Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hey! #2

My name is Jessica Parenteau, and this is my third year at RIC. I'm a Justice and Society major, Gender studies minor. I took Gend 200 last semester, and I'm continuing my blog from the class (feel free to read older posts). During the break I went to a Pats game, it was freezing, and there was still snow in the seats. 

I spent a lot of time working during the break as well, I sell vitamins. I also read a book, and baked a bit (all gluten free too). I'm looking forward to the spring semester. I'm really looking forward to some warmer weather too!

"Media and Ideology" - Croteau


"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 also related to concepts such as worldview, belief system, and values, but is broader that 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."159/160
Ideology is how we think of the world. It's what we base our knowledge of the world on too. This quote explains how ideology can be different for everyone though. Depending on where you grew up, how you were raised, what religion you believe, and more changes your perception of how you see things in the media. That is what scholars look at. What we see in the media shapes how we view everything. Last semester when i looked at this quote all I could think about was how commercial depict certain gender roles. In all commercials for cleaning products you always find women.

"Drawn from the work of Antonio Gramsci (1971), an Italian Marxist who wrote in the 1920s and 1930s, the notion of hegemony connects questions of culture, power, and ideology. In short, Gramsci argued that ruling groups can maintain their power through force, consent, or a combination of the two. Ruling by way of force requires the use of two institutions such as the military and the police in an effort to physically coerce - or threaten coercion - so that people will remain obedient." 165
Croteau then continues to explain how the most popular examples of hegemony are ones that actually use physical force, but then says that "Gramsci's work suggests that power is wielded in a different arena - that of culture, in the realm of everyday life - where people essentially agree to current social arrangments." This goes on all the time in media. We are constantly seeing the dominant, or more powerful images when we watch TV, or see movies. We see heterosexual couples, and families. Women doing house work, men being bread winners, and so on. All these messages are telling us what life should be like, but we all know isn't the only way it should be.

"Media are involved in what Hall calls "the politics of signification," in which the media produce images of the world that give events particular meanings. Media images do not simply reflect the world, they re-present it; instead of reproducing the "reality" of the world "out there" the media engage in practices that define reality." 168
I think this quote sums up what the media really does. It wants us to see these images and think we need to be like that. The media is showing us what we should be like, and if we're not like it, then we're outcasted. Today's media is better, than before, but still gears certain things to certain people. Media targets and sells what is the "norm" (which was also discussed in the article).