Monday, February 24, 2014

A Cycle of Outrage by James Gilbert

OK, so I have to say that I did not enjoy this reading at all. It just did not hold my interest and I found myself just skimming through the entire piece...I did the same for the Raby reading, and actually the two seemed like the same story to me. I have been sitting here all day trying to get my thoughts together enough to write something. So I have been reading through some of the blogs to see what others had to say and I really enjoyed reading what Jessica had to say. She focused on the quote "teenagers lacked a sense of the line between good fun and delinquency" (Gilbert, 12). Teenagers then and teenagers now are exactly the same, the only difference is that the economy changes and they must change with it. Stereotyping teenagers by their appearance is unfair and does not prove anything. Teenage years are when you are supposed to experiment with all sorts of things, some good and some bad. They are supposed to get into some trouble, it is how a person learns. Teens should experiment with their dress, appearance, and with different interests. This is a crucial time of figuring out what you want and who you will be. I love that Jessica commented on the industrial boom post war. She is so right, teens and adults alike both got caught up in the want for materialistic items. So far in all of the readings that we have done, including the Palladino piece, the Raby piece and now this one, they all have the same negative stereotypical view of teenagers and focuses on how their appearance makes them look aggressive. I feel like teens know boundaries and sometimes they push them on purpose and that is ok, the teen years are for learning and testing out the boundaries. This does not make them criminals at all. It makes them teenagers and it is a normal part of growing up. I would love for a group of teenagers to write an article about their views on teenagers and also their views on adults. Why do the adults always feel the need to explain teens and their delinquent behavior. Lets just go straight to the source. After all, weren't adults adolescents once? Didn't adults, as teenagers, take part in delinquent behavior, and maybe even listen to rock and roll, dress according to the fashion of the time, and maybe even rebel? I know that when I was in high school I snuck around, rebelled against my mom, disregarded my curfew, wore some pretty crazy things, had all sorts of hair styles, smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, got a tattoo and hung out in the neighborhood all hours of the night. I don't think that makes me a criminal or delinquent, I was just being a kid. Even today, I have some customers that see my tattoos and totally freak out. They automatically put me in a category as some rebellious kid (most of them think i am 20...I am 27). It is super annoying that they think i am so great until they see tattoos and I can see the way their faces completely change. So unfair. We need to stop judging teens and talking about adolescents as a passing phase. Maybe we can even learn a little from these so called delinquents.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence-Rebecca Raby

"by characterizing adolescence as a turbulent and emotional stage, adulthood is framed as rational, calm, evolved, and knowing."

During the teenage years most adults are dealing with the stress of raising a teenager. The teenagers themselves entering the storm discourse prepare for this unpredictable part of life and therefore it becomes manageable on them. For the parents, they face anxieties triggered by the storm discourse and these anxieties and emotions are then transferred to the teenagers. Adolescents then become a whole group who need protection from themselves and this in turn makes the adults the protectors.

"being in the state of coming of age erases the ability of those in the state to describe or know themselves and places the privilege and responsibility on adult experts to explain adolescents."

Teenagers in the becoming discourse are made to feel like they cannot make their own decisions because they cannot know ones self. They are often told that they are too young to know better, or they have not experience enough to know. Adults are then put in charge with helping teens to understand themselves and adolescents. In a way this is a good thing because they have the time to make mistakes and to start over again.

"youth today are courted as a high-consumer group, and are modelled in the media as the ideal age, with teenagehood constituting the onset of the best years of your life."

In the pleasurable consumption discourse teens are not only top consumers but they enjoy the things that teens are supposed to do. They obsess over and enjoy music, movies, shoppings and other things that are fun and teens are supposed to have fun. They often enjoy all of these things at their parents expense and usually with ease. With teens having this disposable income, media targets them in the advertising world.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Unlearning the myths that bind us

The author, Linda Christensen, argues that within all children’s cartoons, movies and literature, there is a “secret education” being taught to young ones and teaching them how to act, live and dream. This “secret education” portrays society in a specific way, usually favoring one particular race and sex, and gives children a false sense of how they should view the world they live in, specifically on culture, race, and gender role issues. Christensen goes even further in her argument by saying that there can be no change unless we “dissect the dreams” and teach kids how to recognize these injustices and take public action to enlighten others about these inequalities in children’s media. Most importantly, Christensen has a hidden agenda of her own, she is teaching her students how to rebel.
First, I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. This topic always sparks my interest. When this issue is discussed in classes I feel like we never spend enough time with it. I love that the author based the article around her students, using their quotes and feelings. The whole reason for her writing this article is to not only teaching her class how to detect these inequalities in our children’s media but to get them to act out outside of the classroom to really make a difference. Before watching any cartoons, Christensen has her class read the preface and first chapter of Dorfman’s book. She has them write responses to questions that she poses and keep track of them in a journal. Her reason for picking this particular reading is that Dorfman is very controversial and really gets to the students, makes them sort of angry. He basically says that all media is constantly teaching us how to act and think. It teaches us about violence, fashion, sex roles, also how to love, succeed, buy, conquer and more than anything, we are taught how not to rebel. She then shows old cartoons and gets them to recognize inequalities and stereotypes in these cartoons by filling out a chart that she has put together for them. The students quickly point out the obvious things that they see and jot them down. They soon start to notice the not so obvious “secret education” hidden within the cartoons. Some of the main things that the students noticed were that men usually held leading roles. When women were involved, they looked like playboy centerfolds, or they had to become beautiful to get the man and live happily-ever-after. Other cartoons depicted money and material things as being the most valuable possessions. They also noticed that violence was portrayed as having no negative outcome. People of “inferior” race were seen as servants or as violent thieves. Just as women were limited to any power and had to be beautiful to be “happy”, the roles of men are also limited. Only men with good looks and strength were viewed as worthy and powerful, otherwise they were old or used for “good-natured” humor.  Even when they read the retelling of Cinderella, titled Cindy Ellie, they noticed it was still very unfair. Even though a woman of color and different culture was the main character of the story, she was only recognized after she was transformed. Her role as a woman did not change, she was still viewed as a man’s property and that she could only be happy after saying “I do”.  While we may not want to hear it, media has tricked us all and it follows us into our adult life. It teaches of how to females and how to be males. It teaches us that money is the key to a happy life. Violence is glorified. We are taught how to view other cultures and races. We are taught how to dress properly, how to talk, how to act, all to fit in with society. Even as adults we never get away from this “secret education”. Christensen’s whole lesson is to teach us how to rebel, how to tell the media we don’t care what they say, we have our own minds and can think for ourselves. Christensen is also trying to teach us that we will never be able to change this negativity if we do not speak up, and act out publicly. She wants to provide the opportunity to make a difference.
I personally do not think media is completely responsible for how we think and feel, but I will admit that it definitely has affected me in some ways. I definitely am afraid to rebel in some ways because I am scared of what others will think. Media totally can affect a person’s self esteem and build insecurities, especially for young girls and women. I’m curious as to how many people catch themselves being “handled” by media. How does it alter the way you think today? Does it have any affect on what you buy or how you dress? Are people afraid to rebel and be “different”?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

About me

Hi everyone! My name is Tanya. I am a full time student at RIC and just applied to the radiology program. Praying I get in! I am taking this class as an elective because I thought it would be interesting and I heard great things about it. I am in love with my 3 year old yellow lab named Marley!! Over break I met my boyfriend's daughter A'driana for the first time...she lives in Alaska with her mom. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone this semester!