Thursday, November 29, 2012

Talking Point #12 - Ayvazian

In Ayvazian's Interrupinting then Cycle of Oppression: The Roles of Allies as Agents of Change defines what being an ally: "a member of dominant group in our society who works to dismantle any form of oppression from which she or he receives the benefit". She then continues to describe how this person takes a stand for what they believe in. They may call out someone for saying something they don't like to hear, they challenge people to help others who may not have to the words to help themselves. When reading the article I googled ally, and I found good definitions and examples. I also found this video as well.

The company Accenture, is a global company that works with other companies to improve them, but they also work as allys to the people in their company. They want the people in their company to be able to feel comfortable in the workplace. I think this is a nice thing because it gets everyone involved in being helpful to one another. I think this ties in with Ayvazian because people in Accenture are working to help others. They are using ally behavior "taking personal responsibility for the changes we know are needed in our society, and so often ignore or to leave to others to deal with". 

Monday, November 12, 2012


When scholars examine media products to uncover their "ideology," they are interested in the underlying images of society they provide. In this context, an ideology is basically a system of meaning that helps define and explain the world and that makes value judgements about that world. Ideology is related to concepts such as worldview, belief system, and values, but it is broader than those terms. It refers not only to the beliefs held about the world but also to the basic ways in which the world is defined. 
When I read this all I could think about was how commercials and ads were. They target people and most of the time we don't even notice what is happening in the ad. But all of of ads and media reflect what we value in society. If you look at a cleaning commercial 90% of the time you see a woman cleaning. Then something about a gym or even food there will be a man in it. It's the worldview of how the woman should still be in the home. It also relates back to our sex positivity reading, when White said how sex is everywhere today as well, and the media shows this the most in ads, movies, music, and so on. Then all theses messages get confusing because you never know what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to act. 

Indeed, prominent politicians routinely identify mass media as a facilitator, and sometimes a source, or social problems. For example, on the campaign trail in 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush suggested that "dark dungeons of evil on the Internet" were partly to blame for school violence (Komblut and Scales, 2000). And after the tragic shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999, politicians from across the political spectrum focused on violent video games as one of the causes of the violence. 
I can understand why people feel the need to blame things like the Internet and violent video games as factors of school violence, but it's really a very small factor. School violence is a bigger issue then just the violent video games people my play. Many more people play those games and don't really take it to real life. I think politicians most of the time are just trying to distract people from real problems. Why not focus on gun control, instead of the violent video game? 

This articulation is accomplished, in large part, by the fact that popular media, particularly television and mass advertising, have a tendency to display a remarkably narrow range of behaviors and lifestyles, marginalizing or neglecting people who are "different" from the mass-meadiated norm. When such difference is highlighted by, for example, television talk shows that routinely include people who are otherwise invisible in the mass media - cross-dressers, squatters, or strippers - the media can become part of a spectacle of the bizarre. 
We normalize behaviors. Most of what is on TV is "normal". It's a man and a woman together with kids, even single parent hood is becoming more normal in shows. But when there is a show of even a character in a show that is gay they act os comic relief most of the time. Today we do have more television shows that portray different types of families and people, but it's taken this long to finally see some change. People still watch shows like Maury to see all the chaos of peoples life, because we find this entertaining, but just as Croteau says it becomes "a spectacle of the bizarre".

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Post

Today was my first time voting. It was pretty cool, and I got a sticker. :) When voting today, I noticed that I was the only young person there. I think more people should have gone out, and voted in my town.
I've been watching the news for a while now (I watched most of it with Mike too), and so far its still a guessing game when it comes to who will win. My house wasn't really that exciting either, no one was flipping out at the news or anything. But I just found out that Elizabeth Warren beat Scott Brown. Good news! (I do live in Massachusetts). Right now they're showing her give her victory speech. It's almost tough to pay attention to everything because there are so many things popping up on the TV screen.
The whole experience today was exciting though. I've never been so involved with an election. I certainly didn't pay this much attention to the last election, but then again I was only 16 then. I liked being informed though, and knowing what is going on in the country, and in my state. I like how my vote today counted.