Criticisms Upon Criticisms

Hello!

Remember when I said a few blog posts back that I was in a Media Criticism class this winter semester?

Well, this next blog post is going to be about my criticism on other class mates blog posts. For the most part, we all blogged about the same topics, just in our own ways and then covered information that was most important to ourselves. 

Here I will post my criticism about their criticisms complete with what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I learned from their post, and what they could improve on.

Here we go with the first one….

“Selling a “Culture of Consumption”” by David Cottrell

Things that I enjoyed…

First I’d like to say that I really enjoyed reading this particular blog post! I enjoyed it because you included some of your own wit into it. I liked how you related the media to apple pie, and how people like to be fed “comfortable” information—it’s so true! I also liked how you broke the post up by adding in bold text in between paragraphs; it made it easier to read and follow along. And, the video you included was interesting. It was interesting because, at first, I didn’t know what was happening. But, then you tied it in nicely with the concept of hegemonic power.

Something that I learned…

I had never heard of the Johnny Trend of Trend Universal; maybe I haven’t been paying much attention. I think it’s funny that he has an obsession with apple pie, and then proceeded to build an entire media empire around it!

 Some elements for improvement…

One thing I picked up on while reading through the whole post was that you didn’t always explain exactly what you were talking about. Even though we are all students in the same class and we know the topic of discussion, I believe it is important to write as if the audience knows nothing. For example, when you went into discussion about the Mickey Mouse Monopoly film, there were no examples to back up your argument. Perhaps when you mentioned The Lion King, you could talk about the hyenas and the racist ideologies behind them.

There were many examples of ideologies mentioned in the Mickey Mouse Monopoly and Consuming Kids films, such as gender roles that you touched upon. But there were also many more, such as ideologies of what it means to masculine or feminine, and how Disney conveys them through the use of signifiers. I feel that adding these extra points, along with examples, could strengthen your argument about gender roles portrayed in Disney films.

Also, I feel the post could benefit from a few more hyperlinks. I know hyperlinks can make a page look cluttered, but they can help explain your argument more by providing outside information/examples. They also add more “spice” to the discussion and layout of the post!

Over all, it was a great discussion! It definitely could have benefitted from further clarification through the use of examples. But, it was very easy to follow because you broke up the text using different fonts and visuals. Also, you engaged the reader by asking questions.

GOOD JOB!

“How Your 4 Year Old Learned the “Booty Bounce”” by Nina Bogat 

Nina Bogat

Things that I enjoyed…

First off, I LOVE the title of this blog post! It immediately grabbed my attention, and even made me laugh a little bit. It definitely sparked my interest! The tone in which you wrote was fun to read too because it really conveyed the way you feel about the topic. I also liked your use of visuals

Something I learned…

I did not know that Johnson & Johnson have a hypocritical background in contrary to what they market. I am fascinated to hear stories like this! This is an important point to make because it may spark another viewer to look more closely into the companies they support. 

Room for improvements…

You didn’t take on much of a political economist’s viewpoint of ideological criticism. I think taking on this viewpoint would better drive home your point about how multi-media conglomerates (Disney and Johnson & Johnson) dictate our socially constructed realities throughout all mediums.

Also, I think the blog post could benefit from more hyperlinks. I know hyperlinks can make a page look cluttered; they can help you add more outside information. For example, I feel a hyperlink would be particularly helpful when you mentioned the Social Responsibility Theory.

Over all, I really enjoyed reading this blog post. It was entertaining because I could really sense the way you felt about the topic (I agree with it all 100%). You also presented good examples and pictures to back up the various examples of ideologies perpetuated in Disney films.

“Semiotics = Symbiotics*” by Adam Grimm

Adam Grimm

What I enjoyed….

First, I enjoyed how you began you discussion—you didn’t immediately jump right into it. Instead, you described what was going on around you. By including what was happening around you while writing (kids running and screaming), it made me feel like I was right there with you! Then you tied this nicely into the print ad of the little boy. I also liked how you broke the text up making it easier to read. I really enjoyed your style of writing because it really felt like you were having a conversation with the person reading it.

