Monday, February 25, 2013

Knowledge-able - Wesch


Wesch argues that kids today in higher education classrooms are not learning how they should be. He says they don't ask the right types of questions, instead the questions are just solely based on how to pass the class. Instead higher education should be teaching today's youth how to navigate the world through the media. He talks about how knowledge floats through the air today, we have so may devices that connect to the internet, and so much at the tips of our fingers, but many of us don't know how to use it all.
He argues that all this media shapes our relationships with everything. Wesch talks about how when the television first came out and the whole living room change to fit the TV into it. It rearranged the lives of American people. The TV also gave the media new control. There weren't many channels, and it was controlled by few, it was there to entertain the masses, and it showed only what the people who controlled it wanted.

Rooms went from looking like the first picture in the 1920's to the next revolving around the TV in the 1930's.

Wesch also talks about the Dove commercial that shows thousands of images of women's bodies, and what women go through to be thin, and so on, and ends with the statement that you should talk to your daughters about these things. The message is a good one in my opinion, you should let young girls know that this is what they're gonna see but they don't have to live up too it. The better message though comes from the spoof video that was made. It actually got Unilever to stop cutting down rainforest for the palm oil that was used in Dove products. I think that choice of media was wonderful. 
Finally, Wesch really argues to teach students to use these forms of media. He wants to embrace the real world problems that students with face. He wants to answer these problems with them, and he hopes by doing this it will help them live their lives. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager - Hine


Hine's main argument in this chapter is that the media shapes the way that we see teenagers. He explains who the word teenager didn't even really exist until the twentieth century. Why do we even need a word to describe a group of people? Hine talks throughout the reading about how different parts of history and the media have shaped the idea of the teenager. He argues that young people are given all these labels through the lens of the media. For example when young twenty year olds commit crimes the title reads "Teen arrested". Why not just say "Man arrested"? Aren't you an adult when your 18? Same with how Congress was trying to try young people as adults when they commit certain crimes, why is it okay to try them as an adult, when you label them as something completely different? Hine also argues that there are to many things that are against teens. Society is constantly showing the population images of sex and so on, but we tell todays teens that they need to wait because they don't completely understand everything there is to know about sex and the consequences that it can bring. (I do agree that most teens do not no much about sex, and therefore should wait. Most sex education courses do not do a good job of teaching what really happens. I can only think of Kenia's video that she posted in her Raby blog, and that does a better job explaining things then anything I was taught in a health class in high school). Teens bodies are ready for sex way sooner then they were decades ago, and many are sexually active because of it. This relates to the prom idea that Hine addresses. Teens are sexually active and prom night is a night where it's almost expected of you to be a crazy, wild teen. The story that Hine tells about the girl who has the baby at her prom, just helps the media enforce how teens are not ready to be active. We are so under developed in our thinking process that we think it's okay to hid a pregnancy and get rid of the baby in the garbage. This scares parents and society and starts the cycle of looking down on the teens for their horrid actions, but how many times does this happen? And we only hear about the girl giving birth at her prom because the media only tells us about awful things. When are happy things really told to society?

Are these the moments that turn us into adults? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence - Raby


Framing teenagers as being at risk allows adults to distance themselves from the actions of teenagers today: the social milieu was fundamentally different in the past, so their teenagehoods cannot be compared, and the causes of problems are assumed to be located in other peoples’ families (as well as media, schooling, and peers) rather than their own. (435). 
I think this statement is very true in someways, but not in others. I do agree that saying teenagers are so different and so on, allows parents to act like they are very different from their kids, but they I don't think their teenage experience was truly that different. I believe that everyone is awkwardly put into this stage of life, and we all experience it. Being that you both went through/are going through, you can compare it. I remember my parents comparing their teenage experiences to mine to try to help me out with anything, and even though they were different, it was the same in a way. Its a tad hard to explain. 

