Saturday, November 30, 2013

Online Assignment 3_Rykoskey

            The “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” goes into great detail about the impact Disney films have on our youth.  One of the major themes presented was the Magic Bullet Perspective.  Dr. Gail Dines expresses concern about the role woman play in Disney films mainly because of the “highly sexualized female bodies” with common traits of a “tiny waste, big breasts and fluttering eyelashes.” These films she concludes are “constructing notions about what femininity is.”  Dr. Diane Levin furthers this theme by showing how children fail to think about how the representations don’t look like people in real life.  They don’t make comparisons and this shapes kid’s image about how they are going to look. Examples are shown through a scene from “Aladdin” where Jasmin becomes a seductress to distract the bad guy and through “Tarazan” where the girl needs to be rescued by a male.  It shows how females are taught at a young age that they need to use their bodies in a fashion not always appropriate in real life in addition to the fact that females lack the ability to save their own lives.  This translates to real life as shown in a clip from “The Mirror Project” where a young girl is acting out the seductress role presented in many of the Disney films she has likely indulged in many times.
            The magic bullet perspective is only intensified through cultivated research which is another highly discussed issue in the film.  Disney is a huge part of children’s lives and with the massive monopoly over children, many will be very deeply connected to these animated films and take many lessons away from what they see.  Dr. Justin Lewis shows how widespread Disney is and explains that these stories will be the stories that form a child’s imaginary world.  Disney has immense power all over the world and this shows how critical it is to understand the impact these stories are causing.  Dr. Alvin Poussaint furthered these claims by explaining how children were raised on Disney for many generations and is becoming part of American culture in terms of identity.  The film interviewed college students and showedg the influence Disney stories have had on them.  First Marc Nowak recited an entire Disney song that he loved as a child, Meaghan Sinclair talked about all the fond memories she has, and Nicole Gagerges claimed that the first Disney film she ever saw was before she could talk.  These examples show how often these films are presented to the youth of America and have impacted them for the rest of their live.  Marc Nowak would have had to have seen “The Little Mermaid” countless times to be able to sing the entire scene from memory.  Singing a Disney song may not be harmful but when connected to the other themes that play a crucial part of these animated films, one can easily see how detrimental it could be for children to be exposed to these motifs time and time again.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Online Assignment 3: Dan Hively

This film demonstrates the immense power that the media holds over society, and how much this can influence children. The media effect that was most prominent was the "Magic Bullet" perspective, and it is seen through how the children played. The Magic Bullet perspective was described in lecture as "being powerful enough to incite emotions or actions". In this case, the media presented through movies influenced how children acted. Disney taught the children what the stereotypical roles in society were, and how they should act. Dr. Justin Lewis, a Journalism Professor at Cardiff University, stated that it goes beyond just acting out the film. He says that Disney influences how children think by ultimately "shaping their imagination". Disney shapes a child's imagination by repeatedly showing images and "influencing how the child sees the world". 

The other example would be how media represents the culture. Society is what makes the culture and the media interprets it and represents culture how they see fit. In the end, this can lead to "loss in translation" when the media creates a stereotyped picture of what society is. In Disney's case, it can lead to a grossly overly generalized layout of society. The examples of racism in Disney can be seen in most of the minority groups. In The Jungle Book, crows and monkeys were portrayed as Black individuals with the way they talked and how they acted. In Oliver and Company, the Chihuahua, Tito,  was spoken by a Mexican individual and is shown as a low life in society and a criminal. The Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp are given features that go with every Asian stereotype out there. This is dangerous because media has the "power to reinforce or assign new meaning to people and cultural 
objects" (Lecture). This is especially a problem with the children who haven't experienced the real world yet as it paints a false image of what the society is like. Jacqueline Maloney, from the Harvard University, explained a story in which children at a grocery store comparing black children to the Hyenas they saw in the Lion King. Disney has shown kids their definition of a stereotypical black person. This misrepresentation of a group of people taught kids how Black individuals act and talk. It also teaches kids how black people act in society. In movies like The Jungle Book and The Lion King, Blacks are seen as background characters and have very minor roles. Interviewers in this movie asked children various questions about Disney movies, and one asked if they knew a movie in which a black character was the lead role. The children could not think of one. 

