Major Media Representations (MMR), updated winter 2012 #112cwr

Movies, television, and other media can be very influential in representing particular professions. For example, we have Robin Williams as the creative, exciting (male) teacher in Dead Poet’s Society and Barbra Streisand as the unattractive, sex-starved (female) teacher in The Mirror Has Two Faces. We even have Arnold Schwarzenegger, the tough narcotics cop undercover as the angry, bumbling elementary teacher in Kindergarten Cop. From such examples, what sort of precedent do various media set regarding male and female positions in a particular profession? Only by watching and evaluating different media can we attempt to answer this question.

The Assignment
So, watch at least three different movies, television shows, or other media related to your intended major/profession. The relationship can be direct (Glengarry Glen Ross for real estate, Black Hawk Down for military, E.R. for medicine), peripheral (Kindergarten Cop for education, The Shining for creative writing, High Fidelity for small business) or even absurd (Harvey Birdman for law).  Unlike these examples, keep your selections timely; of major concern should be more current representations of your major/intended profession. Be sure to either take notes or “live-tweet” while viewing or engage in reflective free-writing as the end credits roll (we may share these in class).  Should you have any trouble getting started, let me know.  

Part 1 (pecha kucha, due 1.17, 1.19, 1.24, 1.26). In a 6-minute, 40-second presentation, summarize your media selections and address the questions below.

Part 2 (online, due 1.24). In a series of pages totaling at least 800 words, explain further and in greater detail the questions below and draw some conclusions about how the media represent your intended major/profession.

The following questions are intended to provide guidance in putting together both the pecha kucha presentation and your page(s):

  • Are those of your major/intended profession predominantly male/female, young/old, upper/middle/working class, African/Asian/European/Mexican American?
  • How do you compare/relate to the media’s representation(s) of your major/intended profession?  Do you see yourself as part of the majority/minority?  How/why?
  • In the media viewed, are representations of your major/intended profession more glamorized, romanticized, satirized, or criticized? 

PK presentations should adhere to the regular pecha kucha requirements. The comparative analysis should be 800-1200 words in length. Be sure to create at least one page for this assignment.