Society has instead … affected comic strips

Before I start up on another thought of how the media affects our society, there was another question from the last post that, of course, needs to be answered.

Courtesy from mediaservices.humber.caQuestion:

How would you make people aware of how the media affect our society (other than your blog)?
My Opinion:

Quite frankly, I think the media are one of the most creative and successful outlets in order to reach a mass of people all at once. Media literacy should be taught at high school level as part of our history and social studies courses. The topic itself is really interesting, and does not have to span back to Gutenberg times, but to recent events. That way, the students will be interested and they would feel involved in some way. But a classroom is a classroom.

I think it has been done, though I cannot for the life of me remember any examples, but wouldn’t it be ironic, to shoot a 40-sec commercial of how certain mediums can influence individuals for the worse? What better way to reach a large group of people all at once, with a limited budget and limited time.

Next topic … comics

Courtesy from www.forpd.ucf.eduThe media do not consist only of television, radio and newspapers. It can also include online, film, comics etc. Whatever form that can reach a mass of people.

I would like to talk about the daily comics.

We read, we laugh and we joke around when we read the comics in our newspapers or online. Funny how some of the comic strips strike home to so many people reflecting how our society really is.

A Georgia State University study published in the national Journal of Marriage and the Family found that particular well-known comic strips (Blondie, Bloom County, Cathy, Dennis the Menace, The Family Circus, Garfield, Hi and Lois, Little Orphan Annie, Peanuts, Pogo and Ziggy ) were reflections on how the society was during those days.

  • “Men penned the majority of comics, reflecting the patriarchal culture of the newspaper industry.
  • Only recently was there any representation of minorities. In this sample, only 5.1 percent of the comics featured an African-American parental figure as a main character.
  • Depicted families tended to be middle class and nuclear in structure. Single parent families were rarely shown.
  • Family-oriented comics came to dominate the funny papers after W.W.II.
  • The proportion of comics that had fatherhood, motherhood or parenthood as a theme, regardless of reference to the holidays, mushroomed to nearly 25 percent in the 1990s.
  • In the 1960s, in contrast to the 1950s, fathers were as likely as mothers to be depicted as nurturing and supportive, but more likely to be made fun of. This change was not due to an increase in the “warm and fuzzy” quotient of fathers, but to a decrease in the nurturing view of mothers as the women’s movement and social activism increased.
  • In the 1970s, fathers were no more likely than mothers to be depicted as incompetent, a result of feminists gains in the 1960s.
  • There was a dramatic increase in both paternal and maternal nurturing and support that began in the 1980s and continued through the 1990s.”

Courtesy of medialit.org

Courtesy from www.berkeleybreathed.com

Media Literacy … Disney … now Barbie?

Based on the last post on how Disney has affected our society, there was a few questions on how I would educate the youngin’s on media literacy if I had the chance.

 

Question:

How would you educate all those little girls who want to be Disney princesses? Would you teach media literacy in junior high or high school? Would you try to change how Disney and the media portray females?

My Opinion:

As a young girl, I honestly would not understand any media literacy, or ethics my parents or anyone in society would teach me. I would probably let my child/student/neighbor/etc. roam free with her imagination and just be young.

As for when I would teach media literacy, I would teach it in high school most definitely. Why wouldn’t I teach this particularly valuable subject to the little junior high schoolers? Probably because they would not take the subject seriously and would probably not retain any of the information. As for the high schoolers, they’re older, have an idea of who they are, what they want to be, plus maturity does play a factor. I believe they would take to the subject much better than the younger crowd. Unfortunately, what with the typical low high school budget, I wouldn’t be surprised to NOT see any media literacy class being taught anywhere. (Just like all those “unnecessary” music classes being cut … )

As for the last question, “Would you try to change how Disney and the media portray females?” I would make the audience aware of how the media do affect our society, and Disney would be an obvious example. I would not necessarily try to change how Disney themselves intentionally portrays females … but I would point how the similarity to how real-life situations match coincidently to the Disney stories we have all come to watch and love. Though I would point out how the media as a whole (TV, movies, comics, books etc) does portray females, I would point out the many different categories women play on TV (I haven’t mentioned the different ethnics either yet … ) and how many young females in our real-time world all wish they can be like those fictional characters they see on TV.

Example:

'80s Barbie

There is an article I read and some show I saw on TV that featured a 40-year-old woman who always looked up to Barbie as her role model … and finally became one. She underwent 31 operations in 14 years to become a living Barbie doll … Read the CBS article titled, “Becoming Barbie: Living Dolls, Real Life Couples Becomes Models of Plastic Perfection.”

After reading that article, ironically back in 1997, Mattel chose to redesign Barbie to better reflect our society. According to Mattel, she underwent the ultimate plastic surgery. Complete with slimmer hips, wider waist and yes … smaller bust.Read the BCC News article titled, “Barbie undergoes plastic surgery.”

Le Reflection … the why.

I’m fascinated about how the media affects society. From music to TV, the news just anything. Our society is so tuned to the tube, we forget what reality means. That’s what my blog will be about, a reflection of society…our society.

One form of media that has affected our society … Disney

Disney? You ask. How? Why? And isn’t he dead? Well … yes, but that doesn’t mean anything to us right now.

Interesting enough, I took a class a few semesters back at Arizona State University, and one course I took for the hell of it was “Love, Sex, and Romance in the Media,” taught by Dr. Mary-Lou Galician. It was one of the best courses I’ve taken thus far. (Though the course title in itself is an eyebrow raiser … people questioned me…)

The course itself was about breaking down all the typical love myths we all know and love.

Example: The love of a good and faithful true woman can change a man from a “beast” into a “prince.”

Now how does that relate to Disney? Well doesn’t that love myth sound like Beauty and the Beast?

Courtesy from www.mouseandmore.comTry to associate this couple to the term rescue fantasy. Dr. Galacian wrote a book (with the same title as the class) and found out that movies such as Beauty and the Beast illustrate just what a lot of couples go through in our society when it comes to romance. The whole damsels-in-distress being rescued by knights-in-shining-armor. I bet that you (the reader) probably know someone or a couple in this situation where the man or woman feels the need to rescue the other. Another real world example, the man is always mentally or/and emotionally abusive to others or to the woman, but she stays because she believes she can change him. Honestly … it seems odd why anyone would do such a thing, but it is one of the most common reason or at least a reasons that is subconscious. (Although, most would deny this.)

One of many love myths brought on by the media … in this case … Disney. Course Beauty and the Beast is NOT the only movie that causes concern for your future children’s love life … no no, keep in mind Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (who just sleeps the WHOLE time … ) etc.

This is just a snippet of what I thought was interesting. There are many little girls in our society who dream everyday to be like one of the Disney “princesses.” I would at least educate them and say, “Don’t believe everything you see on TV.”

Dr. Galician also developed a “Love Quiz” on her website Realistic Romance, which I think is very interesting and entertaining. The quiz will ask you (the reader) the 12 different love myths and if you think they are true or false … it would then determine how much you really read into this media biz.

 

 

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