This documentary gives a scary picture of how Disney impacts kids. Its hard to imagine a company with a mission to spread the magic could be called a media monopoly. It is eyeopening to see how Disney can use their movies to also market their products. By doing this, Disney engulfs everything children do by always having Disney related products around them. This movie was additionally frightening when realizing that my generation was the one effected by this. It makes me wonder how much I and the people where influenced by Disney. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Speech Self-Evaluation_Alec Cordero

I thought that I delivered my speech with mostly good body language (i.e. looking at the crowd, standing still, using hand gestures), but I think that I looked at my notes too often even though most of the information I presented was from my own memory. I should work on eye contact a lot more in the future when speaking in public. However, I noticed that I didn't use any filler language such as "um" or "like" and that the information I presented was very much relevant to the reading that I had studied. I pronounced all of my words fluidly, with intent, and even engaged with the audience at the beginning by asking a general question. I feel as though I was generally well-prepared with this speech in that I presented each of the main ideas from the reading, but I could make some smaller improvements on physical presence in the future.

Online assignment 3 Sarah Kuelbs

In the movie Mickey Mouse Monopoly, it is easy to see that these movies have a huge impact on children.  Two of obvious ways are through the magic bullet and through cultural means.
When children watch Disney movies, they try to imitate them through play.  This is an obvious trait of the magic bullet, which affects children directly.  When children play, they act out direct scenes.  Children often imitate characters - girls playing stereotypical feminine roles and boys following suit in male roles, often saving the girls.  Also, racial prejudice is obvious in Disney movies.  Voices played by minorities often portray negative roles.  For example, the chihuahua in Oliver and Company played a character who was open and willing to do illegal tasks.  Children associate these voices with voices of real children and will assume racial minority children also are associated with crime and violence.
This is an example of the magic bullet because the effect is strong and direct, reinforcing gender and racial roles.  However, this is also a cycle in our culture.  As racial and gender discrimination continue in our culture, these roles are reinforced and produced more in mass by the media.  Another way Disney infiltrates into our culture is through consumerism.  This is produced in mass through many aspects of our culture.  This includes video games, clothing, toys, and even household items.  It is easy to see how Disney has become an obvious part of our culture.  While children do not realize this, Disney and consumerism go hand in hand and feeds the loop of what is produced in our culture.
Both ways obviously affect children, and whole Disney movies are important to many Americans, it is important that we are aware of these effects.  Disney movies should be produced with stereotypes and gender roles in mind, making them more appropriate for children.  And while they will probably continue to promote consumerism, parents should try to avoid buying all these products for their children, and instead, teaching children about race and gender roles in American society.

Online Assignment #3_Dobbs

The video, Mickey Mouse Monopoly, portrays many different course perspectives throughout the film and addresses many controversial topics that open viewers’ minds to things they have never thought of before. The two that I found most prominent were the Magic Bullet and Culture Studies course perspectives.

The Magic bullet is one of our course perspectives I have noticed in the film, Mickey Mouse Monopoly. I have noticed this specifically in the section when the commentators are talking about how women are portrayed in these Disney Films. They examine very good points of how women are portrayed in these films and are seen as “sexualizing”. They have skinny waists, flirtatious expressions, and seductive speaking lines in certain movies, and little children are watching this. The Commentator, Dr. Gail Dines, points out certain examples from movies, such as Aladdin, where the female characters use their bodies to manipulate people to get what they want. When children see this, they think that it is all right to behave like this and do these things. The magic bullet comes into play because children watch these actions happening and then think it is okay and go ahead and do them. Another piece of proof of the magic bullet theory is when the commentators are talking about the mirror effect and then they show the two little girls dressing up like certain Disney characters and are signing songs from different movies and are dressing up like the characters. One of the commentators even mentioned that she saw children playing on a playground and they were acting out scenes from certain Disney movies. She goes on to mention that the things these children are watching in these movies are becoming real life for them; it is the ultimate fantasy coming to life.