A different way of seeing it…

Upon first looking at the Bose print ad, I saw it from a little different perspective. Although, I do understand it from your angle, this is how I see it: the parent put on the headphones to ignore the child going crazy until the kid got so exhausted that he fell asleep. I saw it as more of a progression through time.

Bose print ad.

 

Over all, I felt you analyzed the print ad very well—you considered all the element that were included in the photo as a potential signifier. Also, I liked you chose to analyze something that pertained to your life having two young sons of your own.

…On a side note…

I have really enjoyed using a blog as a learning tool (also for entertainment). But, this has been my first class that I’ve had to turn in every assignment via technology. But, those few times when I did have to electronically submit, it wasn’t as fun as this!

I believe that using blogs as a medium for submitting homework, is also a good tool for communicating with other class mates on assignments.I just love the whole concept!…that is if our world is going to continue to being technologically dependant. Otherwise, I do prefer handing in homework face-to-face with writing on a paper (sometimes I just don’t trust technology safely delivering my homework). I believe that if one is in the Mass Communications major, and plans on working in the field, they needs to become familiar with various ways to communicate through the Internet and technology, since that is what our world in submerged in.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blogs!! Catch you Later:)

A Question of Ethics

Hello there, again!!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the previous blog posts I have made about various types of media criticism because…

Today I am going to discuss another type of criticism, ideological criticism. This is a different type of criticism that goes WAY below the surface of various types of media texts. It analyzes how media directly shapes our cultural values without us even noticing.

But, in order to understand what ideological criticism is, first I will explain what an ideology is…

An ideology is a means of exerting power, not necessarily through overt force, but through a set of ideas. This set of ideas is usually perpetuated by dominant elites as a means of maintaining power relations. And they eventually come to seem as being natural, obvious, and common sense.

Ideological criticism is the process of examining… 

1) How ideologies are embedded in texts

2) How they reflect the interests of dominant elites

3) How the representations of these ideologies become accepted as normal

4) How ideologies go unnoticed and unchallenged by those exposed to them

The main assumptions made about ideological criticism are…

1) That there is value in understanding how media institutions, texts, and practices establish/maintain the power relations of elites.

2) That there is value in informing/challenging dominant, taken for granted ideas and values.

Paris Hilton shopping is a visual example of how the hegemonic ideology of living a lavish lifestyle is perpetuated by her, a dominant elite.

This type of criticism is different than other types of criticism I have mentioned in past posts. It is different because we are analyzing how these ideologies in marketing and advertising are perpetuated. It is not just looking at a media text, but how the text is produced, structured, and how it interacts with our life experiences. This helps us understand the dominant values in our social world.

This type of criticism is also different because of its ties to political ideologies. Political economists play a big role in ideological criticism because they examines how media institutions are owned and how that shapes the media. More specifically, they examine a series of elements:

1) The role of ownership in the media industry

2) How production and distribution shapes media texts

3) The deregulation of media (the idea that the market will take care of itself)

4) The growth of power in global media conglomerates

5) The link between ownership and ideologies embedded in media texts

6) The increasing dominance of advertising/marketing in our lives. Also, its social role and practices that promote a “culture of consumption”

7) Ideology of “materialism” and “consumerism”

 All of these elements combined produce what is known as the Political Economy Theory. Basically these elements together examine how media shapes social hegemony in society. Hegemony is the type of power elites can maintain over the masses enabled through the use of “overt force.” Societal hegemony may include values, ideas, norms, routines, ideologies, etc. In the context of the political economy theory, hegemony refers to how elites maintain control through hegemonic consensus of media conglomerates.

One of the most powerful media conglomerates of our time thus far is Disney. Disney has created a cultural world through animated films, which are lauded as being wholesome family entertainment. But at the bottom line, has generated one of the biggest powerhouses of the entertainment world.

Disney creates a fantasy world for children that pull on their heartstrings in order to maintain a co-dependence. In return, this makes them believe they need every accessory (backpacks, toys, food, DVDs, bed sheets, etc.) of their favorite Disney character. Thus, Disney has become the most successful and biggest media conglomerates in the world.

