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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blog Post 4: Collage (and Short Write-up) of engendering consumption and gender in the marketing of products for children


Your goal for this assignment is to illustrate in both photos and written text how a children are molded into gendered consumers.
•    “Shop” for a child of a particular age/gender (we can define the age/gender & come up with a 4-5 item wish list before doing the assignment) by going to a physical (“brick & mortar”) toy store or by shopping online. Neither of the options would require you to actually buy anything, just conduct the assignment as if you were shopping for the child.
•    Analyze the role that a specific category of toys (or another product marketed for children) plays in the gendered socialization of children.
Examples of analyses to pursue:
•    Do the toys resemble (i.e. skin color, age, (dis)ability) the child you’re shopping for? Do only a small fraction of toys resemble your fictitious child?
•    How does socioeconomic class factor into the desired toys for a particular child; are these toys accessible to the child you’re shopping for, or would price, location, and/or other issues prohibit access for this particular child?
•    Examine issues of sexuality (ads using sexual objectification or toys promoting a heightened/sensationalized sexuality & heteronormativity are both considerations under this category of analysis)?
•    What values do the toys you found promote? Are they gendered values? How do gendered values teach children about propriety and social norms based on association with a particular gender?
•    Think about the products marketed to women that use women to sell the product, or products marketed to men, which use women as well.  What kinds of images are used? What marketing strategies are utilized? How can you best convey the product as sold on the basis of gender? How does marketing to a younger demographic change in these arenas?
If you have a clear focused thesis and the write-up and collage supports it, there is absolutely no chance you’d be able to address all of the above bullet points. They are meant merely to get you thinking about areas you could focus on for this assignment, you’ll have to choose one very narrow one to focus your assignment on.

Make sure your blog post's title, thesis, and 2 paragraphs with 2 specific quotes from course readings, and the collage, form a cohesive argument.  

Written Component Requirements
1.    Title of Blog Post  (your title is the blog post’s title).  
Make sure you develop a title for the blog post that reflects your write-up and collage, in a way that reflects the thesis/argument that you're making..
2.    Intro with Thesis (1st paragraph)
The thesis is going to be crucial here, because you will need to include it as a written component of the assignment. Your thesis should be as nuanced and analytically deep as you can find images and quotes to support.
3.    2 Readings cited in a 2 paragraphs that underscores your thesis and the points you're making in the collage.  NEITHER OF THE READINGS CITED CAN COME FROM NEWMAN OR ANYONE ASSIGNED BEFORE THURSDAY, JULY 22nd (even though one of those readings was Newman, you can’t use him).
You will need to cite the work of 2 course readings related to media, ‘the body,’ gender, and advertising (use the readings after the section you used for the previous blog post assignment).  For most students, it may help to use the readings to find quotes to inspire the collage. Remember, short direct quotes (one quote in each paragraph).
4.    Works Cited/List of References --Use the MLA!  Make sure you include the two readings (in the parenthetical references in your two paragraphs) and the sources of media that you used for the assignment in a separate “Works Cited” list at the end of the blog post.



You’ll be graded on the level of analysis (not artistic ability☺) that you’ve demonstrated based on the relevant use of quotes, thesis, title, and through your visual collage.

Think of the collage as the body of the paper (for the most part), which stands in where the first three paragraphs would not be able to provide a cohesive argument/set of points to prove the entirety of your thesis

Getting the collage on the blog with your write-up
You can scan a paper/glue/scissors collage or you can perform this component of the assignment digitally.  If you choose to go the digital route, use digital pictures/images/etc to create your collage using Picasa (a free download from Google for photo editing and is capable of making collages), Photoshop, Paint (on Microsoft Windows) or any other software that lets you edit images.
Any method for creating the collage is fine as long as it will allow you to create an image file that ends in .jpg, .gif, .png, .tif, or .bmp).

Remember that the collage will need to be inserted as an image in the blog post.

If you’re scanning, remember that you’ll need to be able to fit it on the bed of the scanner.
Therefore, do not use paper larger than 8.5”x11” (standard printer paper size aka: letter-size)

If multiple sheets of standard printer paper are used, scan them in order, keep them flat, and don’t attach them to each other. Scan each separately, save each page as its own file, and then upload them to a single blog post using the “add image” icon in the usual “compose” screen used in blogger (just like you used for the first post) with the written components listed above.
If you need to add more than one image to complete your collage, the pop-up window will show “add an image from your computer” and once you’ve clicked “browse” to find the first image, click the link above the browse for file area, which is labeled “Add another image” and use that until all images are uploaded and then hit the orange button as the last step.

The rubric for this assignment is on SOCS Assessments (under collage and short write-up), which is what I’ll use to calculate your grade.

The collage and short write-up are due to your blog by Friday at 1pm
There is no blog-buddy work for this assignment.

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