Big Hero

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Disney, Oh My.

The article being analyzed below is called “Damsels in Discourse: Girls Consuming and Producing Identity Texts Through Disney Princess Play” by Karen E. Wohlwend. Disney toys definitely target towards girls because it encourages them to “[wear] femininity, body movements [e.g., twirling (hair or skirt), curtseying], make-up, beauty, and fashion talk” (Wohlwend, 2009, p.60) and does not encourage “play scenarios that stretched stereotypical male/female roles” (Wohlwend, 2009, p.60). Culturally it does not intrigue boys to be a part of the play nor does it present different types of girls in the world such as girls with short hair, girls that prefer talking about cars instead of their make-up, girls that work instead of stay home and enjoy a spa day. Disney toys and advertisements do not want to broaden the roles and responsibilities of females in society.
There are multiple aspects of representation and to begin I would look at materiality which I mentioned before. Girls learn to think and appreciate make-up and their beauty/appearances. It isn’t about the way you grow as an individual but more about what you look like and how you can improve your appearance. In children’s learning spaces Disney and Barbie media toys have become code and signs that state these toys as “deemed inappropriate topics” (Wohlwend, 2009, p.58). It is for instance considered inappropriate in daycare settings where children can stretch beyond the bounds and don’t have boundaries for girl and boy roles.
Ever since dolls and Disney toys have been created, the manner in which it has been advertised has directed children to be and act a specific way with them. In the text by Karen E. Wohlwend she states that these toys are “designed to enable children to easily recognize the ways it can be used in play” (Wohlwend, 2009, p.59). Especially when the toys are connected to animated films they encourage children to reenact what was done in the movie (Wohlwend, 2009, p.59). These toys avoid the opportunity to allow for choices and imagination. It creates a mind that is unable to think on their own or critically think.

 

Wohlwend, K.E. (2009). Damsels in Discourse: Girls Consuming and Producing Identity Texts Through Disney Princess Play. Retrieved from http://www.seriousplaylab.com/pop/princess_play.pdf

Critical Analysis

Daniela Faustino

Due Date: October 25, 2017.

 
Critical Analysis The movie that I have chosen to critically analyze is “The Truman Show.” In the film I am able to see normative representations of standard daily living and normative representations of political life. The film is about a man living his life, in manners that are expected by him as a  couple. In the film it is demonstrating a normal representation of Truman’s life and how the director wants him to live his life. This brings me into the second representation of the political life where our political institution makes the choices or creates the rules that they want society to follow. In the article written by Stanley A. Deetz it states “corporate practices prevade modern life by providing personal identity, structuring time and experience, influencing education and knowledge production, and directing entertainment and news production” (1992). Within the film there were a few narratives all connecting together to create the overall concept of the movie. To begin, Truman’s entire life was a TV show created to entertain. Such as movies, TV shows, toys etc they are used to incorporate entertainment that will display feelings such as happiness, excitement, fear etc. For instance an article i read called “Damsels in Discourse: Girls Consuming and Producing Identity Texts Through Disney Princess Play” (Wohlwend, 2009) discusses how Disney dolls create a fictional world where children feel like they must reenact the way they are by what they have learned through media. They do not create their own ideas but instead are rehearsing what media has taught them. Unlike other movies such as James Bond or Bridesmaids where a drama or action is created, instead it was about Truman’s actual existence only belonging through the screen. People enjoyed the show that was created through his life because he was oblivious to what was happening, he was natural. He lived in a world that was made up, but yet was presented with challenges in his “life” not to actually challenge him, but more to put on a “good show.” The perspective that is being advanced throughout the movie is in the manner in which trumans life is being put together from the outside forces. He finds himself stuck with the inability to be spontaneuous and is constricted down to his obligations. His wife in the movie states “We have mortgage payments truman, we have car payments, what were just going to walk away from our finanacial obligations?”(The Truman Show, 1998).   In Stalk & Kelly’s article it states that “News and pop culture are both infused with possibilities for resistance as well as conformity and accommodation” (Stack & Kelly, 2006, p.16). Trumans life has been made for him to conform without knowing that there may be a chance to NOT conform. Further on in the film he is able to get away from the world that has kept him in his “world” for so long.

