COM 245 STUDY GUIDE FOR FINAL - MAY 5TH
COM 245 STUDY GUIDE FOR FINAL - MAY 5TH COM 245
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This 13 page Study Guide was uploaded by Justin Hynes on Sunday May 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to COM 245 at Pace University taught by Marcella Szablewicz in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see Communication & Pop Culture in Journalism and Mass Communications at Pace University.
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Date Created: 05/01/16
COMMUNICATION & POP CULTURE STUDY GUIDE – FINAL MAY 5 TH 03/10 – WHITNESS OF THEIR EYES Stuart Hall’s “The Whiteness of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media” • The media helps create and transform ideologies, including the definition and imagery of race • The media does this through inferential racism, which us representations of events and situations relating to race, where racist premises are unquestioned assumptions • The media uses racist archetypes, which can still be observed today Do you think Hall’s arguments about ideologies and racist archetypes still hold true today? Examples? Is there a solution to racist ideologies in the media? If, so what would it be? Overt racism: Intentional and/or obvious harmful attitudes or behaviors towards another minority individual or group because of the color of his/her skin Said’s “Orientalism” Orientalist is a way of seeing, that imagines, emphasizes, exaggerates and distorts differences of Asian peoples and cultures as compared to that of Europe and the U.S. Often sees culture as exotic, backward, uncivilized, and at times dangerous. • Edward Said, in his groundbreaking book, Orientalism, defined it as • "the acceptance in the West of “the basic distinction between East and West as the starting point for elaborate theories, epics, novels, social descriptions, and political accounts concerning the Orient, its people, customs, ‘mind’, destiny and so on” Dates from the period of European Enlightenment and colonization of the East. Provided a rationalization for European colonization based on a self-serving history in which “the West” constructed “the East” as extremely different and inferior, and therefore in need of the Western intervention or “rescue” 03/31 – Whiteness & White Privilege ORIENTALISM The Orient crosses continents from North Ameirca and Turkey to China and Japan “odd system of categorizing, of ordering the world through a discourse in which the Orient becomes the Other, the antithesis of the West.” (28) - Edward Said • The “Other” as a category of people • “Othering” as a process Whiteness as Invisible • In most cases, the “race” of minorities is visible (blackness, latino, asian) but “whiteness” is not. The privilege and power of the white male is taken for granted. Richard Dyer, The Matter of Whiteness (1997) • “There is no more powerful position than that of being ‘just’ human. The claim to power is the claim to speak for the commonality of humanity” • “Witness needs to be made strange” (11) • How can we achieve this? Normative Race Privilege & the Invisible Knapsack (Peggy Macintosh, 1988) “As a white person…..” Hall’s Grammar of Race - “The Whites of Their Eyes” Orientalist + Othering White Invisibility/Privilege ROLAND BARTHES - Father of Semiotics Barthes’ Myth • Denotation v. Connotation • Signs are more polysemic (meaning that they have more potential meanings) at the connotative level • Taken together, the denotation and connotation create a myth ◦ “myth makes what us cultural seem natural” “French toys always mean something, and this is something is always entirely socialized, constituted by the myths of the techniques of modern adult life; the Army, Broadcasting, the Post Office, Medicine (miniature instrument cases, operating theaters for dolls), School. Hair-Styling (driers for permanent-waving) the Air Force (Parachutists), Transport (trains, citroens, vedettes, vespas, petrol-stations), Science (martian toys).” Toys and Gender… “There exist, for instance, dolls which urinate; they have an esophagus, one gives them a bottle, they wet their nappies, soon, no doubt, milk will turn tower in their stomachs. This is meant to prepare the little girl for the causality of house-keeping, to condition her to her future role as mother.” • ‘french toys are usually based on imitation, they are meant to produce children who are users, not creators” • What does Barthes mean by this? DOLLS, RACE, & REPRESENTATION Brown v. Board of Education 1954 “To separate blacks from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling id inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone” - Chief Justice Earl Warren • What do you make of Elizabeth Chin’s study of “ethnically correct dolls”? • Study conducted in the early 90s, in working-class neighborhood in New Haven ’91 Shani Dolls Queering Barbie? And the Limitations of This? • Erica Rand, Barbie’s Queer Accessories • ‘Rand’s notion of queering highlights the bending, twisting, or flipping of apparently real or natural accepted social states, and she explores a variety of ways in which Barbie gets queered….” (307) Beyond Barbie… Goldieblocks 04/07 – Performing and Documenting Race, Gender, & Sexuality • Paris is Burning (91) • Director Jennie Livingston • Winner, Grand Jury Prize at 1991 Sundance • Documents “Ball” subculture in 1980s NYC • Budget $250,000 (though they spent up to $500,000); grossed 3.78 million Does it matter who is behind the camera? Jennie Livingston is a white, gender queer, lesbian. Can she make a film about a dominantly black & latino subculture ? Does the