Here is a Wikipedia page and lists the amount of companies Disney owns. Brace yourself, it’s a long list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Disney

In order to shed light on what exactly I am talking about, I’d like to introduce two films that I have seen recently. One of which is called Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood, and Corporate Power. This film discusses the hidden ideologies behind Disney movies, including femininity/masculinity, gender roles, and culture/ethnicity. Also, how these ideologies effect children’s perceptions of the world and themselves.

And the second film is Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood also discusses the same ideologies, but also to what extent media researchers go in order to learn how to successfully advertise towards children.

I am going to lead you through the points that stood out most to me in these films: how femininity/masculinity, gender roles, and culture/ethnicity. The ideologies discussed in both films stood out to me most because exposure to media as a child is a way for them to become socialized into the world; it is where they learn of the social norms of society. But, when there are inaccurate portrayals of people and culture in media, children grow up with an altered sense of reality and of themselves.

 This topic bothers me so much because, to me, it’s a question of ethics….

Is it ok to persuade a child into thinking a certain way even though it may be inaccurate? 

Is it ok to manipulate children into a consumer culture that only perpetuates an altered sense of reality?

I will guide you to take a closer look into this issue by taking a political economist’s approach, which is concerned with the power of media to shape the social values of our culture. More specifically to this discussion, political economists understand the power of the media, and are concerned with how children are increasingly influenced by advertising.

First, I will focus on how children’s’ perception of femininity/masculinity, gender roles, and culture/ethnicity is portrayed in the media, more specifically, Disney movies. From a political economist stand point, I will examine how these images shape social value through ideologies embedded in texts. I will draw my argument from the film Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood & Corporate Power.

Femininity/Masculinity 

More often than not, females portrayed in Disney movies are hyper-sexualized. The female character often is shown has having a very small waist with a big chest and hips.

Ariel from The Little Mermaid

For example, in the film The Little Mermaid, Ariel is a mermaid who lives in the ocean. Typically mermaids are not shown wearing much clothing because they live underwater. I believe this half-naked female character that attracts the attention on a handsome young man, perpetuates the ideology of “beauty” to young girls. Upon seeing this “ideal” female body of large breasts with a skinny waist, girls believe that this must be they way to look in order to attract the opposite sex.

And, the same goes for male characters. In the movie Tarzan, for instance, Tarzan is a very muscular, ultra-sexualized, and practically naked man who save a helpless women in the jungle. This puts the image of an “ideal” male body into a young boy’s mind.

Tarzan

Gender Roles

Often the female characters are portrayed as having a coy submissive personalities, but sometimes even playing the seductress. In almost every Disney movie who’s main character is a woman, she is saved by man—she plays the damsel in distress. This happens even when the female character is portrayed as being skilled and strong willed.

Also, the idea that women should remain housewives is perpetuated in the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Snow White remains in the house and is, in fact, afraid of going outside. So, she just tends to chores of cooking and cleaning. And later, a mean witch that gives her a poisoned apple deceives her. This says that girls are easily tricked, and need to stay indoors.

This ideology that women are subordinate creates ideas in young girl’s minds that they may never be good enough.

Culture/Ethnicity 

One story told in the Mickey Mouse Monopoly that stuck with me regarded to the film The Lion King. Being that The Lion King was my favorite Disney movie growing up; this story really drove home the impact of marginalized cultures and ethnicities in the media.

The woman in the movie explained how her friend called her in distress about something her young child said while shopping in the mall. While making the connection to the three villainous hyenas in The Lion King, the children identified three young black children as being the hyenas they has seen in the film. Not only did three black children’s voices sound exactly like the three hyena’s, the women’s child put a negative connotation on black children; the child now associated the three black children as being villainous.

The Lion King hyenas

This story shocked me because, as a child, I never made that connection between the hyenas and black children…possibly because I grew up in a predominantly white suburb rarely having interaction with minority groups/cultures.

