was taken for granted.