ball culture/reinforce dominant culture or challenge it? Is drag subversive? “Within white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy the experience of men dressing as women, appearing in drag, has always been regarded by the dominant heterosexual cultural gaze as a sign that one is symbolically crossing over from a realm of power to a realm of powerlessness…” (p. 146) ‘For black males to take appearing in drag seriously, be they gay or straight, is to oppose a heterosexist representation of black manhood.” (p. 147) “What viewers witness is not black men longing to impersonate or even become like “real” black women but their obsession with an idealized fetishized vision of femininity that is white” (p.148) “no black queen of his [Dorian Carey’s] day wanted to be Lena Horne” (p.148) Whose View? Whose Power? Is it a problem that the filmmaker is a white lesbian female? Should Livingston have done more to acknowledge who she is and what perspective she creates the film from? What Audience? “Is it problematic for the yuppie looking, straight-acting, pushy, predominantly white folks in the audience” to leave the film saying it is amazing, marvelous, incredibly funny, worthy of statements like didn’t you just love it?” p. 149 Livingston film v. Madonna’s use of culture 04/14 – Race & Representation: Embodiment J.Lo & Selena • Is it problematic for a Puerto-Rican American from the Bronx (Niuyorican) to portray a Mexican-American from Texas (Tejana) • “Selena and I are both Latinas and both had the common experience of growing up Latina in this country. This was good enough.” J.Lo (183) • “I’m all in favor of Latinos playing Latinos but saying a Puerto Rican couldn’t play Selena, a Texas girl, is taking it a bit far. Selena looked like me. She was dark and she was, well, curvy” J.Lo (184) How are “Latinas” constituted s radicalized bodies? Stated differently, what “marks” a body as Latina in the popular imagination? “Although race was hardly mentioned in this debate over curves and rear ends, for any Caribbean interlocutor, references to this part od the human anatomy are often a way of speaking about Africa in(side) America J.LO owns her body and everything is planned and strategic Jennifer’s display was at least a triple sign: showing ass as a sign of identity and pride, kiss my ass’ as a form of revenge against a hostile cultural gaze, and Im going to kick your ass vis a cis the economic exploitation implicated in racism WHY ARE BIG butts so bad? What does a butt signify? dirty? sex? In this moment, a particular brand of whiteness is disrupted But does this new brand of body necessarily help women with issues of body image the thin waist and curvaceous bottom…is a different kind of unattainable beauty Dreamworlds But Jhally defines a music television dreamworld that: “depicts a straight male fantasy where specific film techniques, narrative cues, and regimes of representation frame women as interchangeable, accessible, and available sex objects” (38) What is the “backwards gaze” that Durham refers to on pg. 38? - the male gaze, voyeuristic This gaze frames the backside as an erogenous zone of racial difference complementing the breast a s signifier of gender difference for black women” How is femininity “classed” in Beyonce’s video? In reference to Destiny’s Child video for Lose My Breath: “The back alley battle that takes place between the so called lady and throw ghetto girl serves as a compelling metaphor to describe the simultaneous respectable and sexually accessible womanhood that black female artists must perform” (41) Check On It: 4 main looks Girl gang member The diva The ghetto girl Dance troupe member (also school girl in angora swearer, diva in gown, and dancer in bodysuit) Saartje Baartman: The Hottentot Venus A political cartoon comparing Baartman to Lord Grenville and the Whigs (know as the “broad bottoms”) In 1810 Baartman had traveled to England (purportedly after signing a contract) to take part in shows Kim K. = ethnic other? such a damn conundrum does she capitalize on it? 04/21 – “Why Can’t There Be Two? Blind Casting in a Post-Racial” World From Smith, Choueiti, Pieper: Across 565 film directors of the top-grossing films from 2007-2012 only 33 (5.8%) are Black. This translates into a ratio of over 16 non Black directors working to every 1 Black director. There are only 2 black females who directed film across the 500 movies in the sample. Some of the sample films are helmed by the same individual. Counting directors only once, 22 unique black directors appear across the 500 film sample. When a non black director helms a picture, only 9.9% of the on screen speaking characters are black. When black director is in this leadership role, 52.6% of all speaking characters on screen are black. This represents a 42.7% increase. What is meant by the term “post-racial”? “blind-casting”? “This innovation insisted as opposed to the traditional network of network executives, casting directors, and talent mama hers generating casting breakdowns the explicitly listed the race and ethnicity of each character for auditioning purposes. the producer not specify the race of any of the roles” Shonda Rhimes • writer/producer • She is the head writer, executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy Aziz Ansari • American actor and Comedian • Creator and Writer (with Alan Yang) of the show Master of None • Askari also stars in the show How does Rhimes see herself as a black woman working in Hollywood? • “we get asked this question a lot like ‘you’re two women in Hollywood. How does that worK? And I remember saying that I’m