Age of Abundance

An interesting article about the development and proliferation of media content. What do you think? Screen shot 2016-05-27 at 8.57.41 AM


Victoria Mozatto – Media & Perception of Beauty

Earlier this week, I watched a video about men getting photoshopped to look like men with ‘ideal’ body types. This video was actually very enlightening. It really is insane to think about how impactful the media can be. Our perception of the world can change in a second depending on a telling of the media. Through all of the various media channels we interact with, we get roped into thinking someone with beauty has to appear a particular way. The amount of work that goes into photoshopping one magazine cover is outrageous. Why do we need to appeal to the public by creating a fake image? Wouldn’t it be more appealing to have someone with ‘flaws’ appear on the cover of a magazine? What are your thoughts?

It angers me to see celebrities on the cover of a tabloid because they decided to take a vacation while exposing their cellulite. How ridiculous is that? We should be accepting and allow people to embrace their natural beauty without having to hide. Thankfully, more campaigns advertise their message to challenge what should be identified as being more beautiful/ realistic.

The Try Guys Get Photoshopped With Men’s Ideal Body Types:

Campaigns- Aerie Real, Dove – for Real Beauty, Stop the Beauty Madness

Victoria Mozatto- Hidden Fear Approach

From our discussion/ readings from class, it is clear advertisements work in mysterious ways. The hidden-fear advertising strategy plays on a sense of insecurity and distress, trying to persuade consumers to listen to the advertisement. The only solution to the issue is to buy or share the impression of the product. It targets the worries and concerns that the customers may have, making the product the only solution. The hidden fear marketing approach promotes products that are used to solve personal issues. The advertisement makes it seem without the particular product, you are doomed to be lost.

In the media, I have seen this approach being used on multiple accounts. Most of the time it is used for hygiene related commercials, but smoking prevention commercials use it just as much. Although the seriousness of the commercials are completely different, they both make the audience contemplate their decisions. Whether it is to buy a deodorant and not have the embarrassment of scaring away a person you are trying to impress or put down a cigarette leaving you without the guilt.

Question- Did you ever fall for an advertisement that made you think about your insecurities?

Here is an example of a smoking commercial using the hidden-fear approach:

Clothing Store Perspectives- Mariah Fuller

I was watching this commercial on TV about the perspectives of white and black women when they enter clothing stores and are asked "Can I help You?" I found it interesting because the black women admitted to take offense to the question because they believed they were being stereotyped or would feel they did not belong especially if it was a high-end store. What is your take on this? Do you have any similar experiences?

Here is the link to the commercial:

Theresa Donis — Blog Post #5

Blog Post #5

The closer we get to primaries, the more concerned I become with who I’m going to vote for. Although I am voting Democratic, Clinton just doesn’t rub me right. I don’t think that many people take enough time to really look into her campaign and all that’s happened. What I recently realized is that she’s working really hard to get in with the African American community, which is no real surprise. It’s said that because Obama could relate so much with the minority communities that he was able to go for two terms—maybe even three if it was allowed. Clinton has participated, in my opinion, in cultural appropriation to gain votes.

Not very long ago she went onto a popular morning radio show, The Breakfast Club, and made a statement that she too like Beyoncé, carries hot sauce in her bag. In fact, her whole campaign team carries it in their bags. For some reason I felt like this was quite a reach on her end. Do you so badly want to be liked by a community you helped to oppress when your husband was in office? I don’t know if I’d be a part of that awfully small welcome committee. During Hillary Clinton’s fundraising event one Wednesday, two Black Loves Matter activists interrupted her to share a very important message with the guests and Clinton. Activist Ashley Williams tried to confront Hillary with a sign that quoted something Hillary had once said in reference to at-risk youth in the 90s “we have to bring them to heel!” She also referred to them as super-predators, which in my opinion should automatically cost her some black votes. When Williams pushed for an apology, she was escorted out by security while Clinton ‘promised’ to talk about it later.

Looking back at things like this makes me genuinely curious if Clinton has good intentions when it comes to helping us minority communities or is she just in it for the votes?

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Billions – Marissa Pearlstein

When we spoke with one of the writers for the new series Billions, I found his job to be intriguing and interesting. To me it’s crazy how people can get to where they need to be just by hard work and dedication. The show itself was eye catching and had a good plot. This guys story is oddly comparable to the show itself. The show displays two men who are money hungry and driven to make it somewhere in life and make as much money as they can.. Whether or not we make money or don’t each person can relate by having their own drive and own passion to do something and be something and become something. Each show you can see a little bit of yourself in most of the characters which makes people become hooked on series in the first place. When a viewer can relate themselves tot he characters thats what makes the series become worthy of watching.

Network and the Election- Jennifer Collado

After watching the movie “Network,” I got a feeling as if I was experiencing this firsthand. Howard Beale’s infamous line “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it” is one that resonates with these troubling times. With this election going on, there are very opposite views being shared. This line could apply to either side of the campaign. Sanders’ supporters are fed up with the inequalities in the system while Trump supporters believe they are “losing” their country. Both sides feel extremely passionate about how they feel. The media fueled Beale’s rants much like it does with Donald Trump. They know that drama and reckless ranting will allow them to receive the ratings they sick. It is completely irresponsible of the media to believe that an election is the time to do this.