The course perspective of cultural studies is also very prominent and well addressed in the Mickey Mouse Monopoly. Multiple children were asked the question if they can recall seeing any black people in any of the movies. They both responded no, they do not recall seeing any or could not remember seeing any. This proves how unequally represented different cultures are shown in Disney movies. There are several examples within this video that prove different cultural studies among Disney movies. The general theme is that other cultures are mostly represented as animals, which is degrading. The first to talk about this is Marisa Peralta when she is talking about how Latinos are always associated with Chihuahuas, specifically in Lady and the Tramp, and are often participating in mischievous activity. Jacqueline Maloney is next to talk about the representation of black people in Disney. She talks about how they are mostly represented as animals that usually do the dancing like the jive or hip-hop/break dancing and typically mimic the speech patterns of this culture. She finds this present in the orangutans in Jungle Book. The third example is Chyng Feng Sun describes how the Asian stereotype is portrayed in the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp. She states how the cats have the slanted eyes, buckteeth, and the very heavy accents and are seen as cunning, sinister, and manipulative. She then goes on to talk about how in Mulan, she is seen as a powerful woman, but the woman stereotypes are still present in the movie. All of these cultural representations are shown as inferior to Americans. 

Online Assignment #3_O'Brien

Erin O'Brien
Section 310

Mickey Mouse Monopoly was a documentary discussing the criticisms in which always seemingly positive and innocent Walt Disney films have had negative implications. In class we have been discussing the Five Perspectives on Media Effects that are the Magic Bullet, Two-Step Flow, Cultural Studies, Cultivated Research, and Agenda Setting effects. Of the five, the Magic Bullet, Cultural Studies, and Cultivated Research effects are of extreme takeaway from these children films.
            The Magic Bullet effect alludes to the idea that media effects are powerful, direct, and able to incite action on its audiences. Throughout the documentary it was not the experts who exhibited this effect, it was the commentary from the children themselves. Children were used to respond to a critique regarding how the Beast in Beauty and the Beast is physically and mentally abusive to Belle who, as the film goes on, forgives the Beast for his negative abuses. The children’s responses to questions regarding domestic violence and the allowance of abuse were directly correlated with what they had seen on screen. The children thought that it’s okay for men to abuse women as long as they eventually stop and can be forgiven. Jacqueline Maloney pointed out another direct and powerful effect from the Disney movie The Lion King. In the film, the hyenas, representing the enemy, had voiceovers done by African Americans who talked in ways that our society perceives inner-city children to talk. In an example, Maloney discussed how a family friend’s child was terrified at a mall because they overheard African American children talking and was convinced that the hyenas from the movie were a reality.
            This last example can be related to the effect of Cumulated Research as well. In class we discussed how impressions of the world could be cultivated through long-term media exposure as well as the fact that heavy viewer likely to believe that the real world is a dangerous place. Though not a severely extreme example, the story about media’s influence over the perception of African American voices serves a powerful one if it can inhibit fear among audiences in the outside world.
            The Cultural Studies effect was shown to be the most prominent seen throughout the Disney franchise. Dr. Henry Giroux goes into great detail and passion about how Disney has used its global renown and money to exhibit power over the commercialization of products and its influence over the entire news entertainment industry. He says that Disney is extremely political in the ways in which it legitimizes which news can be relayed, which products will be sold, and what content their films can instill on audiences. The content itself in these films as discussed by Gail Dives implements strong cultural stereotypes that further reinforce and give representation to people in society. These cultural representations are exemplified through the feminist portrayal of the leads in Snow White, Mulan, and Beauty and the Beast. Dives give meaning and understanding of the creation of these cultural stereotypes by saying that scriptwriters are people present in society that hold their own cultural stereotypes that inadvertently make their way into the script; therefore further reinforcing and strengthening stereotypes already present in our society.

