“Representation, Bias, and Stereotype”
REPRESENTATION (GEENA DAVIS 2010) “WE JUDGE OUR VALUE BY SEEING OURSELVES REFLECTED IN CULTURE”
We may never understand the subtle messages but the influence that certain images deliver are overpowering. I am not a smoker but looking at this old Marlboro advertisement, I see what a man should be: Powerful, military, and smoking.
BIAS prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. News media are famous for slinging mud at eachother claiming their bias is better or fair. Yet it is impossible to really free a message without bias.
Where we fail as readers is not looking closely or care enough to question the images or news.
STEREOTYPE a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. Recently, the United States elected a new president and the nation was split in voting within a state within the country. Yet My own stereotypes of the ‘red’ states were changed after numerous states were closely contested. Here on this map we can see that the majority of the color is red republican and the blue democrat appears to be few. There was little dispute in some states where Republicans usually control. These states are thinly populated and my stereotype is to declare they are less democratic as well. This is unfair and oversimplified. When comparing the two maps, we find that statewide these different colors diverge and the overall impression is that democrats won the election and appear in states, where I thought would vote differently.
Beauty and the degradation of public images
Modern advertisement (print, visual, and video) reinforce beauty for the masses. The general definition of what is beautiful has melted the woman’s image. These common images are found in Magazine ads, TV ads, and Movies.
The message presents in codes, symbols, and reflects the importance of beauty in our 21st century. Codes in these ads are suggestive and attract a certain audience through sexual written content or hints. Symbolic language, aside from body language, include colors and objects that define the viewers experience. Lastly, the reflection (technical codes) play on angles and image perception to create thin, wide, or tighter images to extract deeper connections.
Here is an example of a potential lesson plan
Lesson Plan Outline
Objective: Students recognize codes, written, and symbols of subtle media messages
EQ: What is the function of media and its affect to public perceptions in marketing?
– Present generic ad & movie sequence imagery
– students popcorn words to describe the imagery
– students share how the ad “sells” its product
– Show “Dove Evolution” video
– Students discuss in groups what the message of this video is
– What is the “revelation/secret” this ad is sharing
– How does this ad “sell” its product
– Reflect on “Minnie Comparison”
– Share google site w/ other ads: “Even legos are sexy” “boobs are better than baking skills” “magazine ad from dove” “second ad for dove”
– students work in together to compare and contrast the messages and techniques used in each ad
– students discuss who each ad might “appeal” to
– groups share their answers with the class: discuss
– End with “Youtube Beauty tv ad”
After watching the TED VIDEO with Chip Kidd- I was struck by his three points of graphic design for book covers and how they are important to three people: The Reader, The Publisher, The Author.
I selected a cover to analyze using the three party system as well.
To the reader: We see a small child from a sepia tone picture indicating centuries old technology. Her darker skin tone and time period indicate exotic or deeper mystery. Her clothes are upscale and show a certain wealth. She is posed at a desk and perhaps means education. The top section is a map, which I assume is the Western African coast, famous for slave trade and colonization. Lastly, the right section of the book is of a cursive text from a letter. Placing these images together could mean a slave girl is brought and educated abroad and retells her life story.
To the publisher: We see the message of three intersections that combine to tell a complex story. The publisher needs these colors and associated definition for the reader to look closer. The cover is the selling point for casual reader and even the focal point for advertisments. If the cover can not build interest it will then need to shock the reader into learning more.
To the Author: Three major images build the story and project a complex story. This story has history by definition but intrigue which draws the story.
“New and Traditional Media,” Media and Information Literacy. (2011) pg.120-127
From my Mac to the cannon, the Bluetooth signal clicks with the sounds of my presentation. My students stare at the images flashing from my cable connection to the projector that illuminate a white screen with my ‘electronic lesson.’ Most days I converge the traditional with new media in my classroom. There are advantages that seem to outweigh the negative: paperless, visual learning, and interactive.
Traditional methods of handouts and markers have practically disappeared. In fact most students are asking more about the website than the texts read in class. The traditional handout is now something they can print out or simple answer via computer and submit to an online storage that is accessed by me, and fellow classmates. Markers are used on the whiteboard but often are used for spot grammar checks. ‘One student wrote,’ I would comment for the class to focus on the lesson that I would diagram on the board. Students, who validate this experience, take pictures of the board with their phones for later study guides.
This new media has eliminated some issues for my lesson plans but also introduced a new element that I struggle to keep updated. For the last seven years, I have been unaware of twitter and its multifaceted connection to students. Starting last year, I have fielded quick questions from students and announced important news to classes quickly and without email hassles. It is my belief that there are many great uses for the Internet and applications for teaching but until we reach a common electronic plateau in my classroom, it might be a divider rather than a uniting force.