 

References

Deetz, S.A. (1992). Democracy in an Age of Corporate Colonization: Developments in Communication. United States of America: State University of New York Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=IwOHrzKA6AsC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=normative+representation+of+political+life&ots=5nRj0ws0lW&sig=ePEiBflbER7pMDL4hnu1384fpWw#v=onepage&q=normative%20representation%20of%20political%20life&f=false
Rudin, S., Niccol, A., Feldman, E.S., & Schroeder, A., & Weir, P. (1998). The Truman Show. United States: Paramount Pictures.
Stack, M., & Kelly, D.M. (2006) Popular Media, Education and Resistance. Retrieved from http://www.seriousplaylab.com/pop/misrepresentation.pdf
Wohlwend, K.E. (2009). Damsels in Discourse: Girls Consuming and Producing Identity Texts Through Disney Princess Play. Retrieved from http://www.seriousplaylab.com/pop/princess_play.pdf

 

Three Little Pigs

In Story. J article it states that “production of popular culture texts – [is] a space in which to contest racialized, gendered & universalized experiences.”  This story of the Three Little Pigs had many details such as its representation, text, narratives, ideologies and critical literacies that brought together an interesting retell of the story.  Many different representations in the story such as the process of understanding that there is a world outside of a book both literally and non literally.  The world we live in and in the manner we perceive the story and the hidden story within the Three Little Pigs.  This story also represented the impact words and images can have on the direction and imagination a story can take its reader.  There were also some issues when reading the text such as too much information or too many stories that may make the concept of the book confusing for particular ages.  There was also a brief moment at the beginning of the story where the wolf “ate the pig up” yet the pig had escaped into an outside world of their own.  The original Three Little Pigs has a beginning, middle and end yet this version makes the concept harder to grasp.  Overall the story has made me think back to the concept from an article that stated ““A broadening in the literacy field’s definition of text to include more than the linguistic mode (e.g., imagery, sound, and performance) is likely another factor that accounts for the current interest in popular culture’s intersection with traditional and new literacies.” (page 1) It has combined multiple narratives from within the main story and throughout all the different stories.  It mixes the original storyline and narratives with new pieces of text and literacy.  The traditional ideology of the Three Little Pigs made it difficult for me to move into a different path or version of the story especially since the original story was never complete.  Some of the critical literacies found in the story was sharing the concept that it is good and encouraged to make friends that are from different worlds or have different ideas than you.  In Alverman’s article it stated “whether or not young people’s participating in reading, viewing, listening to, and creating popular cultural texts (especially digital texts) is an educational experience that has potential for transfer from informal to formal learning environments” (Alvermann 13).

Media Influenced Representations

I have been subject to an imposed representation about myself based on my background information.  When people ask me what is my background, automatically when I tell them I am Portuguese they make assumptions about what I like and dislike.  Usually the first thing they say is “I love custard tarts” but the part that frustrates me the most is “I love codfish! What is your favorite fish plate?”  Though why is the assumption made that I enjoy fish?  I usually get these representations from peers within classrooms and the occasional representations within the workplace.  I usually do respond back to people when they comment because I dislike when people summarize as a person that likes fish.  I usually just explain what I enjoy, especially seafood just not specifically ONE of Portugal’s many food specialties.

Making assumptions based on what they know about the people in Portugal based on the resources or popular activities they may have.  For instance once people know my background they automatically say “oh you guys make the best fish” or “what your favorite fish plate?”  In the article Lewis and Jhally (1998) suggest that “Media literacy should be about helping people to become sophisticated citizens rather than sophisticated consumers” (Stack & Kelly, 2006, p.13)  When people learn about something, lets say in this case a country, they should learn about multiple aspects of the country and not stick to one or two topics.  In my case just because my background is from a country that has the ocean at its disposal with multiple types of fish to enjoy doesn’t necessarily mean I personally enjoy fish, especially cod fish.  If consumers are learning from the media they must think critically about the information they are absorbing and go forth with additional research about certain topics.  If the media is trying to sell a sophisticated consumer approach, they must broaden their research from the fish delicacies of Portugal to a broader range of food delicacies in Portugal.

Popular Culture in Traditional and New Literacies

 

My personal definition of “New Literacies” would be the newest methods in which people can communicate with each other(text, blogging, twitter, instagram, pinterest etc) in order to discuss new ideas and create new trends/century impacts.  In the essay Popular Culture in Traditional and New Literacies Jenkins states “that consumption is now a collective meaning-making process” (Alvermann, 2011, p.4).  People use all these resources to connect with people they know or don’t know, share their story and not only communicate in person but also socializing in the online world.  Regardless of the manners in which people have literacy or learn about different literacies, the autonomous model “characterizes reading and writing as neutral processes” (Alvermann, 2011, p.5).  It is normal for people to talk and express themselves but it is the manners in which century’s change and expand the way in which literacies happen.

When thinking about harnessing popular culture I think of a quote I read in the essay Popular Culture in Traditional and New Literacies when it spoke about participator culture it stated “media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want” (Alvermann, 2011, p.4).  People in our current generation will use games online as their entertainment but also as a method for literacy, to socialize with new people, learn new ideas and concepts.  For instance not long ago, Pokemon Go was a very popular game which generations participated in, while meeting new people and seeing new places as they explored their city/cities.  Another way of harnessing popular culture is creating groups or pages on instagram that may discuss a whole topic where hundreds people are part of.  It finds the images of consensus between people and allows for comments as discussion (literacy).