Many commentators currently frame teenagers as a social problem for parents and for the rest of society. Here teens are a risk to others, difficult, trouble makers and potential disrupters of households and social peace. Griffin suggests that girls are more likely to be considered at risk while boys are more likely to be treated as a social problem (1993, p.127). (435).
I agree that teenagers are difficult and such, but I don't believe it is just because they are teenagers. I think that because of the media and all the stimuli that teenagers see, it's being shown to them they should be a problem to everyone. I believe we do cause some kinds of problems, some more problems than others, and part of this is because of all the change we do experience. I also kind of do believe that Griffin is right in saying that girls are more at risk and boys are the social problem. Boys are more likely to act out publicly than girls. 

On the one hand, the teenage respondents seemed to gain pleasure from various aspects of teenagehood. On the other, all of them easily cited negative stereotypes often held about teens. The most recurring stereotype mentioned was that teens are 'bad' - some of them elaborated  by providing a series of other negative terms, such as rude, uninterested, apathetic, messed up, trouble makers, and scary. (441).
Where do we learn to give teenagers these stereotypes? Why are teenagers bad? Is it because they're "different"? I think most people can agree that they have been called one of these things while they were a teen. The teens that Raby interviews say that there are only some people who have this reputation, but the people that they hang out with don't, or that all the teen violence that is out there causes the reputation. Why is this reputation only associated with teens though, when there are plenty of adults that could be described the same way?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Radom Blog!

I'm always on Pinterest. I'm a little addicted to it, but I always find things that are interesting. Being snowed in today, I'm surfing everything on the internet. While on Pinterest today I found this:
This was exactly what we were talking about in class yesterday!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us - Christensen


Christensen's opening line "I was nourished on the milk of American culture.." sucked me in right away. America is the mother that we all learn from and it's media just is thrown in our faces from the beginning. The article reminded me so much of a piece we read last semester, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" by Peggy Orenstein, (here's a NY times review of the book) it discussed how princess culture is so forced onto little girls and how colors like pink are the only way to describe a little girl. Did you know that before the 1920s newborn girls were wrapped in blue and that boys were wrapped in pink blankets at hospitals? When did society become so strict the roles we "need" to play that they had to assign colors to babies?! Christensen goes into the "secret education" that cartoons are teaching our youth. This education is "delivered by children's books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blueprints. And often depicts the domination of one sex, race, on class, or one country over a weaker counterpart." These ideas need to be fed to us at a young age so we don't fight it, it's just accepted as what children watch and the meanings don't get uncovered until there's someone who brings up the idea. Christensen then asks her students if the agree that there is "secret education" and I completely agree that there is.

In the stereotypes section of the text Christensen asks a bunch of questions. "How does the film portray overweight people? What about women other than the main character? What jobs do you see them doing? What jobs do you see them doing? What do they talk about?.. What would young children learn about women's roles in society if they watched this film and believed it? What roles do money, possessions, and power play in the film? Who has it? Who wants it?..What would children learn about what's important in society?" All of these questions stuck me. I never thought about these questions while watching TV or a movie. When watching cartoons as a child I was just absorbed in the beauty of it. I can remember watching the princess movies, and just wanting to be like them. I probably understood that I wanted to be like them because they were pretty and they got the fairytale ending. I remember wanting to find prince charming too. But I never thought of the stereotypes that are placed upon characters. Like when Christensen's students point out that Ursula is ugly and smart, and envious of Ariel because she is pretty and young, and because Ariel is pretty and young she gets the man, even if that means sacrificing her true talents and giving up her voice. (This is also the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, in the original one, Ariel dies turns into sea-foam. We discussed this last semester too.) This would have never occurred to me as a child.

What picture is a child going to be more attracted too?

Christensen whole text brought up ideas that you don't necessarily think about, and her concern for the students she was teaching was great too. She didn't want these young adults to think they have to live in a society with such strict roles. I love when she says "I don't want students to believe that change can be bought at the mall, nor do I want them thinking that the pinnacle of a women's life is an "I do" that supposedly leads them to "happily ever after." She doesn't want this "secret education" to make them think that need to be like everyone else. We learn that we need to be like the images we see in the media, thin, beautiful, and fabulously dressed. Not everyone is like this and that education that we've been learning our whole life taught us this.