too busy working to be worried about the fact that somebody else has a problems with my vagina. Really, the idea that being a woman is problem in this town is something I just don’t have time for…..” (635) • How does Warner argue that Shonda Rhimes “neutralizes race” in her show Grey’s (632) • According to Warner, hoe does Rhimes "white wash” or launder the diversity of bodies in her show Richard Roundtree + Diahann Carroll as Burke’s parents Julia was first show to cast a black female lead in a television show Ebony Magazine, November 1968 Julia is not that kind of show that attacks racial issues. It is lighthearted and meant to be almost like a fantasy. • “The networks have not been responding to blacks’ desire to be seen as much as they are responding to what and how much white viewers want to see of black life” (634) Shows that look like reality? • “Considering that the actual population of Seattle is 3.6 percent black and only a quarter of that demographic have professional career, the probability of three African American doctors in powerful positions at the same hospital is highly unlikely” (639) MASTER OF NONE • How does Ansar’s depiction of race differ from that of Rhimes? • How does “blind casting” work in Ansar’s depiction? What do you think? • Rhine’s blind casting works to acknowledge difference in ways that will cause the least amount of discomfort to white audiences while providing an illusion that under liberal individualism, the marketplace will do right by historically marginalized individuals. This is a post-racial network world indeed” (645) 04/28 – Fan Activists and the Politics of Race Two Main Questions: • Is fandom a valid and effective way of creating (political) change? • How might demands for diversity and representation of ethnic minorities sometimes result in an “essentialized” or “fixed” notion of race? Folk Culture: the idea that people themselves were creating the culture oratory culture, passed down no single author both material and non-material (from handicrafts and food to songs and stories) Reciprocal, rather than hierarchical or commercial Participatory Culture? • Are we seeing a return to the “folk culture” model today? Fans as Activists? • Are al fans activists? What distinguishes between a fan activist and just a fan who blindly follows the lead of the story, person, group, etc. that he/she loves? What is fan activism all about? A traditional definition • Fan activism is not about the mix between political concerns and future but rather action that looks like political activism but is used toward nonpolitical ends A more broad and encompassing definition the range of intentional actions by fans, or the use of fanlike strategies to provoke change Poachers? • According to the scholar Henry Jenkins, fans are “textual poachers”. What might this mean? • What does the word “poach” mean? • One definition: “illegally hunt or catch (game or fish) on land that is not one’s own, or in contravention of official protection.” • “poaching” (according to Michel de Certeau) is an “impertinent raid on the literary preserve that takes away only those things that seem useful or pleasurable to the reader” • “consumption involves reclaiming textual material, making it one’s own, appropriating or reappropriating it " The Harry Potter Alliance • What if we approached fantasy not as escape from our world but as invitation to go deeper into it? • My question to the fan community was if Harry Potter was in our world wouldn’t he do more than simply talk about Harry Potter? Slack said. Wouldn’t he fight for justice in our world as he fights for justice in his? • How did fans of The Last Airbender mobilize? • What was their cause? • Were they successful? Show aired on Nickelodeon between 2005-2008 Co-created and produced by Michale Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko RACEBENDING.COM Where did the word come from and what does it mean? • Race bending refers to the practice in which the media content creator changes the race or ethnicity of a character. But it is more than simply changing the race…it is also “changing the race of characters of color to white for reasons of marketability” (433) Representing Asians in Hollywood? Mr. Yunioshi (Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961) Long Duk Dong (Sixteen Candles 1984) How I Met Your Mother, 2014 Ghost in the Shell & Doctor Strange (in production) Unconfirmed reports claim that Ghost in the Shell producers tested visual software that would make white actors appear Asian Essentialism • Biological essentialist: The belief that the physical body—the hormones, inherent instincts, and genetic predispositions, etc.— defines the essence of identity and determines personality characteristics, behavior, and abilities • Put simply, it is the attempt to define a person or group of persons based on “fixed” characteristics (e.g. All Asians are… All black women are…) Do fans of The Last Airbender essentialize Asians? • "Yet we must consider how this discourse contributes to an essentialized or fixed notion of Asia. Not only do these images suggest an escalating pile of artifacts can be used to ascertain what is really Asian that what is not, as if Asian identities cannot exist outside of these artifacts but we are to use this evidence to march a radicalized body to this perfect image of Asianness. This becomes somewhat difficult given that the show seemingly appropriates and miss cultural artifacts from a wide range of Asian cultures” (435) Orientalism • The problem of “defining who and what counts as Asian”….
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