Another major culture issue made by Disney was the uproar after the release of Aladdin. Saudi Arabian citizens raised much concern when Disney created a severely inaccurate portrayal of their culture. For example, in the movie, when Jasmine (a Saudi Arabian princess) helps a starving child in a food market by taking an apple from a vendor and giving it to the child. In response, the vendor threatens to chop of her hand off.

If this were to happen in a real Saudi Arabian food market, the vendor would honor this gesture. In their culture if a food vendor witnesses a starving person, they are encouraged to give away some of their food in order to help.

Here is an interesting, more in-depth article about the controversy around Disney’s Aladdin: http://reviews.wikinut.com/The-Controversy-of-Disney-s-Aladdin/1cq374to/

Jasmine being threatened by food vendor as Aladdin swoops in to protect her.

Political economists are very concerned with these issues of culture and ethnicity because they examine how elites maintain control through hegemonic power on society. The hegemonic power I speak of in this case is white supremacy. The ideology that marginalized groups, such as blacks and middle easterners, are perpetuated in the media as being subordinate to whites, which comes to seem as normal and unchallenged by the rest of us.

This is heavy stuff, right!

 …It’s about to get heavier…

The Disney classic movies aren’t only to blame for creating a false adaptation of reality. In resent years, the advertising industry is to blame for perpetuated hegemonic power of ideologies in society.

This is where political economists really take a huge role in examining the media. Again, revolving around the concern of children, political economists examine the current trend of deregulation of the media. The deregulation of media has created a “consumer culture” by an increasing dominance of advertising and marketing in our lives.

According to the film Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood, advertising towards children makes up the majority of profits made in the U.S.—parents spend approximately $704 billion every year on children’s products. This movie takes on a political economist’s role to examine a number to elements that play into the child consumerism. I will touch on the few that meant the most to me:

1) Deregulation of media

2) Cradle to grave concept

3) Market research

4) Scientific research

5) The Role of Parents

As I mentioned earlier, the deregulation of media has played a crucial role in childhood consumerism. Deregulation means that there is no longer government regulation of how much advertising is produced, and what viewpoints are portrayed in that media. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) are private government agencies that work hard in regulating deceptive advertising. And one of their major on-going battles is the regulation of children’s advertising.

It is said that children up to age 12 have a hard time deciphering between a television show they’re watching and the advertisements during commercial breaks. But, that is not the only thing the FCC and FTC are fighting against  for in deceptive children’s advertising. It is the ideologies exemplified in them.

Starting with the cradle to grave concept, I will examine how the advertising industry merely targets children from as early as infancy to turn them into lifelong consumers.

(Here is a perfect example of what I am about to discuss. It is an old 1970s McDonald’s advertisement that clearly exemplifies the cradle to grave concept of marketing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCz1Zx0JbPI

The cradle to grave concept is used by advertising agencies to target and influence children early and often to turn them into lifelong consumers. This is a questionable practice done by the advertising world because children are basically helpless. In other words, children have no filter when it comes to deciding what are good and bad messages in the media.

Literally, from the cradle.

Some of the bad messages portrayed in the media revolve around the idea of age compression. Age compression basically means that in media, children are continuously being treated as adults younger and younger in life.

One example of this is the “tween” age group. Tweens are typically referred to children between the ages of 9 and 12. They are not young children but they are not quite teenagers either. But now, due to age compression, tweens are the refers ages 6 to 12. And, advertisers take advantage of kid’s natural urge to be older and to be treated older by adults.

Little girl’s toys, such as the Bratz and Barbie dolls, are portrayed with womanly figures who are scantily dressed . These dolls also often come complete with materialistic accessories such as designer clothing, make-up, and jewelry. As a result, little girls start to embody the characteristics of over sexualized and materialistic behaviors.

If the FCC can’t ban all advertisement towards children, they can at least weed them out one-by-one. Here is an example of how advertising can over sexualize childhood: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/marc-jacobs-ad-banned-child-sexualization-136439

And the same goes for boys. Many of the items marketed towards boys involve violence, including video games, weapons, and masculine looking toys. This tells boys that they must be a dominant force and must resolve conflict with violence.

