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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Options for Final Blog Posts & Presentations

Options for Final Blog Posts & Presentations
Gender & Popular Culture Spring 2007 (WGS220 05)
Final Blog Post due April 27, 2007
Presentations April 26th & 30th

1. Audiences & Understandings
Examine audience interpretations of your topic. Because, varying contexts (as in varying groups of people as audiences in different times/places/groups/etc) frequently produce conflicting understandings of the same topic. Your goal is to identify audience consistency and inconsistency (how to obtain this information is up to you) and analyze the reactions (consistent and inconsistent) in relation to the topic and the factors that might be affecting audience responses to your topic (or a specific example of the topic- i.e. episode of a show).
2. Power & Empowerment
For this focus, your goal is to identify and analyze the images that are present in your blog's topic. Which images are empowering, which are less empowering (power over)? Analyze the messages sent by the images you've chosen (these images may not literally be pictures, they can be, but you can also think of it as imagery). Why do certain messages seem more empowering than others?
Be careful if your topic is a fictional one. When dealing with fictitious characters, don't analyze an image in the context of your topic (i.e. a character in relation to other characters or in relation to the plot on a TV show). You may need to provide the context of the character in relation to the show or other characters; however, analyze the messages sent by this character (or whatever the image from the fictional show is that you're analyzing) in relation to social norms, hegemonic belief systems, etc in the world/society that views this topic (in the example it would be the society/culture/socioeconomic environment of the viewers of the show).

3. Autobiographical
If your topic was initially chosen based on a personal identification with the subject-matter, this option allows you to analyze yourself in relation to your topic. This option could get messy (and long) if you provide too much detail about your life or your topic. Therefore, choose the specific moment to relate yourself to initial attraction to topic. Analyze the social norms and hegemonic messages that may have facilitated your interest in this topic/person/show/genre/etc.
Then analyze how your perception of this topic has changed/shifted by virtue of analyzing it all semester. How might you understand yourself differently today (compared to the understanding you articulated about yourself when you first "found" your topic) based on this difference in understanding your topic.

4. Evolution of understanding of your topic over the semester
How has your topic shifted over the course of the semester? What social norms and hegemonic values were you unaware existed in your topic at the beginning of the semester? Were these norms and values explicit or implicit? Are they disseminated on the covert/subconscious level? Do you see the potential for positive change in changing the less empowering/oppressive messages/images that your topic disseminates? Does identifying them and making the invisible (or not immediately obvious, less than overt, etc) visible (perhaps as you've done in your blog this semester?) transform these messages from having insidious power (because they're covertly disseminated) to disempowering the messages by simply illustrating the existence of them (think of the impassioned responses to your blogs--"It's only a TV show!!!" "Get a life!" "Don’t you have something better to do?"---the individuals who left such comments obviously care a great deal about the issues they are trying to diminish when analyzed by your blog--otherwise they wouldn't have left comments telling your not to bother). How do you understand your topic differently today as a result of the analyses and responses over the course of the semester, than you did at the beginning of the semester?

5 & 6 The Real World Casting Tape & Viewing yourself as a “Modest Witness”
For both of these foci, see me for specific instructions, ideas, etc for proceeding (particularly if you’re considering the Modest Witness one).
If you opt to submit the casting tape, the instructions for the assignment were posted to the “big blog” and include the details for my requirements if you chose this option for your assignment.

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