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Media after midterm

Terms in this set (66)

depicting the Other
-QUESTION: how should we represent different groups?
1) "big issue" strategy
PRO: sympathetic, make the difference the heart of the story (Philadelphia; Tom Hanks's character fired from a law firm for having AIDS; results in a law suit)
CON: the Other becomes defined by their difference; difference is always a problem (beyond all other traits, Beckett is his disease)
2) "stack the deck" strategy: the other is made so impeccably good that he/she cannot be possibly disliked
guess who's coming to dinner: parents are initially opposed to daughter's interracial relationship, but ultimately won over
PRO: well-adjusted role models
Prentice is perfect, doctor, philanthropist, financially stable
CON: sets bar for acceptance impossibly high
implies that the Other needs to be flawless in order for us to accept them sets a boundary for nothing less than perfection
people who have been traditionally other, need not be presented as a disruptive force
don't have to be the problem
casts in film and televisions have grown more diverse
but this diversity comes in supporting roles (best friends, sidekicks)
3) ex-nomination ("colorblind casting") - allows anyone, of any race to fill the part
example: Grey's Anatomy
the result was a highly diverse cast
PRO: promotes diversity & doesn't focus on difference
CON: doesn't acknowledge cultural specificity
people want to see cultural specificity within a group; fail to acknowledge differences in tradition, experience, history, etc.
4) multiculturalist strategy
this contains viewpoints and a portrayal of cultural difference even within groups
PRO: portrayal of cultural difference within groups
different goals, backgrounds, personality and behavioral traits
CON: rarely found in media
this multiplicity can only occur in texts that have enough diversity in their cast to show differences in groups
overall, this strategy is not just about increasing the diversity of the group, but the quantity and therefore the quality of the different individuals found
stereotypes and "the center"
-we judge stereotypes by comparing them to a group's "real" traits & behaviors
similar to genre
-BUT: there is no "center" of a group
the trouble with saying that there is a center (most representative depiction) is that anyone who falls outside that center is then considered less central -no single representation can embody a cultural experience
there is no single type of character that can depict the breadth of the experience, large or small
media needs to be dedicated to show a diversity of experience rather than attempting to find this ideal form
persistence of stereotypes
-media makers recycle stereotypes until economics force a change
as long as there's a market or industrial utility for these images, media makers will be tempted to recreate certain stereotypes, whether or not they are realistic
-how can we make progress?
self-representation: on the creative side, as well as on the executive side; not unproblematic, it doesn't mean that people within this group will make representations that are stereotype-free widen the range of representations through a variety of media & over time; just as stereotypes travel intertextually, so can the multicultural perspective
overtime, using a variety of strategies can help overcome stereotypes and create a richer, more nuanced image of the world
the child audience
audience segmentation is the process by which media products are targeted to reach different groups of people
more than just a marketing strategy
operates culturally
-audience segments are cultural groups in addition to being marketing groups
-various adult groups try to classify the needs of children as media consumers
all spend a great deal of time attempting to define the characteristic needs of children as consumers
-to understand them we need to consider:
how childhood is framed practices of child viewers
theories of the impact of mediated violence have changed dramatically since Greek times
scholars argued that violence was actually a good thing because it was catharsis
12/11/13 3:08 PM

studies have shown that people who enjoy watching violence in media also hold favorable views of committing violence; but these studies fail to prove that this is a causal relationship
-research between violence and media have found a corollary but not causal relationship
ultimately, violence researchers have concluded that media violence is a cause, but not necessarily the cause, of world violence
-film, TV , comics, video games have policies that police violence
in reaction to fears by medical communities, parents, politicians, and other groups
in the 1930s, self-regulation of the film industry
these policies are part of a tradition linking violence to a medium
basis for regulating children's media
-fears of moral decline focus on children as susceptible:
painted as innocents who can be corrupted, damaged, and permanently transformed
particularly susceptible to media representations because they are relatively inexperienced
-brains still developing
-gullible & naïve
-don't immediately understand narrative storytelling & difference between programs and ads
children learn these overtime, and their ability to recognize and understand them improved as they developed cognitively
interrogating "TV-as-a-drug" (Mittell)
TV-Free America: functions nationally and locally that attempts to reduce or eliminate television-viewing because they think it is a negative thing TV-Free America=
• TV is addictive
• that makes it a social problem (similar to drug-use with the same
psychological impact)
• must call for a public intervention (frames it as a public-health
something that needs the law to intervene
Mittell=drug metaphor inadequately understands spectatorship
he wants to reveal that things get obscured when people argue that TV is like a drug
groups repeatedly link television to the drug crisis and the war on drugs psychological effects, shoddy research that links it to criminal behavior, etc. Mittell is critical about TV-Free America's claims
1) assumes children are viewing passively - stare at the screen; processing rather than thinking
2) is a middle-class fear of the inner-city Other - like drugs, television abuse is unfairly and unrealistically painted as a non-white inner-city problem; suburban families must contrast themselves against them
their children may become violent, intellectually-stunted; characteristics linked to urban poor through common media representations
• *biased solutions based on suburban activities (they ask parents to participate in other recreational activities)
• *relies on ideas of the nuclear family & stay-at-home mom (presents parenthood and the resources of parent-hood in a very narrow way)
TAKEAWAY: he illustrates how dominant social groups control discussion of TV's value & effect
and that these beliefs, in turn, become presumed and naturalized
anti-TV organizations can set the generalizations for what TV does and how it can be solved
this group sets a discourse about how and why television is good or bad for you that becomes more largely internalized by the culture
children and taste
-cultural assumptions about kids in attempts to protect them oftentimes, anti-TV critics frame their critiques through a sentimental nostalgia of a pre-TV age
these are myths
what other assumptions are being made about kids and culture?
• *they lack taste distinction & ability to choose (must have good choices made for them)
• *they are passive, acted upon by TV
• *they watch TV the same way as adults but without critical skills
(these critics assume that children watch TV in the same way and for the same reasons as adults, but without adults' capacity and