Upon reading this, you may say, “Well…duh.” Of course the things that children witness in media and everyday life will effect the way the way they are. “They’re brains are sponges!” you might say.

But, it’s the way market researchers learn how to target these children is what was most interesting, and perhaps, disturbing to me.

Much like the cradle to grave concept of tackling a child’s psyche, children’s advertising is designed to pull on their heartstrings to evoke emotion. This is exactly the tactic used by Disney in their films. They create cartoon characters that provide a psychological comfort during the growing up process.

And, almost the same goes for product advertisements. But, instead they evoke emotions of longing and make kids say, “Oh, I need that!” Many times the ads flat out say that in order to be “cool” you must have this item. This helps maintain the ideology of what it takes to be socially accepted.

One of the ways market researchers gain direct information from children about what they like is engaging in ethnographic research. They do this by literally following children through their everyday lives and examine the ways they look, touch, and talk about items. They even follow them into the bathroom, while they take a bath or shower!! (Weird, I know)

Some of the ways they engage in this ethnographic research is developing products for the child to market themselves to their friends. For example, slumber party packages are designed for young girls/boys to throw a fun slumber party with their friends all while marketing products to them. But, the catch is that the market researcher spends the night with them as well to analyze there every move.

“Wait…what?!”   I know…. that’s what I said.

I will never understand how a parent could allow a stranger to spend the night with a bunch of kids in order to analyze their every move!

Another type of market research that has been viewed as teetering on ethics is the scientific research of children’s brains. Scientific market researchers communicate with advertisers about how exactly ads effect a child on the inside.

In a lab, a child’s brain can be monitored during a series of stimuli by using electrodes. This can help scientists figure out what exactly appeals to a child’s brain. This can especially be helpful to determine what is appealing to very young children who haven’t yet learned to talk.

Also another type of market research that has been in a heated debate with the FTC is the gathering a personal information from children over the internet. Over the past few years, internet use by children had increased dramatically. The internet seems to be a whole new world of excitement. Many websites that attract children require them to be a “member” in order to play games, often louring them in with a prize incentive. But before they can play the game, they must enter their name, gender, age, geographic location, and other personal family information.

It is obvious why this method of market research would be questioned by the FTC. As a result, there have been regulations about this successfully put into place.

Upon hearing of peoples’ opinions on these issues, most would say it is the parent’s responsibility to protect their child from these deceitful advertisements, unethical practices, and continuously perpetuated ideologies. But, in fact it is not all the parent’s responsibility. Parents can only control their child’s amount of media consumption when they are under their guidance. But, what happens when they go to school? Or, when they go to a friend’s house?

So, it seems to be the social responsibility of citizens along with parents need to realize that children are constantly under a spotlight and are persuaded by hegemonic ideologies.
So, now to answer your “So what?” question…

It is said that the current trend in childhood obesity is perpetuated by children's addiction to media. They would rather stay inside than play outside.

It is important to realize that political economists examine media from 360 degrees. It views childhood consumerism through the eyes of multiple viewpoints including gender, sex, culture, ethnicity, and the industry vs. the critic perspectives.

The industry’s perspective of the media is that it has short term effects. But, the critics perspective sees it as having latent, long term effects that manifest over time.

It is up to political economists to determine just how the media institutions establish and maintain existing hegemonic power of elites through media texts and practices.

It is also important to understand that the U.S. in a state of deregulation of the media. So, it is up to parents and citizens to re-regulate the types and amount of media their children consume. This is important because children are blank canvases that are looking to find their way into the world, and figure out who they are. They learn how to do this by observing media texts (and, of course through real human interaction as well).

Thank you for reading!

I hope this topic of ideological criticism was just as compelling to you as it was to me. I also hope I have opened your eyes to the various ideologies (good and bad) that are convayed through media that help shape the way humans interact with one another. I am curious to know what route the media will take next in shaping our culture and our values on consumerism.


Narrative, Shmarrative!

Hello there, again!