            I found this assignment very interesting because I myself am an avid lover of Disney classics. It was difficult though to uncover all of the negativity that comes through this positive idea of film and entertainment. Though I do agree that there are many unhealthy representations in these films, I support Dives in saying that they are not intentionally placed in these films. However from here on out, Disney should work to diminish these stereotypes as a more multicultural, and gender equal world is evolving.

Online Assignment #3

Online Assignment #3
Journalism 201
Section 310
Sydney Heyler

            The media is an incredibly influential force in both society and individual lives.  Children are the most susceptible to the effects of media as they are still developing and trying to make sense of the world around them.  Watching “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” was a fantastic insight into just how powerful the effects of media can be.  Of all of the different perspectives used to analyze media effects, the cultural and cultivation perspectives were the most evident in this film. 
            The cultural perspective of media analyzes how media represents culture in interaction with the existing culture. With the amount of influence it exerts, media has the ability to shape someone’s beliefs/values and establish cultural differences and identities.  As Doctor Gail Dines explains in “Mickey Mouse Monopoly”, “one of the most important cultural mechanisms we have today is the media.  It gives us a whole array of images, stereotypes and belief systems about race, class gender…” An example of this would be the gender differences Disney has displayed for the role young girls play in society.  Women are consistently portrayed as seductive, weaker characters, using their physical traits to get what they want and being unable to get out of trouble without the help of a man. Young girls viewing this content are being shaped into believing this is how all women in society should act.  Racial stereotypes and differences are also commonly seen in Disney films.  In the movie Tarzan, the protagonist is a white male, despite the movie’s location in Africa.  In fact, there is not a single Black character in the film, they are instead portrayed as gorillas.  This image of portraying the Black characters as animals creates a sense of Caucasian superiority, something that even children will not fail to recognize. Disney is very clear in its support of Caucasian superiority and the subordination of women.  Children, who may not have formed these opinions yet and are trying to figure out their place in the world, are easily influenced by these strong assertions.  Considering Disney has been consistently run by wealthy, Caucasian males, these ideals and their prominence in Disney’s media are not surprising.
            The second perspective of media seen in this film is the cultivation perspective.  This perspective argues that media have a long-term effect on citizens that is “not instantaneous, large or direct, but small, indirect and cumulative.” Doctor Justin Lewis supports this perspective by saying “after awhile those images will begin to shape what we know and what we understand about the world; that’s a slow, cumulative effect and it’s much more subtle.”  What makes Disney fall under this perspective is the consistency of its content.  Very similar themes, content and stereotypes are found in numerous Disney films. Children could be considered “heavy viewers” of media, making them much more susceptible to the on-going, cumulative effects that Disney delivers.  When they see an image/message over and over again, they are likely to adopt it and bring it into their own lives.  Disney becomes less of an entertainment spectacle and more of a teacher. 
            All media affects us in one way or another.  “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” highlights how the cultural and cultivation perspectives of media influence their viewers.  At such an influential stage of life, children are very susceptible to the effects of Disney’s media.  It is crucial that Disney and all large media outlets not only recognize the power that they have, but use it in a responsible and effective way.

