Our goal is to write a “mini-research paper,” a six to eight (6 - 8) page cause and effect essay that analyzes the potential causes and/or effects of media’s influence on popular culture.You are to choose a number of image-based examples ideally from different platforms of media (print advertising, broadcast television, gaming, films, and webisodes, youtube grabs, etc.) You may alsochoose to concentrate your efforts on one or two examples only, that is OK. However, what will tie your paper together is a thesis that investigates one aspect of how culture is shaped by media andthe causes or effects of this influence. We spoke in class about how we live in a consumer society, and how the media is used mainly to service this need for consumption: of products, of services, andof ideology.
Some example paper topics could include:
How media shapes gender representation, and the intentional and unintentional effects of this influence.
How certain under-representedsocieties are portrayed in media: such as the immigrant, the minority, the gay and lesbian, the Southerner, the working-class, etc. And the possible reasons for this portrayal.
How a powerful media, workingacross multi-platforms, contribute to a “dumbing down” of America via an entertainment-based society.
Hint: the key to looking at your images toward this analysis is to question the term:Representation – what something stands for, or symbolizes visually, and how this representation is a cover for the Authentic, which is seldom seen in media today. What is the relationship betweenrepresentation and authenticity? Can you place this in personal terms? It will help you de-code your images and link them to a larger idea regarding culture.
Each paper will also include research from the Mt. SACLibrary Portal and other search sites, including:
(a) Some background about consumer culture from books and periodicals. See the intro to Packaging Culture to gain the names and titles of some...
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