Today I’d like to discuss a particular trend that occurs throughout all television shows, movies, and stories. This trend is a single narrative sequence and character profiles that happen in almost the same way in every storyrtrayed in any media source. In order to explain this trend I will put it into the reality TV text, particularly The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and do a narrative analysis of a single episode.

But, first…let me make a brief re-cap on how The Real Housewives phenomena kicked off…

In recent years there have been a number of shows on television that have prosed much scrutiny and constant criticism. Typically reality television shows are the ones who receive such criticism because they basically document individuals’ real lives. And then it also seems to become a public debate in the tabloids whether or not these shows accurately portray the “characters” at hand, or accurately portray the sequence of events in the order in which they actually occurred. I say this because often the producers and editors of TV shows want them to appear more dramatic than it actually was to generate more interest in viewers.

Dave Rupel - Producer of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Bravo is a television network that seems to have this reality TV show craze down to a science – They even have a live reality talk show about reality shows! I’d say, about 90% of the shows broadcasted on this particular station are reality based. But, one show in particular has seemed to thrive the best off of this reality crazed, TV celebrity obsessed generation is The Real Housewives.

The Real Housewives started out as documenting an elite group of women living in Orange County, CA. It captured their lavish living circumstances of living in this region of the country of visiting spas, shopping and eating at expensive  stores and restaurants, and capturing the social drama occurring within this group of individuals.

The Real Housewives of Orange County

After this show gained traction within the television world, viewers began to grasp more onto this genre of reality shows that fallows posh individuals through their daily banter of life with similar people. And, soon enough new series of The Real House Wives picked up in other cities fallowing new elite groups of women with money, including The Real Housewives of  New York City, Atlanta,  and New Jersey.

One season in particular that I have been fallowing in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (“RHBH”…this is going to be my abbreviation for the show so I don’t have to write it out continuously!). I don’t why I have identified with these individuals more than other seasons. Perhaps, they seem more down-to-earth, which better matches my own personality.

The Real House Wives of Beverly Hills (Pictured from left to right: Kim, Lisa, Adrienne, Kyle, Taylor, and Camille)

Just like any other Real Housewives season, the RHBH have almost exactly the same character profiles, although each character may embody more than one profile, or interchange them as the story progresses. The major character profiles found in RHBH are the princess, the villain, the hero, the false hero, the donor, and the helper.

Here is the character profile run-down of the RHBH…

Kim: The princess

Lisa: the false hero; often “stirs the pot”

Adrienne: The donor or the hero

Kyle: The donor, the helper, or the dispatcher often caught in the middle of the other’s drama

Taylor: The princess

Camille: Was the princess, then was the villain, and is now indistinguishable to me

As you can see, not one person plays the absolute villain. Typically, the secondary characters, those not in the official cast of characters, play the villain. The ongoing villains in the RHBH include Taylor’s husband, Russell, and Brandi who is Camille’s close friend who often appears in the show.

All, or some, of these character profiles always exist in any story line according to Vladimir Propp‘s 8 broad character types that help make sense of the narrative.

Speaking of narrative…trying to explain RHBH’s over-all narrative seems difficult for me to explain in a blog post. So in order to better explain my point, I will focus on just one episode of the series. The episode I will focus in is episode 12. I chose this episode because at this point in the season this is where a friend ship had been jeopardized and the people involved start to take sides.

Analyzing the narrative of a reality show has deemed itself difficult since the characters never play deffinate roles, and  often there is more than one narrative happening at once. In this particular episode there are four different narratives touched upon. Although some narratives are are touched upon briefly, the main focus of this episode is about a fight occurring between Camielle (the villain) and Taylor (the princess).

When explaining the narrative, I will use Vladimir Propp’s analysis of narrative structure by taking an Aristotelian approach (examines narrative/story through elements of drama). The analysis shows that every story ever created goes in a certain order revolving around the hero and the villain.

So here it goes…

(Narrative #1)

(#3 and #6 on Vladimir’s narrative stucture) The episode immediately begins in confrontation between the two about misconceptions between Camille (villain) and Taylor (princess) at a tea party at Lisa’s (hero) house. Camille initiates conflict about misconceptions about Taylor’s marriage with Russel (an outside villain). She Blames Taylor of the misconceptions and ultimately blaming her for all the social problems with in the group of friends.