Theresa Donis — Blog Post #4

Race and TV — Blog Post #4

Growing up as an African American in the United States can sometimes be a struggle. Although we’ve managed to make strides to eliminating segregation, the idea of racism still lives on. In some places it it more apparent than others, for example in film and television. I grew up when companies like Disney and Nickelodeon were in their prime; their channels brought it in billions of views from kids all around the world. Something I noticed when I looked back was that on each channel, and for every show they broadcasted, I could count on five fingers or less how many African American stars they had. Whether they were the main character (rarely ever) or a supporting character, they were always outnumbered by their white counterparts.

This seems to be the one place we’ve grown to see a lot more of a resistance in the fight against racism. There are a surplus of TV shows and films that reinforce negative stereotypes of people of color and plague our airwaves. We see many black characters characterized as ditzy, poor, or partaking in illegal activities. Another incident that has recently occurred was the Nina Simone biopic featuring Zoe Saldana as Nina. Many at first couldn’t find a problem with this but then there were those that caught on quickly. Nina Simone was a soulful songstress that was constantly criticized for her large nose and her dark skin.

I’m so disappointed in Zoe, as well as the individuals who are in charge of putting the biopic and casting together. If she had to put on blackface to play this part, she wasn’t the right actress for the job. Don’t get me wrong, I think Zoe is a good actress, but no one can honestly say that the producers/writers couldn’t find a better actress that didn’t need to put on blackface to play this part. This is honestly so offensive to not only the black community but Nina’s family. She deserves more than an actress in blackface portraying her—and in such terrible blackface at that. The truth of it all at the end of the day is that Zoe is considered a ‘safe’ brown actress for the whites. My question for you is what do you think? Was it wrong for them to cast Zoe and put her in blackface? Is colorism more prevalent than we thought?

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Stacey Roberts

Sociological Analysis seeks to understand how audiences assign meanings to messages they receive from the media and how audiences take up those meanings in their daily lives. Symbolic interaction: suggest that the character and the conduct of people’s social interaction are powerful shaped by the symbolic meanings they assign to objects, events, other people and social context . It was influenced by sociologist Max Weber(German) and George Herbert Mead ( American). However, it was Mead’s student Herbert Blumer that coined the term “social internationalism and outlined three core premises of his theory. Human beings act towards things on the basis of meanings the have for them. He believes that as simple as it may sound, many scholars often forget that objects, person’s ideals etc shapes out attitudes. Meanings derive from the social interaction one has with one’s fellows. Therefore meaning is negotiated through interaction with others e.g. social institutions like education, religion and media. Symbolic interaction is that these meanings are modified through an interpretive process used by the person dealing with the thing he/she encounters. Therefore interpretation is not an automatic application of established meanings but a formative process in which each person revises meanings as a guide for action based upon individual experiences.

Contemporary Perspective

Dramaturgy: used to explain the ways in which media shape human behavior. It was developed by Erving Goffman 1922-82. He used metaphor of theatre to explain the character and functions of public behavior, especially face to face interaction

He believed the self is a sense of who we are which is not a stable independent entity rather it’s a performed character which is endlessly staging. The self is not inherent or innate it is a product that emerges through social interaction, for example, it is hard to believe you are intelligent if people call you stupid and if you want to be considered all you have to do is publicly perform intelligence. Impression management: is the art of successfully staging a character or part of enacting a performance that creates the desired impression of the self.

Four stages

1. stage: describes a performance’s degree of publicness. Front stage refers to those performers that occur in full view of an audience while backstage refers to a place reserved only for the performer. There are things people will do in private but not when others are watching.

2. Setting: refers to the scene or situation in which the performance is occurring, from the actual physical location to the features of the locations. Settings plays powerful limits and constraints on performances of self.

3. Parts: describes the pattern of actions that define the character being performed. When playing a part a performer typically tries to convey particular image of his or herself through appearance.

4. Team: takes into account the cast of players who share who share in a performance. For example, a team may be defined as a set of individuals whose intimate cooperation is required if a given projected definition of a situation is to be maintained.

Question: what would be Blumer’s views on the contemporary perspective since he coined the term social internationalism. Would he disagree or agree?

Adrienne Johnson- Dramaturgy/Impression Management

Is the world our stage? Of course it is. I often use this theory to explore the the ways the birth parents of the foster children I care for practice impression management as a way to be viewed in a positive light, despite their mistakes. Often times the birth parents will enter the courtroom (Stage) and put on the best act they no how, but because the foster parent, social workers, attorneys have had close interactions we recognize the different between the person front and back stage, along with their instrumental motive. When motivated by Instrumental purposes, the birth parent is attempting to manage perceptions as a means to get what they want, ie. their child, their parental rights, etc. But the birth parents are not the only ones who have to switch back and forth based on the environment, the people you’re interacting with or situations, foster parents must perform as well. When officials are not present, we show more of a connection and bond, but when in the presence of the agency staff and birth parent it becomes more reserved in terms of the way we interact with the child because we are mindful of the birth parents perception of us as well. Foster parents are often seen as the bad guys, so at a visit for example, we are more encouraging of the birth parent, while expressing the the desire to promote reunification despite our personal judgement or beliefs. We all perform to improve our self images, but do you think you are able to identify your true self and distinguish your front and back stage? Do you believe we have a true self? or is self identity dependent upon these social interactions?