Online Assignment #3_Jacobsen

Marlowe Jacobsen
Journalism 201
Section 310
26 November 2013
The Global Impact of Media Conglomerations on Children
The influence of the Disney Corporation now perpetuates through a global society. As one of seven major media conglomerations, they have a specialized impact on their target market, who as we know, happen to be children. In reviewing the documentary, “The Mickey Mouse Monopoly” the media perspectives most salient are the critical-cultural studies and cultivation research. These perspectives aim to show the causal, but indirect relationship of the media, specifically Disney, on the minds of our youth globally.
The main goals of the critical-cultural studies perspective is to relay that an aspect of power is present in all media and that media reinforce and legitimize messages created in a society. Media are very effective in perpetuating often negative values and belief systems according to our culture. Dr. Gail Dines states that “encoded in media images are ideologies about how we think about the world.” She specifically talks about this in the context of gender representations and the traditional role of females in Disney movies. She gives examples of female characters always needing the support of a male. This reinforces the idea that women are supposed to be weak and vulnerable. Dr. Diane Levin agrees with these ideas when she states that media “shape kids’ ideas about how they are supposed to look.”  She gives examples of male characters in Disney such as princes or knights as strong, rich and handsome. For female characters, the norm is that their bodies are highly sexualized and unrealistic. Also, it continues the idea that women should use their bodies to get what they want. These cultural beliefs originated long ago in history, but with Disney’s help they continue to perpetuate in society today.
The second type of perspective salient in this documentary was cultivation research.  This theory relays that our cultural environment builds over time through the media. Continued exposure to the media shapes how we perceive things and our subsequent actions. As a brand that has been around almost a century, most people living today have grown up with the movies and characters of Disney. Dr. Alvin Poussaint realizes this global impact Disney has had as the “dominant storyteller.” He states that these “stories help from a child’s imagination all over the world” because of their constant presence in the market over the years. Dr. Justin Lewis agrees that the media, especially the Disney Corporation, has had a slow, cumulated effect on culture. Racial and gender stereotypes are especially cultivated and perpetuated in this way through misrepresentations and implicit archetypes in the Disney films. These translate to our culture through perceptions on genres such as crime.

Through the examination of critical-cultural studies and cultivation research, many experts agree that though Disney’s impact has not been immediate, their continuous and prominent presence in the lives of children has had a profound impact on our culture. With each generation exposed to the media of the Disney Corporation, the more these often negatives ideologies continue in our society without much contestation. It’s important to have a critical eye on the media children and also adults consume. After all, it is our responsibility to see that the younger generations have sound values and beliefs as they are educated about the world.

Online Assignment 3_Alvarado Silverman

The documentary “Mickey Mouse Monopoly” discusses many ways in which Disney movies and products affect children around the world. It talks about how racial depictions, gender roles in society, the commercialization of Disney’s products, and other things in the Disney universe affect children’s ways of thinking about the world around them. The media perspectives discussed in lecture which I feel apply best to the views expressed in the documentary are the Magic Bullet,  and Cultural Studies.
            The Magic Bullet is the idea that media are powerful, direct, and able to incite emotions and actions. After watching the documentary, there is no doubt that Disney has a powerful and direct effect on children. When the teacher is describing how her children play the “damsel in distress” game at recess, this shows that viewing Disney movies has a powerful effect on the way children play and interact with one another. This point is further emphasized later, when they discuss how the commercialization of Disney movies into toys directly effects how children play, because children want to play with the toys as if they are in the movie. This shows just how powerful Disney is in the lives of children everyday. It also shows how Disney can incite emotion and action, as playing is a big way for children to express themselves.
            The other media perspective which is clearly shown in the film is Cultural Studies. Cultural Studies deals with how media represents culture in society, and also with how power works in society. This is discussed in depth throughout the course of the documentary, but the main two points that stuck out to me were gender roles and racial depictions. According to the documentary, Disney movies tend to display minorities as inferior or evil in a majority of their movies. This greatly affects children’s views of people of different ethnicities and races from their own. An example of this from the documentary is when one of the professors talks about how a white friend of hers had a child who saw black children playing on a carousel, and referred to them as the “hyenas,” because in one of Disney’s movies there are evil hyenas whose voices sound more like a typical black person’s voice. This also relates back to the idea of the magic bullet, where the Hyenas had a powerful and direct effect on the child that incited emotions. The film also discussed how a child’s view of gender and gender roles is greatly affected by Disney films. They discuss how women in Disney films are always depicted as large-breasted, skinny waisted, seductresses, and this makes children believe that this is what women should look and act like. They also discuss how in many movies, such as Mulan, men are shown as the power figures, and/or always have to save the women in the end regardless of how strong she is. Overall, when you look at Disney movies through both the Magic Bullet view and the Cultural Studies view, it seems as if Disney films are much more harmful than helpful to children.