(#7) Taylor does not fight back and allows Camille to just leave the party with the fight open-ended and unresolved.

(#8b) Because of these misconceptions, the whole group is angry and confused about Taylor and her marraige. This may then indicate that Camille is only the villain in Taylor’s eyes, but not to everyone else.

(#9) Taylor then addresses Lisa (hero) by blaming her for not being there for her as a friend throughout these tough times.

(#10) Lisa now agrees to take action in helping Taylor and apologized for being the villain before in rejecting her asa friend.

Russell and Taylor. Have since been divorced. Shortly after divorce, Russell committed suicide.

Scene now cuts to Kim (princess) at her new house with new boyfriend (villain)

(Narrative #2)

(#1) Kim is separating herself from the rest of the group because her sister, Kyle, did not approve of her new boyfriend. Her other friends do not approve of it either because none of them believe she is truly happy. Therefore she actively tries to separate herself from the group due to lack of approval.

Later….Scene cuts to Kyle (donor), Adrienne (donor), and Camille (villain) at a restaurant

(back to Narrative #1)

Camille admits to feeling bad about what she said; said she tries contacting Taylor to make an apology, but got no response.

Kyle and Adrienne begin fulfilling their donor character rolls by giving advice, and make suggestions about what Taylor needs in order to fix her marriage.

Scene cuts to Taylor at daughter’s birthday party

(still Narrative #1)

(#16) Kyle comes to party and Taylor confides in her about the situation with Camille

(back to Narrative #2)

(#16) Kim arrives at party where she is met with Kyle, whom is also her sister, for the first time since Kyle met her new boyfriend, Ken. (Remember, Kyle dislikes Ken; Kim and Kyle have not spoken in a long time).

Taylor with daughter, Kennedy, at her cowboy themed 5th birthday party.

(back to Narrative #1)

Adrienne arrives at party and immediately starts to gossip to Kyle about the Taylor/Camille confrontation.

(Narrative #3)

(# 16) Brandi (outside character; also a villain) confronts Kim about a past conflict between themselves.

(#17 and #18) Kim disregards her apology

(#19) Brandi them talks to Kyle about it, and both decide to disregard that problem until Kim is ready to talk about it.

(Episode End)

Now… I can understand how this narrative could be hard to understand by just reading it, So here is a link the actual episode..http://www.bravotv.com/full-episodes?fid=1286860&vid=1376140.

Also, let me just re-cap the three narratives so you can see how each fallows Vladimir’s narrative structure:

Narrative #1: 3, 6, 7, 8b, 9, 10, 16

Narrative #2: 1, 16

Narrative #3: 16, 17, 18, 19

Episode closes with characters closing remarks about all that is happening, leaving the episode open-ended for the next. I know that this narrative was left open ended, but the character profiles continue to transform and the narratives progress.

Why is narrative analysis important?

This narrative analysis mostly shows the plot of the episode by highlighting the main points. I then plugged those main points into the narrative structure to reveal its emplotment. I hope this narrative analysis has helping in the understanding understanding the way we interpret various medias we consume on a daily basis. And since media shapes our daily lives, mostly without knowing it, it’s important to see how these stories in the media affect our own life stories.

Hope you enjoyed! See you later:)

Media…what?

Hello! My name is Gerilyn Lackey. I am currently an undergraduate student double majoring in Mass Communications and Fine Arts at Towson University. I chose to be a double major because a genuinely could not pick between the two majors. My ultimate goal one day is to work in the music industry, hopefully for an indie label or for a music production company of some sort. But really, I am open to anything. I willing to try whatever because it a big world out there and there are so many jobs that could encompass both of my passions of analyzing the entertainment world, specifically music, and art.

But, let me re-cap how I got to this decision of working in the music industry…

I grew up in upstate New York in the historic suburb of Rochester called Fairport until the age of 15. Rochester is known from its close proximity to Buffalo, Syracuse, the Great Lakes, and the Finger Lakes. It is also home to the world renowned The EastmanTheater and the jazz music scene.

