For the assignment, you have several options to choose from listed below (each numbered section is a separate assignment choice/route—just chose one). You also can perform this assignment without the glue, paper, and scanner by using digital pictures/images/etc to create your collage. Below those options are the basic requirements for the assessment of your work.
1. The “ideal” and the “self”—Using the collage that you developed in class as the first part of the assignment, create a collage that illustrates how you differ from this gendered ideal (the difference that you illustrate could be focused on any one of a number of areas from the way you actually live your life, your perception of yourself in relation to these ads, etc).
2. Conflict in media messages about gender—After creating your collage in class, look for conflicting messages sent by the images. You can use any source of media for this collage (so think about using your favorite/love to hate TV show, music genre, video game, movie, sport, etc—it’s not necessary to still use ads), in order to illustrate a few key strands of contradiction/conflict/paradoxical expectations. These “key strands” should help support an overall argument that is specific about the focus of the collage and illustrate the ways in which conflicting messages are powerful sources of information about hegemonic beliefs about gender and consumption, social ideals, and/or normative gendered behavior, actions, lifestyles, etc.
3. (Dis)embodied gendered objectification in images of masculinity and femininity—If “sex sells” is cliché and trite, so commonplace in the media that sexualized bodies appearing in advertisements barely merit notice, then it’s time to look at the concept and take notice of what it means when “sex” is “selling” something. How does this concept appear in the images of men and women when sex is being used to sell? It’ll help to remember that sex and related objectification is relevant for both men and women. Make sure you include both the masculine and feminine representations in your collage or, if you choose to focus on one, directly analyze the ramifications of the one you chose (i.e. femininity) on the other (i.e. masculinity). Additionally, sex is not always overtly sexual, so stay open to the many ways that a person can be commodified/objectified in the images you find while creating your collage.
See the notes blog for more from class...