The Eastman Theatre

Although the city is quite interesting, I didn’t necessarily grow up in a music, media, diversely saturated world living in this small, predominantly white, suburb. By my tween/early teen years I began to internally rebel against this blahzay way of life. I say it was an internal rebellion because I did not act out in a misbehaving manner, I was just became interested in how people in this relatively small un-diverse town act. As a result, I began to take interest in things that a typical suburban 13 year-old girl wouldn’t normally gravitate towards: skateboarding and punk music!

The historic Erie Canal in Fairport, NY

I realized that I wanted to work in music at an early age, say…13. I realized this then because that is when I began to take guitar music lessons. I continued to take guitar music lessons for 5 years, and during those 5 years I became interested in many different genres. Also at this age of 13, I became very intrigued with the pop/punk music scene when I picked up my first Alternative Press Magazine. This is when I started to become fascinated by the music industry.

The Alternative Press mag. is filled with big bold graphics with content on trending topics within the punk/pop music scene, such as top 10 records of the month, record sales, and readers’ opinions. The magazine also incorporated current and comprehensive stories on my favorite bands at the time. This magazine was sure to catch any young music enthusiast’s eye, including my own! This magazine really showed me how music marketing and production can together for one common goal: getting an artist’s name known.

As I continued to gain more appreciation for music and the arts, my family moved to Baltimore, MD when I was 15. Living in Baltimore has only encouraged me more to go into the music industry. Baltimore is rich in culture with an accompanying local music and art scene. [To read about the Baltimore arts scene and events, check out  this awesome blog site!…. http://www.bmoreart.com/]

Living in Baltimore has given me so much more exposure to the media saturated world we live in, especially in a metropolitan area. It has prompted me even more to analyze music, and all other medias, even more than before.

This brings me into the main focus of my ranting, media criticism…

The roll of media criticism is to understand media text as meaningful sociocultural symbolic forms and forces. The Media criticism class also help students gain media literacy by understanding various media texts, specifically in television. Media texts influence individuals’ perspectives of themselves, the society they live in, and the outside world. And it is important to be media literate in order to under how it makes these influences.

Media texts influence our culture as well. Culture is defined by symbols of expression used to communicate societal norms, values, and beliefs that are specific to that culture. These symbols can be found all around including in our clothing, hair, food, how we greet one-another, gender rolls, ect. But most importantly, it can be found in the media. The media shapes our culture because it creates images in our minds about what we value as an individual and as a society. Then, visa versa, we can see how culture effects media. For example, nudity is European advertising is of no big deal to Europeans. But in the United States, viewers take more offense to public displays of nudity and affection. Although the United States is far more liberal about images of nudity compared to countries of the Middle East, for instance.

Here is an interesting article by the New York Times about the differences between American advertising and European Advertising….http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/07/business/forum-why-european-ads-are-more-amusing.html

What I find interesting in leaning about media criticism is leaning how the media affects our psyche. I am always interested to learn how an individual is subconsciously influenced by their surroundings. I believe, and as stated before, that media shapes who we are as an individual, even though we try to deny it. There are norms that we must fallow in society in order to be accepted, and these norms can be found in media. Television, for instance, provides us the images of how to dress and act that are preformed by others. This proves that throughout human growth an development, we are socialized into society based on what we see on television. These images that we see on television may not be so concrete at times; they also have the ability to sway us in ways that we may never have thought of as well.

“What’s it to me,” you ask?!…

Bottom line, becoming media literate is important. It helps us understand the world around us, and most importantly, helps us understand who we are as individuals. You may not feel you are easily swayed by what you see in the media, but you are more than you think. Next time you catch yourself consuming media, such the internet or television, I challenge you to compare yourself to the characters portrayed in that media source. Analyze their clothing, choice words, body language, ect. and compare it to yourself. You may be surprised!

IT'S IMPORTANT!

Thanks for reading!! I hope you enjoyed this one, and continue to enjoy the ones that fallow!!:)

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